Regular readers might have long since gathered that I’m no great fan of bureaucracy – who is? – but more than that, the one thing that really, seriously gets on my fucking tits is being patronised by bureaucracy…
…and right now, there is no more patronising bunch of twats in existence than Britain’s official censor, the British Board of Film Classification, whose latest wizard wheeze (via Tim) is to suggest that it should provide content ratings for internet sites.
Well, in the interests of acquiring a much sought after 18 rating, let me be the first to invite the BBFC to take their dumbass idea and shove it right up their fucking arse!.
Leaving aside the one obvious flaw in the BBFC’s grand plan for justifying their existence; this site, like so many many others, is hosted in the US and therefore lies completely outside their fucking jurisdiction anyway, as well as being subject to legal protection under the US First Amendment – in other words they can kiss my arse in Harrod’s window before they get any say in the content on here – I have a somewhat more fundamental objection to their plans, which is simply that over recent years they’ve become a thoroughly patronising bunch of complete tossers.
Until fairly recently the whole business of film classification and providing indications of the suitablilty of particular films for particular age groups has been conducted in a fairly straight-forward and to the point manner; films/videos are given a simple certificate – U, PG, 12A, 15, 18 or R18 (under the current system) and its assumed that between the rating and the film studio’s advertising blurb the vast majority of people have sufficient intelligence to figure out what they’re letting themselves in for if they watch the film.
All in all the whole classification business was easy to understand, treated the audience as if they were intelligent human beings and was occasionally quite useful – for time Channel 4 adopted the practice of putting a red triangle up on screen just before showing a film which contained adult content, which worked pretty well at the time as it at least served as a reminder to press ‘record’ on the VCR.
However in recent years, things have changed, and the BBFC have gone beyond the business of providing film classifications and into full-blown nannying. Buy a DVD these days and you not only get the certificate on the case but underneath you get pissy little commentaries like:
Contains strong language, violence and scenes of horror
Well you should fucking well hope so if you’ve just bought a copy of the ‘Evil Dead’ otherwise what the point of the filim in the first place.
The kind of crap you get on 15 and 18 rated films is bad enough, especially one those occasions when they actual go to the trouble of counting the scenes you might be concerned about, as happens on some films but when it comes to patronising the audience nothing is quite so bad as the dumbass little commentaries you find on kids films, such as:
Contains scenes of mild peril
Mild peril??? Just what the fuck is that all about?
Am I supposed to think that maybe, just maybe, my six year old daughter is such a sensitive little soul that she might, just might, wind up being traumatised all the way in to adulthood just because the damn fish takes an hour and quarter to find fucking Nemo.
For fuck’s sake, just what are these twats on?
Look, if the BBFC really does feel the need to pass comment on films as well as slapping them with a certificate, they might at least try and make their comments useful, then there might just be a point to some of this crap.
Just think about it for minute – take a film like Mary Poppins, about which the BBFC probably had absolutely fuck all to say by way of comments – wouldn’t it be much more useful if, under the certificate, it said something along the lines of:
Contains grating cheerfulness and a crap mockney accent
Now that would be much more useful and user friendly, don’t you think?
It’s an idea you could extend to so many other films, just to give a quick guide to what you can really expect – most sequels could carry a standard ‘Don’t bother, it’s shit compared to the first film’ marker, anything with Chris Rock, Chris Tucker or Martin Lawrence in it could be easily marked with ‘Yes, the shouty black guy is just as annoying in this film and he was in his last film’ or ‘He’s no Richard Prior, you know’. Take any recent action picture featuring Schwartzenegger or Stallone and you could have a sticker which says ‘Look, he really is too old for this game’ – or how about…
Mel Brooks – ‘Hasn’t made a funny film in years – Get Blazing Saddles instead’
Star Wars episodes 1 to 3 – ‘Come back Luke, all’s forgiven’
Any Tom Hanks movie – ‘Jeez, this guys soooo nice it’s fucking sickening’
Any film featuring Angeline Jolie – ‘Come on. She’s shagging Brad Pitt, just what chance do you think you’ve got, fatboy!’
Any film ‘series’ which gets past the first two or three films – ‘Flogging a Dead Horse – again… and again… and again…’
The possibilities are endless.
You could even have different messages on some films depending on whether the purchaser is male or female – take ‘Chocolat’ for example, why not have a version for women where the comment under the classification says ‘Ahhhhhhh – have a box of tissues handy’ and one for men which says ‘if this isn’t a present then you’re a seriously sad old bastard’.
What about films where a big name actress gets her kit off? There are endless possibilities here from ‘Don’t get excited, it’s only a flash’ and ‘Look, it’s a body double – her tits aren’t really that big’ to ‘Have a box of tissue handy and send the girlfriend on a girl’s night out’.
Come on, if you’re going to put shit like this on DVDs then at least try to be fucking inventive about it or don’t bother – either way forget about trying to classify the internet – it ain’t happening, and if any of you tossers even think about trying to censor this site then you can….
COMMENT REMOVED BY BBFC – RATED R18