February 6, 2005

Touchdown for the Indecency Police?

Maybe I was too effected by Frank Rich’s column this week, discussing the current wave of Christian conservative media censorship.

Whatever it was, after watching a few minutes of the Paul McCartney Superbowl halftime performance, I couldn’t help thinking the stage looked like a giant cross.  Looking at the scene using different sources at different angles, I’m readily willing to admit the stage was equilateral.  If you paid attention to the lighting effects, however, one length of the stage, programmed for a different set of projections than the other, seemed consistently brighter, and therefore longer, than the other. 

If you read Rich’s column, in which he references the growing list of right-wing media witch hunts and related acts of censorship (“Saving Private Ryan”; NBC Olympic Coverage; “Postcards From Buster”;  “Masterpiece Theater”; Fox Sports Net; “Family Guy”; etc.), it’s not hard to imagine this halftime performance — crafted with last year’s Janet Jackson performance in mind — might include its own not-completely-concealed symbolic statement. 

Contributing to the possibility, Rich’s story — which appeared in Sunday Morning’s NYTimes under the headline: “The Year of Living Indecently,”  for some reason appeared in the International Herald Tribune under the more illuminating title: “Touchdown for the Indecency Police.”

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(image: Harry How/Getty Images)

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Michael Shaw
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