A very good idea indeed. I would love to see the current A.D.D. generation sit through 2+ hour long movies that kept us glued to the chair and we couldn’t get the tunes out of our heads for weeks. Trying to make the screenings politically correct has been it’s undoing.
Take for ex: the movie Grease. This John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John classic set hearts and pulses racing with it’s no-brainer plot about boy-meets-girl, boy-girl-break up, boy-girl-patch up. Johnny T. is continuously smoking, leering & generally living dangerously (very well-mannered boy by today’s standards).
Following the health-ministry’s directive on ‘No Smoking’ in media, Vh1 tried their best to comply and failed miserably; completely ruining the movie experience.
For starters, the movie telecast was terrible. The audio lacked clarity and sound like VHS tape. Hell! the video looked like VHS too. There was hardly any detail and Wavy-interlaced images which is so typical of VHS. Maybe all that Vh1 managed to source through legal channels was a VHS tape that someone was using as a door stopper. I swear even a Video-CD has better quality than what I was seeing on my 32″ LCD TV!
Every scene where Mr. Travolta was detected smoking had the cigarette blurred out. Middle of the screen you see this blurry blob. My interpretation of the effort: Mr. Health Minister, you lost. Vh1 you lost too. Why?
- It was quite obvious what Mr. Tavolta was inhaling and what the blur was trying to hide. Only citizens of Andromeda Galaxy who have never seen a cigarette before would be mystified. For the rest of us, it was as clear mentally as it was blurry on the screen.
- Hiding the obvious is like screaming – “Look at this! This is bad”. We of-course immediately interpret it as desirable. I remember the Min. of Defence requesting Google (Earth & Maps) to not show the location of Defence Establishments in India and cover the areas with black patches. Of course this automatically results in the Chinese and Pakistani directives – Look for black patches on India map and carpet bomb the area.
- The health ministry finds smoking scenes disturbing, has banned alcohol ads and requests sensitive condom ads. It finds no problems with ads about sanitary pads at prime-time and fully approves the ads that display the detailed engineering that has gone into the design of such products. Ads of tampons are not scheduled till 2300 A.D. Gotta wait for the ‘Purity‘ mindset to change.
- Indian kids can checkout the breasts of leading anorexic women around the world on FTV but to see cigarettes, they have to step out of the house and go-to a paan shop 50 meters away. No sir! We don’t show cigarettes on TV. We prefer that kids go get them instead.
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I don’t do drugs. Never have. Don’t intend to. This is not because the Television serials and Movies that I saw in my teen years blurred the scenes of drug use or chopped them out altogether. It is because they mercilessly displayed the evil effects of drugs on self-family-society. The images burned into my mind serve as a reminder every-time someone offers me a joint.
Want the kids to avoid cigarettes? Then let the movie play without censoring. Instead show a 30 second ad on the evil effects of smoking during every advertisement break. Show the damage in full glory. Let the kids face the jackal instead of hiding their heads in sand.