I read Milly’s post on South Park and wanted to comment. After reading Dr. Halavais’ comment I wanted to add my two cents worth as well.
I subscribe to Cablevision. They supply my television programming and my internet connection. I pay a lot of money each month for both “luxuries”. I don’t get all the extras since I only subscribe for the Family Package. Included in that is Comedy Central, the station that South Park is regularly broadcast on. Dr. Halavais implies that since I am a paying customer, I accept the terms that Cablevision sets.
I agree somewhat with that idea. But since the next lower tier for Cablevision subscribers would be Basic, which includes only the major network channels, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and at this time, WB and UPN plus NEWS 12 and some home shopping network, I have no choice but to accept Comedy Central if I want to get Nickolodeon or Lifetime etc. This is considered part of the Family Package! Now as Milly mentioned most of the content on South Park is not deemed suitable for children. No matter how late at night they put these shows on.
In my family alone, it is difficult to get the kids to bed at a decent hour. One can blame parenting, but my children are involved in organized sports and activities throughout the day. This schedule bumps their bedtime to a later time than would be the norm. My 14 year old son “unwinds” by watching some sport on TV, and channel surfs. I’ve heard him cackle at “The Simpsons”, another show I cannot tolerate, yet I let slide for his age. He knows I think the premise is stupid and that it is not a show I find that holds any value. But I won’t get into any of that right now.
My main point is that subscribers and providers have an agreement and therefore providers can get away with a bit more than the public access channels can. I think something needs to be done to correct this inequity. One option would be to truly pick your own channels. I believe this has been open for discussion, but I am unsure as to what the outcome is. So far to this date, Cablevision has not let the public pick their own package in this manner. It is like “all or nothing”. Yes, I can limit my television options, and save a bunch of money in the process, but that would only set my children apart from all the others and would be detrimental to their social development. So, as of this posting, I am stuck abiding by what Cablevision considers to be decent broadcasting. And because I am paying for it, as are others, nothing will be done to “control” the content, because by doing so, I am in essence agreeing to its standards. (Yes, I know I can get a lockbox.)