November 13, 2011

Maybe some things should be censored

If cigarette advertisements were still allowed on television, I could explain them to my kids. People smoke them to look cool, they get addicted, they get cancer.

I can explain strand-by-strand hair replacement, athlete's foot and personal-injury lawyers.

I can explain beer commercials. Well, most beer commercials.

It's not particularly fun, but I can talk to my kids about diarrhea and constipation products. I can (but won't) explain feminine hygiene products to my boys.

I can explain gratuitous violence, political double-speak and online dating.

What I can't explain — or really would rather not — is erectile dysfunction.

I felt a little uneasy just writing the phrase in a family newspaper. So why do I have to have it flashed on my TV screen every 10 minutes when I just want to watch a simple sporting event with my children?

I understand that ED is a real and serious medical condition. Those who suffer from it should go to a physician and discuss which prescription product would best alleviate the issue. Chances are, however, that when you're watching a football game with your 9-year-old, you don't have a licensed urologist on the couch next to you to explain things.

I am not a prude. I can take any nudity, profanity and/or depravity that television throws at me and ask for more. Heck, demand more. Watching a happy Viagra couple traipse across the screen while my children are in the room, however, makes me blush.

I know these commercials are coming, especially during any sporting event, but they always somehow catch me by surprise. It's still light outside; shouldn't these things be discussed in the dark?

I usually fumble for the remote. Make a desperate lunge for the mute button. I try to change the channel before the side effects are mentioned and I face potential questions on why someone would need to seek medical attention four hours after taking that pill.

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