Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Senseless Corporations Promoting Filth: Does Anybody Dare to Object?

Are there any corporations left that have a shred of decency left? Is the gutter always acceptable in American culture now? Please let me know if you can find any. I'm curious. It just seems that we have become so programmed into accepting foul language, dirty jokes, and other content that should be offensive, that those who wish to speak up are silences and those who do are condemned. Do we have to remain silent?

As a minor recent example, yesterday on the drive to work I was listening to one of Chicago's major radio stations, WIND (560 AM). The station's programming reflects a conservative, family-oriented flavor, so I would like to think that the leaders and staff are somehow aligned with those values. The two morning hosts, John and Cisco, apparent conservatives with a normally clean program, had a celebrity on who, I later learned, is famous for dirty jokes. His raw filth in night clubs is legendary and he sells CDs and DVDs of the same. He also is the voice for a major "family" insurance company and works with Disney and Nickolodeon. Disney and Nickolodeon? Yes.

In the interview, which repeatedly promoted the guy's Website and his upcoming appearances in Chicago, he joked about having inappropriate relations with a young teenage celebrity - ha ha - and the hosts just laughed like it was hilarious and then kept promoting this lowlife.

I know I'm a troglodyte for wondering why corporations do this kind of thing, why companies like Disney, Nickolodeon, family insurance companies, and WIND would even touch vermin who specialize in extreme filth and think it's funny to joke about incest and child molestation. But are there any other troglodytes out there?

I called the radio station and lodged a gentle complaint, though it was to a machine. Had I reached a human, I'm sure I'd be told what I've been told before by other companies: "You're the only one who has ever complained." Ever. Perhaps in the history of the world. Right - that's just standard training for the people who handle complaints. Make the complainers feel like they are outcasts from another planet.

If you are offended by my concerns and think I'm insane, idiotic, dangerous, and a threat to society, and if you dare to speak out about that in the comments below, let me assure you of one thing right now: you're the only one who has ever said that. And if 50 of you do, I know you're all the same insane person using different names. I'm putting you on ignore. See, I can act like a corporation, too.

26 comments:

lingeron said...

Not that it matters all that much, but who is the celebrity they had as a guest?

Anonymous said...

Actually I'm very concerned that you still listen to AM radio. This is bronze-age technology that no child would touch with a 10-foot gameboy. The only people that still listen to AM are dirty old men like you, and naturally the producers know that. ;)

Nick Literski said...

Of course, one should always start cleaning with their own house. For LDS, a good starting place would be on of the biggest pornography distributors in the United States--the Marriott Corporation.

(mumbling something about glass houses....)

Zera Pulsipher said...

I too am curious who the celebrity was.

@nick
So what your saying is that the church should take personal responsibility for the actions of each and every one of its members? Now if Jeff worked for marriot your comment about not throwing stones in glass houses would have some meaning unfortunately for you he does not so only shows that your a bitter and prejudiced person.

@Jeff
Thank you for the wonderful post no your not the only troglodyte left. I and my wife are also such.

Anonymous said...

When I call radio stations that sling smut during my daytime communte, I tell them that I will report the incident in their upcoming FCC public review.

The bands of air space they transmit on are a public resource.
They have a public trust to uphold should reflect community standards.

If you've ever listened to some of the Teen FM stations, you see just how low community standards have sunk. MJH

jayleenb said...

I am a troglodyte too! I can really relate to Lot whose righteous soul was tormented in the sinful society he lived in.

I feel like my world is shrinking around me both physically and in a societal way, my physical disabilities are almost a metaphor for my life in the world.

I feel like I can't watch hardly anything anymore. Even finding decent blogs where people don't drop cussing in every other word. Or the use anacronyms that cause you to say the words in your head before you can stop it.

It's depressing. All this filth is considered 'normal' just like the prophecies say.

The people I feel the most sorry for are truly righteous men who must have a horrific time fighting the imagery and filth they see on a daily basis. Men are more visual, so I can imagine it would be more difficult for them to try to keep their minds pure. I admire the ones who do.

Anonymous said...

PS
I agree with Nick about the weakness of Marriott to stop offering porn in their hotel rooms.

This has always bothered me. I wish I knew of a hotel chain that didn't carry porn on their TV programming. I would forsake the other hotels happily.
MJH

Phouchg said...

I appreciate that personal sensibilities are offended, but the best course of action is to turn the dial or switch the TV off. Make a personal choice to avoid this stuff. Just don't try to force others to do likewise. Free agency - what a concept!

Casual Mormon said...

My guess is Gilbert Godfrey. I haven't heard him do comedy in years...but I recall him being pretty dirty.

I don't particularly care that he was on the radio, but I'll agree that it's kind of lame that they'll cast some of the lewdest comedians around in shows/movies aimed at the 12-and-under crowd.

kwk said...

(mumbling something about glass houses....)

Yes, how dare he complain to that radio station while he does nothing about Marriott and their dirty movies - movies that can sneak into his life soooo much easier than crude content on a family oriented radio station.

The idea that a person or an organization must practice 100% comprehensive consumer (or investor) awareness and responsibility before taking a stand against some particular wrong is pretty extreme. Everyone is going to get their hands dirty in this world, and just because you choose a different battle to fight than Nick does doesn't make you a hypocrite.

Nathan said...

Nick is getting something of a reputation on other Mormon blogs: if he can't criticize Mormons in a snarky comment, by golly, he won't post it!

It's good to have solid, dependable people in the bloggernacle, don't you think?

shawna said...

Here's a good one for you: My 12 year old came home from middle school one day complaining that the girls' PE class was using the Soulja Boy song called Crank Dat, in an exercise routine.

There are two versions of this song: The original with the bad language and the "clean" version. "Clean" meaning no bad language.

Why was my 12 year old mad about this? Cuz he knew what the song was about - a guy bragging about having sex with his girl - or hoe, as the lyrics say. "Crank" refers to masturbation and "Superman" refers to ejaculating on your partner's back. All of this is in the "clean" version. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Not exactly appropriate for middle school kids.

I wrote three letters to the school principal. She assured me that the PE coach was using the "clean" version. I had to explain to her what the lyrics mean. And I did so very explicitly. After my third email to her, she never responded again.

Just last week, the school had an Incentive Dance and guess what was played? No amount of my complaining stopped the song from being used during school.

Apparently, I am the only parent who complained - or maybe even knew - or cared. Seems everyone is numb.

RWW said...

Free agency - what a concept!

Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

From Carlos U.

Seems to me that warning a company or their sponsors you will stop supporting them with your consumer dollars and you will ask goverment agencies to enforce the law IS excercising your FREE AGENCY. It's that "anxiously engaged in bringing to pass much good" thing.

Dan and Wendy said...

Having spent most of my career in the hospitality industry I need to comment on the Marriotts.

There are two or three primary providers of hotel movies. These independent, third party companies, choose which movies will be viewed on their programming. Marriott has no say in which movies will be viewed. They could choose to have no pay per view movies, and then the typical hotel consumer would stay some where else.

To call Marriott purveyors of pornography is ridiculous. Marriott, and most other hotel companies, allow the guest to block access to "adult" movies.

The Marriotts also unashamedly place copies of the Book of Mormon in every room to go along with the Bible that the Gideon's have placed there. The number of people that have been brought to the truth by that simple gesture could be staggering, who knows?

Being a finance guy, I can assure you that hotel movies make more money by offering porn than all other types of movies combined. Therefore, the 3rd party company that chooses what is available will never take away that option.

A few years back I heard a G.A. tell us in Stake Conference that when he travels, the first thing he does when he gets into his hotel room is to place a towel over his T.V. and then puts a picture of his family on top of that. Sage advice.

Phouchg said...

"Seems to me that warning a company or their sponsors you will stop supporting them with your consumer dollars..."

Absolutely. Economic power works if it is used effectively.


"...and you will ask goverment agencies to enforce the law IS excercising your FREE AGENCY."

No law is being broken here.

"It's that "anxiously engaged in bringing to pass much good" thing."

Some call it that. Others call it "trying to force other people to conform to your beliefs by restricting their choices".
People have the right to consume so-called "offensive" entertainment.

Halibut said...

When I was at the Public Library today I checked out the shelf of new fiction books. I was amazed and disappointed at how many of the books had "questionable" material.

Bookslinger said...

If you google WIND 590, you can find their web site, then go to the John and Cisco page and find their show archive, and see that Jeff was talking about Gilbert Gotfried.

MJH @ 9:30 am:

You can find porn-free hotels online at www.CleanHotels.com.

There are some individual locations of the various Marriot brands, that are porn-free. It's handled on an individual basis. So some are "clean" and some aren't.

Dan & Wendy: You're not telling the whole story either. There are plenty of other MAJOR hotel chains that offer in-room video, including pay-per-view video which DO NOT offer pornography. It can be done.

But I will grant that changes may have to wait until an existing services contract is up for renewal.

This "our video supplier won't give us porn free video services" excuse is bunk. Those things are negotiable, they can be blocked out, they can be just not delivered, or a new video supplier can be used, such as those used by the other hotel chains who choose not to offer porn.

The deal with Marriot has been discussed several times on other blogs. It's very complicated, because Marriot licenses their name/system, and doesn't own all the actual hotels, just some of them. Most Marriots are franchised if I understand correctly.

Therefore, Marriot corporate has little to no control over the video offerings of the franchisees (which you likely already understand).

But Marriot does have 100% control over the corporate-owned locations, those locations which are not franchises.

Changing the rules of what video a franchisee could offer would require waiting until the contract is up for renewal between Marriot and the individual franchisee, and then waiting until the contract between the franchisee and the video supplier is up for renewal.

You're also right in that the porn is a HUGE money maker. A local hotel here in Indy is reputed to make $7,000 profit (not income, but profit) per WEEK from it.

shawna said...

"Some call it that. Others call it "trying to force other people to conform to your beliefs by restricting their choices"."

Here's my problem with this comment: When a company promotes itself as "family friendly", then that company has a responsibility to live up to that claim, especially in the entertainment industry. Jeff said concerning the station he listens to: "The station's programming reflects a conservative, family-oriented flavor ...". Or so he thought.

And so I thought that my kid's school principal would promote a clean environment - HA! I was wrong. And my kid doesn't have the choice to just leave the situation. He's at school! I DID dare to object and got no where. All I can say is that I am very happy that my kids talk to me.

Sorry for the ramble. It's a subject that hits close to home. I can't keep my kids in a bubble. I can only hope that the CHOICES I make concerning what I allow them to be exposed to are choices made with these corporations living up to what they promote.

Have you watched Cartoon Network lately? There are several shows on that channel that I detest and don't allow my kids to watch.

Mormanity said...

Yes, it was Gilbert.

Nick, you make an interesting comment. My first job interview back in the 80s involved staying at the San Francisco Marriott near the airport, where I was disappointed to find no Book of Mormon in my room, but four pages of the room-service menu devoted to liquor and something like 50 adult movies to choose from on the TV menu.

Naturally, I recognize that while I have free agency about what I do and watch, the unfortunate leaders of corporations bearing their family name have no control over what kind of harmful materials they purvey to their customers. It is absolutely wrong to question any major corporation for having to sell liquor, peddle porn, or operate over 300 crack houses in the Bronx (as a hypothetical example only). The lack of free agency among business owners makes me sorely afraid of starting my own business, let me assure you.

Actually, I did start a little operation on the side last year - and I . . . feel . . . my agency . . . slipping. Martini, anyone?

RWW said...

"...and you will ask goverment agencies to enforce the law IS excercising your FREE AGENCY."

No law is being broken here.


In any case, not all laws are moral, and there are certainly a large number that violate the principle of agency.

Social and economic pressure are fine, but using the force of law to control the disagreeable actions of others is disgusting.

Ryan said...

In any case, not all laws are moral, and there are certainly a large number that violate the principle of agency.

<cynicism>Yes, all we had to do was make murder illegal and suddenly murderers were incapable of exercising their agency.</cynicism>

Laws do not remove free agency. They add and enforce consequences for the actions we choose to take.

Social and economic pressure are fine, but using the force of law to control the disagreeable actions of others is disgusting.

<cynicism>We live in a free country. If you don't like a law, vote to change it.</cynicism>

Seriously, though, how exactly do you propose that society decide where the line between disagreeable, disgusting and immoral is? These kinds of discussions always seem to bog down because what's immoral for me is merely disagreeable or even wonderful for you, and vice-versa. The issue gets especially complicated when you factor in vastly different cultures and values in people who must rub shoulders in a society.

IMHO members of society must agree on common moral grounds for the society to function smoothly. Like it or not, a huge chunk of the U.S. population finds many "disagreeble" things utterly despicable and immoral. In cases where they form a majority we have laws. In cases where they are a minority (or at least a minority among Supreme Court Justices) we don't have laws (any more).

Some food for thought from Wikipedia's article on Sir Charles James Napier:

A story for which Napier is famous involves a delegation of Hindu locals approaching him and complaining about prohibition of Sati, often referred to at the time as suttee, by British authorities. This was the custom of burning widows alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands. The exact wording of his response varies somewhat in different reports, but the following version captures its essence:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."


What a troglodyte!

RWW said...

Seriously, though, how exactly do you propose that society decide where the line between disagreeable, disgusting and immoral is?

I'll assume that what you're really asking is: How do we decide what should be illegal?

It just so happens that I answered that question pretty thoroughly at my blog recently (see the "addendum" here). Sorry for the plug, but it'll save space. :)

Anonymous said...

They are corporations, Jeff. Our government messed up by granting them legal "personhood". All we succeeded in doing is creating immortal, multi-billion dollar sociopaths.
Profit and power are their only motives. Human life, morality, the environment...like all sociopaths, they lack the capacity for empathy and love.

It is time to revoke the laws that gave corporations the same legal status as a living, breathing human being.

jayleenb said...

It's supposed to be free political speech. The freedom to speak out against the government. Pornography has nothing to do with speech.

ps to Jeff - the title of this post says 'coes' instead of 'does' like I think you mean to say. :)

Mormanity said...

Oops. Thanks, Jayleen!