America the Taliban
In my opinion, if a kid isn’t scared off smoking by parents and family by age six or seven, the MPAA R rating won’t make much difference.
I have to believe that the proprietors of SceneSmoking.com could save more lives if their time and money were spent dealing with the fact that a child dies of hunger every five seconds somewhere on Earth.
Meanwhile, the integrity of films and characters may well be diminished as producers and directors contemplate the threat of what the R rating will mean to the box office.
What’s next? The assignment of retro R ratings for smoking to 90% of the films made from 1902 to 2007?
Will this be followed by a law that forces every smoker to wear a giant scarlet “S” when out in public?
About Skewed Priorities
During the third weekend of this past April, 11 people were murdered in Philadelphia, bringing the total deaths by violence to 127 so far this year, more than one killing a day—and more killings than in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, which have much higher populations.
That same week, the Philadelphia Police Department discovered a little-known, 30-year-old state law which states that under the crime code, fortune-telling “for gain or lucre” is a third-degree misdemeanor.
That day, the Department of Licenses and Inspections ordered the police to shut down all storefront psychics, astrologers, phrenologists, palm readers and tarot-card readers who charge for their services. The week that saw 11 murders also saw the closing of 16 non-threatening, honestly run businesses with more closings expected.
In the words of the owner of Psychic, a fortune-telling shop on Walnut Street, “First of all, they’ve got to stop the 129 murders in this city. What we do is entertainment.”
Another Question of Priorities: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design
Two years ago, the country got all worked up about evolution vs. creationism with believers in both camps adamant that only one concept be taught in schools.