November 21, 2009

Say what?

Some euphemisms are dodgier than others. But one of the squirreliest is the one that television has adopted to warn viewers of certain kinds of content. I heard it last night before the broadcast of Frontline. You’d think PBS, at least, would be more plain-spoken: “This program contains graphic imagery. Viewer discretion is advised.” Graphic imagery? As opposed to musical imagery? Upholstered imagery? Isn’t graphic imagery the only kind there is? Why don’t they just say what they mean: “This program contains explicit sex,” which I’d be inclined to watch. Or “This program contains graphic violence,” which I’d be inclined to decline. As it is you don’t know what you’re in for until you're on top of it.