Is there a choice in hearing profanity on TV?
Regarding "Profanity spreads on the small screen" (March 8): I can't judge the quality of the TV movie "A Season on the Brink" which chose to portray basketball coach Bobby Knight with his heavy use of profanity. I have not seen it, nor do I think I will. But I have to say that one cannot make a credible, thoughtful and honest portrayal of Mr. Knight without the use of profanity. It is an essential part of his character.
It seems the television critics of this nation still live in the 1960s when television was primarily limited to four or five stations. It's a tired argument that the American family has no power or responsibility over the programming they choose to watch in their own homes. In an age of VCRs, DVDs, cable, and satellite dishes, there are more choices in programming viewed, including those that will suit one's own values.
Pushing the envelope is precisely what the media is doing with its use of profanity, sex, and violence. Sure, those things exist in real life, and I can accept violence when it contributes to the story and isn't just gratuitous.
But I would much rather see a positive spin by all media to push the envelope the other way and set good examples. If they would, I believe that in time profanity and other unfitting behavior would decline.
I'm a writer/director with a 6-year-old son. While I do not object to profanity on television if it's used to tell a story or reveal a character, I do object to the promos of such programs being played during children's programming and sporting events. A network should hold itself to higher standards when it knows kids are watching. We have a choice to turn off the actual shows and not let our children watch, but all the network promos during sports and children's programming are invasive.
Kostas Iannois Los Angeles
When I was in high school, I used profanity often. I was captain of the football team and a good student. Almost all of the students I knew, including the smartest, used such language. While it is not commonly used in the business world where I work now, you occasionally catch even higher-level bosses slipping.
Censorship on TV makes cable programming just like all the other network channels. Those that need to see the world through rose-colored glasses: Put them on, and let the rest of us see the world as it actually is. Current television is like living in a "Brady Bunch" fantasy world. There is nothing wrong with showing fantasies on TV, but shows about real life should depict real life.
Regarding "Bullfighting charges into US - tamely" (Feb. 28): I commend the objective view of the new bullring in La Gloria, Texas - the first in the US. I am a strong advocate of animal rights, and I disdain any cruelty to animals, regardless of cause. I chose not to watch bull fights while traveling in Spain because I didn't want to see an animal killed for sport. The Texan bullring prevents the bulls from being killed, but we should also be sure it provides ethical treatment for the animals before, during, and after the fight.
I believe the new Santa Maria Bull Ring to be a good thing for the local Latinos to maintain a piece of their heritage and culture. But, it is only a good thing as far as it is regulated within US fairness-to-animals standards. In that case, in the future, I may be in the bullring stands, shouting "!!iexcl!!Olé!" with all the rest.
Randall S. Tracy St. Anthony, Idaho
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