Burriss: A question of taste
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 11:38 am
By LARRY BURRISS
I was talking with a friend yesterday, and he was saying how different television and other media forms are today, and how much better things were just a few years ago.
Well, I don't know. Let's look back "to those thrilling days of yesteryear" at what was going on in broadcasting, movies and music.
Apparently, there were quite a few complaints about on radio, because on May 13, 1935, CBS announced it would no longer advertise laxatives or other products of "questionable" taste. Of course, there was absolutely no thought given to not advertising cigarettes. Apparently, lung cancer was ok, but irregularity was not.
The rules, governing on-screen movie behavior, were certainly interesting back in those days. For example, if a couple appeared in bed, at least one of them had to have one foot on the floor.
Then there was the Cab Calloway hit movie, "International House," in which he openly sang a song titled "Reefer Man." The song, and movie, just flat out advocated smoking marijuana.
Music has always been a convenient target of the thought police, simply because it is such a personal medium. As far back as the 17-hundreds, people were complaining about the harmful effects of music.
In the late 1950s audiences got all upset about "Elvis the Pelvis," and some of his television appearances were filmed by the police for possible court action
And on to today, where there are complaints about violence, drug abuse, the occult, and the ever-popular backward masking and subliminal messages.
Towards the end of my conversation with my friend, he said he thought someone ought to "do something" about the mess the media are in. I suggested perhaps it would be better if more people got upset about poverty, disease, discrimination and street crimes, rather than something that's just convenient, and probably won't change anything anyway.