Benlog

crypto and public policy

The Truth About R Ratings and Common-Senseless Rules

Filed under: General August 23, 2004 @ 1:35 pm

Zach Braff, writer, director, and lead actor of Garden State, my new favorite movie, tells us more about R ratings in movies:

Just so you all know, your government doesn’t believe a 16 year old should hear the word “fuck” more than twice in a 2 hour period. The second you say “fuck” twice in a movie your film becomes “R”. No exceptions. Pretty crazy, huh? You can blow someone’s head off, but 2 fucks makes you unwatchable for someone under 17. Unless they have their parent there to explain it to them. “Mom, I understood the first use of the word fuck, but what’s with the second – give me guidance please. I’ve heard one fuck before, but ever since I heard the second one I’ve had this insatiable desire to rob a liquor store and refer to all women as “ho’s”.

More and more, our society rejects common sense and instead relies on inflexible rules. 2 “fucks” and your movie is R-rated. Minimum sentencing for crimes (3 strikes, you’re out). DMCA-style laws where judges’ hands are tied and the crime is automatic, regardless of intent.

I understand the somewhat justifiable motivations. Standardizing the R ratings might help parents make quick judgments that are “objective.” Minimum sentencing supposedly ensures fairness. And the DMCA… well, I’m still trying to figure out the benefit there.

Sure, a model of the world where simple actions result in simple consequences thanks to simple rules is comforting. Unfortunately, the world isn’t that simple, and such a blunt model is grossly incorrect.

1 Comment

  1. Mick:

    “Garden State” would’ve been good 5 years ago. Maybe.

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