When porn is an anti-climax

Morning all, here’s yesterday’s Sunday Times column, hope you enjoy.

A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick

THE ANTI-CLIMAX OF PORN

We’ve been humming and ha-ing about this for years now. But it may have finally reached a head. Top TV, a local pay satellite-TV station have had their application approved to broadcast three adult content channels in South Africa; Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice.

This is one of those issues, like e-tolls, that has been bouncing around for ages, getting everyone all hot under the collar.

According to reports, if their application had been unsuccessful, TopTV‚ which filed for business rescue in October last year‚ would have had to close down, and more than 250 people would have lost their jobs. Fluffers need to eat too, you know.

It’s a well-known fact in the boardrooms of television networks around the world, that broadcasting adult content is a sure fire way to increase subscription figures substantially. It’s either that or broadcasting sport. I guess both are ball porn of sorts.

According to the regulator they are going to impose some very strict security features on the channel, and the station will only be able to flight their adult content between 8pm and 5am. While I’m not one who believes in censoring, this is somewhat of a relief, nobody wants to come across Debbie Doing Dallas while they’re eating their breakfast cornflakes.

Of course the crowds are going wild over the regulator’s decision. Some are rubbing their hairy palms together in delight, and cancelling all evening plans for the foreseeable future, while other people’s heads are exploding over it.

Personally, I wonder if it isn’t all a big fuss over nothing? There is no proof or hard evidence to suggest that pornography is in any way linked with gender-based violence. And mother grundies everywhere can rest easy, knowing that the channels will have age verifications systems and viewers will require double security pin codes, so that the kids won’t be able to stumble over these shows while they’re looking for Spongebob Squarepants. And if you’re still bothered by it, last I checked, if you don’t like what’s on the screen you can always either stop paying for it, or change the channel. Although you may not want to, there is way worse TV out there. Have you ever watched Honey Boo Boo, or Clash of the Choirs?

If we’re all taking the day off work to go boycott dodgy TV, I’ll get busy making my ‘Shut Down Tropika Island of Treasure!’ banner right now. Seriously, I really think we have bigger TV problems than a little bit of porn, playing out between 8pm and 5am, on a highly secure channel that requires a separate monthly subscription, which you’ll no doubt have to pay through the nose to receive.

In fact, maybe some of SA’s programes could learn a thing or two from the kinds of shows that will soon be airing on TopTV. I’m almost positive that a little nudity and maybe some light spanking would make Generations endlessly more watchable. And I’m sure ratings would soar on a show called Top-off Billing. And when it comes to the evening news, I’m willing to bet that a little bit of hanky panky would make it a whole lot less depressing. Although we should leave SA’s Got Talent out of it, especially in the earlier rounds – there are some people one really doesn’t want to see naked.

Where things are bound to get interesting is watching what’s going to happen with all the religious shows and channels currently hosted on Top TV. I wonder if they’ll storm off in a huff, or if it will simply settle down into religious-business as usual. Hey it may even be good for the religious show’s numbers – all those viewers who feel a little guilty about watching the naughty shows can just flick over to the next channel and repent.

At the end of the day, we’re all free to watch whatever we want, and isn’t that just as it should be? Except Clifton Shores, nobody should have to watch that!

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