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Family groups and misnomers
I was reading a newspaper article on Big Brother. And no, this will not be a piece extolling the virtues of reality TV, although there will be some comment about it later. I will probably do a piece on reality TV at some point. I may even try doing a positive piece just for the practice.
Anyway, this article was referring to a version of the show which is not editted, and has, apparently, been showing sex and nudity after 9:30PM. "Family groups" have been protesting that it is inappropriate because young people watch the show. I think it is inappropriate that young people watch the show.
This led me to thinking about what, exactly, a family group is. In the context of the article, family group seemed to refer to an organisation, probably fundamentalist, that is of the opinion that children watching sex and nudity will destroy family structures and I don't know what else. This is a load of rubbish.
If two single, unattached individuals choose to have sex that is their choice. It might even create new families! Further, sex is both a natural act and quite a beautiful thing if done with love and respect, or at least a little bit of mutual concern. While it may not necessarily be something you want your children to see, this is what parental responsibility is about. These programs are on after 9:30PM because it is assumed that children are either in bed or are under adult supervision. If an adult decides that it is an educational or appropriate thing for their children to watch, then that it is their decision. I fail to see how this is an issue for a so-called family group.
The problem is that these aren't "family groups." It is a misnomer, although not as bad as the "pro-life" groups or individuals who commit murder for whatever cause they believe in. These groups have certain beliefs on what is good and bad for society and what is good and bad for individuals. They do have a rigid set of beliefs, but these beliefs may not tie in at all with anything to do with the welfare of families.
And just before anyone thinks I am picking on one side of the political spectrum. I would like to mention another poorly named group. The Australian Greens Party. My personal belief is that if you are going to be a single issue party, you push that barrow. That's fine. I may not agree with your politics, but at least I know where you stand. And I can usually respect an honest position (I will make an exception for certain racist groups who want to single out minorities. No matter how honest or straightforward a group that wants to subjugate another people may be, I do not respect that view.)
If the Greens were an honest environmental group, that would be fine. I'm in favour of the environment (i.e. I live in the city and like parks with trees as places to go to on weekends). When I realised that the Greens were not a single issue group dedicated to the improvement of the environment was when the government was about to float part of Telstra. The question was raised, "are the Greens in favour of floating it if $8 billion was put aside for environmental initiatives?" For me, its a fairly obvious answer. A true environemntal organisation's eyes should light up at the thought of that much money for environmental concerns.
They voted no. Resoundingly. At that point. They ceased being a "Green" party, and instead became an "Extremist left wing party using environment as a marketing ploy" (Note: the extremist tag isn't applied because of their stance of Telstra, but I don't feel like going into what they do that makes me give them the tag. Their policies are available online, and I am not going to plug them by providing a link). Besides anything else, this disenfranchises moderates who do believe in environmental causes.
For anyone who firmly believes Environmental Concern=Far Left Views=Social Justice, nonsense. For starters, should we chop down trees to build shelters for the homeless? There are many more situations where Left, Justice and the Environment are have contradictory requirements. Given the vast amounts some companies in the world (which, I think most people would agree, do not generally operate under left wing principles) spend on philanthropy, I think this shows nicely how social justice is not solely the province of the left, either.
Finally, back to the point of why these organisations get misnamed. Sometimes it is for historical purposes (I read somewhere that the union was once run by the workers acting together rather than being run as a political organisation to bring power to the leaders). Sometimes it is for marketing purposes (Family group reads better than "Puritanical organisation who believe we should all wear sacks" and Green reads better than "Extremist left wing party using environment as a marketing ploy"). Sometimes it is just becuase someone either has a very well developed sense of irony, or none at all (Witness the aforementioned "pro-life" groups or the militant "Greenpeace"). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Newspeak has doubleplus good life and minitrue has been taken over by small issue ideologues.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.