back to article Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

British television's 9pm watershed is 50 years old this month, and TV watchdog Ofcom has published figures showing that while it's still relevant in protecting kiddies from the worst televisual excesses, viewers are increasingly tolerant of sex, violence and bad language. The watershed ensures there's a non-abrupt transition …

New Category Needed

Where do we complain for programmes that insult our intelligence???

Replies linking intelligence and telly watching following in 5 - 4 - 3 ........

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New Category Needed

Use your thumb - either turn off the TV or change channel. Anything that insults ones intelligence isn't worthy of further action.

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Re: New Category Needed

Surely intelligence is the capacity to realise you dont have to watch?

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Re: New Category Needed

Still need to be able to complain so the programme planners know we want something more interesting than the normal twaddle that pollutes the airwaves.

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Holmes

Re: New Category Needed

Wrote :- " either turn off the TV or change channel. Anything that insults ones intelligence isn't worthy of further action".

All very well, but suppose you spot a programme coming up that sounds interesting and set time aside to watch it. Then it turns out to be dumb. Even if you turn it off you will have wasted 10-15 minutes, and maybe have been stopped from doing something else like going out earlier.

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Holmes

Re: New Category Needed

"Then it turns out to be dumb."

But isn't this a hazard of living on a stupid planet, not just TV? So many things turn out to be a dumb waste of time.

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Re: New Category Needed

Changing the channel never works.

And as one wag put it: "There's a control labeled 'brightness' on my TV, but no matter how I set it, the shows are still dumb!"

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Flower Power + Darwin

Today's 60 somethings are the children of the 60s. Is it any surprise that they are not complaining at least about the sex and the drugs.....

On top of that the Internet has introduced to Sex and Violence on a whole new scale. The TV cannot even begin to compete with the web....

So yes, we have become blasé to the sex and violence. Yes, society is on the decline and yes it's all down to something called "evolution"..

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@Khaptain - Re: Flower Power + Darwin

> Yes, society is on the decline

ORLY? Since before the days of Juvenal, people have been bemoaing the decline of society (mostly due to people publishing/ broadcasting/ doing things that they don't approve of) yet, somehow, we haven't lapsed back into barbarism...

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Re: @Khaptain - Flower Power + Darwin

http://xkcd.com/603/

and

http://xkcd.com/1227/

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Re: @Khaptain - Flower Power + Darwin

http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/8-reasons-why-rome-fell

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JLV
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8 reasons

Is Imperial TV programming the 9th?

Because I don't see it listed there.

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It cpould be

Except for the fact that it's quoted in percentage terms. I'd incline to attribute it to the fact that anyone with any intelligence leaves the set switched off because of the paucity of any programmes worth switching it on for. Perhaps it's the witless lot that are more tolerant of swearing, etc.

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Re: It cpould be

Perhaps it's the witless lot that are more tolerant of swearing...

Really?

Not sure I'd go along with that.

Then again, I'm tolerant (and a frequent user) of what most other people call "swearing" so maybe I'm just one of the witless.

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Re: It cpould be

"Then again, I'm tolerant (and a frequent user) of what most other people call "swearing" so maybe I'm just one of the witless."

Someone once said to me, because I swore, that it showed I had a limited vocabulary. I pointed out that my vocabulary consisted of all the 'acceptable' words, as well as the swear words, meaning my vocabulary was less limited than his. He didn't have an answer.

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Re: It cpould be

Well, I'd have told that waste of carbon that not only does a predilection towards profanity demonstrates an increased vocabulary due to acceptance of words he simply bans, but the ability to improvise epithets indicates a creative mind that is capable of adapting to the evolution of the language. Thus your vocabulary will always be broader, as it is more dynamic than that of our friend the trogloditic cockferret.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It cpould be

If swearing is objectionable, why do they make you do it before you testify in court?

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How much is down to people finally learning

that 'I didn't enjoy that' doesn't mean 'I should be offended by that'.

Thankfully the days of Mary Whitehouse and her ilk seem to have passed by.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How much is down to people finally learning

"Thankfully the days of Mary Whitehouse and her ilk seem to have passed by."

That's a false hope. That type of mentality is still with us. You only have to read the online comments to the Daily Telegraph to travel in a time warp. Age is not necessarily a factor. As a child of the 60s it was a surprise that one of my 11+ Technical School pals not only became a CofE vicar - but he also moved to the RCC over the issue of women priests and bishops.

People who want to censor everyone else are often trying to control inner conflicts with their own "dark side" thoughts. They believe that everyone else must share their distorted vision. They fear that others are also on the verge of losing, or have lost, self-control - and must be stopped.

There are also organisations with vested interests who benefit from pushing the line that people are being "corrupted".

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What the eye don't see

> the "strongest material" broadcast well after the kids are tucked up in bed.

... and watching avidly on the tellies in their room.

Seriously, the watershed does nothing to "protect" children (most of whom have the most open-minded, flexible and resilient attitudes until they get "educated"). At best, it allows their over-protective parents to kid themselves into thinking they are being "good" parents. Mainly to brag about it with other "good" parents at the school gates - in a python-esque we were so poor ,,, sketch way, except now it's about intolerance. It's certainly not for the long-term benefits of their charges, themselves.

As for being offended by programmes content. Isn't that the sole reason so many people watch? To pretend to be shocked by the sorts of language, undress (and activities) you'd see every day if you walked through a town on the way to the beach.

You get the sneaking feeling that some people lead such dull and disconnected lives, that they don't feel alive unless there's been something "stimulating" on the box, for them to get worked up and subsequently complain about.

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watching avidly on the tellies in their room

Don't you mean snuggled up under the covers with their phone watching Porntube.

The relevance of this comment is left as an exercise for the rader.

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Gimp

Re: watching avidly on the tellies in their room

Buy a chromecast (or tv with similar functions) and your bed-time porn will be much more enjoyable, if only because you'll be able to use both hands.

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Replies linking inteligence and telly watching in 5 - 4 - 3 ....

2 - 1 - No, not really.......but

I stopped watching telly a couple of years back, everything is either too highbrow or too lowbrow for me. On one hand there is the More4 / BBC4 self-congratulatory crusty wank, and on the other the increasing mindless self-obsessed drivel consisting of crap uk and american sitcoms and even more trashy reality tv, all in HD, UHD, 3D, or Smell-o-Vision...

No thanks... I have a nice book collection, some nice games (some of them are even playable more than once) and should something interesting come out on telly, I'll wait for the DVD.

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Anonymous Coward

That Bill Grundy interview ...

in light of recently released recordings of an interview with Johnny Rotten from 1978 where he clearly knows what Savile was up to, then the abuse the Pistols heaped on Grundy (who was being suggestive to Siouxie Sioux) takes on a darker hue ...

I was 10 at the time, and actually saw it ... my Mum just clucked and went "Oh, those lads !" with a faint smile.

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Re: That Bill Grundy interview ...

"I can swear with the best of them, but I'm not having it on my telly!"

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Re: That Bill Grundy interview ...

"kicking the telly in, as one chap allegedly did in response to the infamous 1976 Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols"

That was me. I fucking hated that Grundy twat

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TRT
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People don't mind sex and violence as much on TV...

because at least it's something. Most evenings you can flick through 200 times as many channels as there were available in the UK household in the 70s, and you can find nothing that you want to have on. It's all well and good Samsung and LG developing 50", 60", 70", 90" ultra HD screens, but what's the point? My TV is off most evenings until the news at 10.

F*ing wall to wall Big Brother, TOWIE and HoneyBollockBoo. FFS.

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Holmes

Re: People don't mind sex and violence as much on TV...

Wrote :- "F*ing wall to wall Big Brother, TOWIE and HoneyBollockBoo. FFS".

That's not true. There are the gardening and cooking programmes too. Otherwise you can always turn to the several channels that do nothing but advertise women's jewellery

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Re: People don't mind sex and violence as much on TV...

>>F*ing wall to wall Big Brother, TOWIE and HoneyBollockBoo. FFS.

I appreciate the sentiment, but would advise you to look harder and record, and to use on-demand. Really I never watch live TV - it's just 700 channels of rubbish. But 10s of hours of good quality television is broadcast per week, plenty to keep you occupied: you just have to find it, and you wont find it by channel surfing the dross that is being broadcast at any particular time.

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Kicking the bucket?

Seems like the people replacing those 'leaving' the upper age group have different values.

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Re: Kicking the bucket?

I suspect you are closer to the truth than you know. Most of these types of stats never seem to take that into account. As the whiners leave the pool... who fills their place? Does anyone fill their place? Hell, I haven't had the TV on in 5 years.

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Meh

Slightly missing the point

Q: Is there too much of what you want on the telly?

A: Duh!

"increasingly tolerant of sex, violence and bad language" -- I disagree since the way I see it, our culture is programmed such that this is closer to the truth: "increasingly demanding of sex, violence and bad language".

All the most popular shows have at least one these three key ingredients and even shows which have historically been for youngsters are increasing in these ingredients (for example, Doctor Who - not a criticism, just an observation).

Any show that doesn't have these is considered boring, sterile, dull, unrealistic, unrepresentative, uninteresting, unfunny.

There's no room today for "those good old fashioned values on which we used to rely".

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Too much murder/mystery

an not enough sport.

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Facepalm

Disproportionate response

What irks me is the disproportionate response by broadcasters, especially the BBC, to complaints, often in SINGLE FIGURES. Instead of recognising that everything will offend someone they go into grovelling and unnecessary apologies and promise "new safeguards to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again" etc.

Grow up (complainers and broadcasters).

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Re: Disproportionate response

Too true, but you see it in many walks of life. It's a management panic reaction. I once built and ran a website that had 250,000 users a year visiting it. In ten years, ONE person complained (as opposed to pointing out mistakes, broken bits, etc) and that complaint went straight to the CEO, who immediately suggested we change the whole thing to meet that complaint (we didn't).

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Re: Disproportionate response

" complaints, often in SINGLE FIGURES."

IIRC there is some formula or multiplier that equates each actual complaint to some larger number of people who would have complained but for some reason didn't actually get around to making the complaint.

But I agree, grovelling apologies because of single figure complaints is just silly unless that formula or multiplier can be shown to be accurate, with evidence, and involves factors of 1000's

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WTF?

Re: Disproportionate response

There's a Whitehouse Index?!!!

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Before the watershed

is after the watershed.

A lot of what I see on TV today during the early evening and prime time would have been post watershed when I were a nipper...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Before the watershed

In the same way films that were originally "X" or "A" are now on TV in the daytime. In DVDs they are often "15" - possibly even "12"?

However - it puzzles me that much of the "family viewing" TV programme material, like "Dr Who" is classed as "12" on DVD.

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Re: Is it because they think we are stupid

"Is it because they think we are stupid? (Metaphorical ?)"

ITYM rhetorical.

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Facepalm

Cohorts!

"The number of viewers over 65 who believe there is too much swearing and violence has fallen over the past five years."

That's because five years ago they weren't over 65, they were over 60.

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Re: Cohorts!

And some of those are now dead and thus not watching TV anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

Where do we complain

that there isn't enough sex of tele?

If the prissy arses stopped treating it like such a big deal and just accepted it as a normal part of human existence then we wouldn't be as screwed up as so many people are.

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Unhappy

Re: Where do we complain

"If the prissy arses stopped treating [sex] like such a big deal and just accepted it as a normal part of human existence"

But for many people who don't/can't get sex, it is not a normal part of their existence. It was not part of mine when in my teens (for social reasons that I won't go into here, but not uncommon) and for me that fact was a big deal, exacerbated by having images of attractive naked girls waved at me. If you never had that problem, lucky you.

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Re: Where do we complain

Except that sex on TV is nothing like sex in real life.

TV thrives on conflict, betrayal and excitement and drama and its all packaged up in a neat 40 minute block. Real life doesn't thrive on these things. Conflict and betrayal leads to broken relationships - split families and communities which often don't recover.

Even the medium works against real life. If a teen is used to having gratuitous nudity with unlikely-proportioned actors available on demand, what chance does a later real-life partner have of living up to that? Why should they even be expected to? The actors are pretending - its all fake.

Counting the number of almost instant hookups (even if only in time-lapsed TV land) leads to unrealistic and unfair expectations. Third date and no sex? What's wrong with you? It's stupid and damages people's ability to assess a potential partner's character before bonding at an intimate level. Not having sex allows you to extricate yourself from a relationship with far greater ease when a partner is discovered to be unsuitable. Emotional trauma makes great TV but a really sad real life for damaged children.

Bad language is almost always abusive. I really don't get why you'd want kids to grow up thinking its normal to verbally abuse people. Yes they may do so at school, but that is not the same as including it in officially sanctioned entertainment. I simply don't understand the f-bomb. Why would you take something that's supposed to be really good and use it to describe something bad? Perhaps something a little less offensive, such as wishing someone would burn in torment, it isn't so bad is it?

We need to consider how long children (that is, people society considers too immature to make proper decisions) spend in front of the TV and how much they absorb as actually being normal.

Books and games are far better. They are essentially excuses to chat and interact as a family which solidifies relationships and leads to well-grounded emotionally stable children. TV is the opposite - it kills interaction between viewers. Plus the lack of adrenalin-fueled excitement allows them to get to sleep faster... which means more/longer sex for mum & dad.

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Re: Where do we complain

I like big butts and I cannot lie. Frankly, I'm dreading my interview to be Beyoncé's PA tomorrow.

>Bad language is almost always abusive. I really don't get why you'd want kids to grow up thinking its normal to verbally abuse people.

Your premise is incorrect. Most usage of swearwords is not in the second person, but the third, and the majority within this is whereby it's used as a form of spice or raising agent; adding a bit more piquancy and emotional intensity to the content. "The fucking mower broke again" tells us more about the speaker's emotional investment in the subject than if the swearword was omitted.

>Yes they may do so at school

Well that is down to the school that tolerates it in any monitorable context.

>but that is not the same as including it in officially sanctioned entertainment.

WTF is "officially sanctioned entertainment"? Victory TV? The Running Man?

>I simply don't understand the f-bomb. Why would you take something that's supposed to be really good and use it to describe something bad?

I ain't no etymologist, but I'm fairly confident that the "good" and "bad" usages are fairly easy to discern from one another... In fact I'm not sure there even are any constructions with the word "fuck" that could realistically be misconstrued. Let's see:

fuck (v): "I'm going to fuck you." Good (unless you dislike sex)

fuck (vt) "I'm going to fuck you up/over/off." Generally Bad (counter-examples welcome).

fuck (n): "You miserable fuck!" Bad (unless during sex and with partner used to salty language)

fucking (adj): "You're a fucking fuck!" Bad / "Wotsits are fucking awesome!" Good. Aggregate: Neutral.

>Perhaps something a little less offensive, such as wishing someone would burn in torment, it isn't so bad is it?

That sounds like a biblical reference, but since you don't come out and say it, I'll assume it just means wishing someone would be burned alive. And that's better than using a word that connotes with sex or elevated emotion (mostly negative)? NGL bro, I think I'll stick with "fuck".

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"Back at the watershed, meanwhile, Ofcom admits it has to address the issue of on-demand television. The watchdog's Claudio Pollack said: "Ofcom recognises that the growth of on-demand TV is posing new challenges for parents and regulators. "

Here's a challenge - not for either of them, but for bloody Virgin Media.

Add an option to your silly telly-boxes so that users who do not have kids don't have to enter a sodding PIN to watch a recorded program because it's being watched before the watershed, but was recorded after it.

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That option definitely exists, because I'm using it now on my Virgin Media TiVo. Can't remember where it was exactly but I'm sure you'll find it if you search through the settings a little more thoroughly.

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