FCC Seeks to Bleep Meta-Profanity

Washington, D.C., November 12, 2008 -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears set to respond to pressure from an insistent and shrill phalanx of self-described consumer watchdog groups that have demanded that the well-known TV and radio "bleep" be censored under public airwave obscenity laws. According to the groups, the "bleep", by serving as a placeholder for profanity, itself constitutes profanity, or, as the groups describe it, "meta-profanity".

Stephanie Phlougher, adjunct spokesperson for the commission, stated, "We're pretty sure we'll be moving forward with the bleep laws during this next session."

According to the watchdog groups, the "Americans Supporting Speech Without Profanity" (ASSWP) and the "People's United Bleep Intervention Society" (PUBIS), the commonly used "bleep" has become synonymous with numerous familiar expletives, and is therefore functionally equivalent to using the expletives directly. They wish to have all bleeps declared illegal on publicly airwaves.

"What are words, after all," said Hugo Bohner, Chairman of ASSWP, "but conceptual placeholders for objects or ideas. When I say 'tree', that's a semantic representation of an object, a tree. When I say 'bleep', that's a semantic representation of a profane word. Obviously, the word tree isn't the same as a tree, as one is a semantic construct while the other is a physical object. But when the semantic construct is serving to represent another semantic construct, the two are transitive. They're interchangeable, and share the same linguistic weight, particularly when the significance of the word can be easily derived from the context in which it is used."

"That's right," said Maya Testicolas, Director of PUBIS. "If I, for example, were to simply say 'bleep', like I just did, that's harmless. But if I were to say—I hardly like to do this, but it's important to getting our message across—'you mother-bleep-er', I think there are very few adults who could fail to divine the word that the bleep is replacing. There's a synaptic trigger that's virtually automatic, and we've done tests to prove this. When we play an audio sample for one of our test subjects containing the phrase with the bleep, and without—that is, with the original, filthy word—there's no brainwave pattern differentiation at all. 'Bleep', whether it's spelled 'bleep' or takes the form of an audio signal, simply becomes transparently substituted, and itself is transformed into another foul word. We want that to stop."

Stephanie Phlougher agreed with the ASSWP and PUBIS findings. "We've seen the tests, and they're pretty bleeping impressive," she said. "For example, look at this passage chosen at random from the U.S. Constitution:

'Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'

"That's the way it reads originally. Now look what happens if I put in some bleeps:

'Amendment Bleeping I: Bleeping Congress shall make no bleeping law respecting an establishment of bleeping religion, or prohibiting the bleeping free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of bleeping speech, or of the bleep-bleeping press; or the bleeping right of the bleeping people peaceably to bleeping assemble, and to petition the bleeping Government for a redress of bleeping grievances.'

"It's just bleeping disgusting, isn't it?" continued a distraught Phlougher. "That's meta-profanity for you, you bleeping bleep-head. We feel duty-bound to bleeping do something about it, if nothing else to protect our innocent bleeping children."

The Federal Communications Commission intends to expedite the addition of new regulations prohibiting the use of the bleep on public airwaves with a start slated for January 1, 2009. A weak token resistance put up by some civil liberty fringe factions was shouted down without incident.

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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