Jewish World Review July 7, 1999 /23 Tamuz, 5759
"There are now over 300 studies that show that sustained, lifetime, week- in-and-week-out, night-in-and-night-out exposure to indiscriminate violence through various media outlets, over a period of time, makes people less sensitive, both to violence and to the consequences of violence." -- President Bill Clinton
Let's hope that the president never sees the ad campaign for "Big Daddy," the new Adam Sandler movie, or Mike Myers' "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." If so, brace yourself for new legislation.
In "Big Daddy," Adam Sandler, a single guy, finds an abandoned child on his doorstep. To impress his girlfriend by showing a sensitive side, Sandler takes the boy under his wing and shows him the ways of the world.
One trailer shows Sandler teaching the tike how to throw a stick in the path of a skate boarder, only to watch the hapless surfer go crashing to the ground. After which, Sandler says something like, "That's my boy." This scene will, no doubt, offend members of PETS, People for the Ethical Treatment of Sticks.
But the premise is not the issue. Have you seen the "Big Daddy" ads? They show Sandler and a small boy facing a brick wall. Based on the placement of their hands, they appear engaged in an act of public urination. Now, the ads show Sandler with furtive eyes, suggesting that he serves as perhaps a lookout for anyone who might observe this act of public relief. So, Sandler, himself, may not be participating in the activity but nevertheless seems, at minimum, an accessory. And under the Felony Urination Act, no doubt soon to be passed by Congress, all parties should face charges, no matter to whom the, uh, equipment belongs.
Keen observers may note that neither Sandler nor the little boy appear to be actually, uh, discharging anything. One could say this crime, therefore, lacks a smoking gun. But during this season of Freedom, do we wait until the bullet hits somebody before we arrest the guy shooting in the air?
Public urination to promote a film! Have they no shame! Well, so maybe neither Sandler nor the tike is smoking a cigarette, holding a gun or playing an interactive video game.
Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, we've got problems. Serious problems. With a capital "P." And that rhymes with "T," and that stands for "tinkle." Because of irresponsible movie marketing, and the romanticizing of open urination, America faces an epidemic of outdoor comfort breaks. Stop the madness! Pass legislation! Will somebody from the National Institutes of Health study the effects of secondary urination?!
Already the copycat crimes begin. Take "The Spy Who Shagged Me," the sequel to the first Austin Powers movie. Full-page ads show the character Dr. Evil and his diminutive clone relieving themselves against a brick wall a la "Big Daddy's" Sandler & Son. Who says the media has no influence? Who'll strike the walls next? Teenage gang-bangers? The Genovese Mafia family? Pee Wee Herman?
And what of "shag"? Doesn't the word mean coitus interruptus in Britspeak? Would any self-respecting Londoner use that expression in front of the queen? And there are even Austin Powers action dolls that say, "Do I make you horny, baby, do I?" or "How about a shag?" We need legislation promoting a Shag-Free America. And will someone please close the legal loophole that allows public urination and serial shagging at gun shows?
But wait. Maybe there's an upside. Given the sooner-or-later epidemic of public urination and serial shagging, American children may find less time for street violence, gang-banging and violent interactive videos. Somehow, drive- by urinations don't seem quite as threatening. No doubt some emotionally unbalanced guy who saw "The Spy Who Shagged Me" will sue, claiming it triggered a compulsion for obsessive, random, compulsive shagging. That, of course, depends on one's definition of "shag" -- for according to the president, a shagger could be guilty of shagging, but the shaggee need not necessarily have been shagged.
So, let Congress fiddle around with issues like V-chips, child safety locks and warning labels. Real soldiers attack real targets -- outdoor urination and Austin Powers.
Scotty, shag me
06/25/99:Guns and Moses? Hardly