This week on the Ose: When U2 frontman Bono said, “This is really, really, f**king brilliant,” on the live Golden Globe telecast, he got Representative Doug Ose, R-Sacramento, really, really pissed off. And when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) turned around and ruled that Bono’s use of the F-word—being, in this case, an adverb modifying the word “brilliant”—“did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities,” but really just meant really, really, really brilliant, Ose had just about all he could stand.
So, now Ose has introduced a bill “to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts and for other purposes.” Ose’s version of the Clean Airwaves Act (House Resolution 3687) aims to take any discretion away from the FCC and others whose views might not coincide with his by detailing exactly what shall be considered profane. No more vague “community standards.” No more of that “I know it when I hear it” individual interpretation.
To wit, here’s a quote from Ose’s bill itself. Because Ose’s actual language is much too graphic for sensitive Bites readers, we’ve taken the liberty of adding a bunch of strategically placed asterisks. “[T]he term ‘profane,’ used with respect to language, includes the words ‘s**t,’ ‘p*ss,’ ‘f**k,’ ‘c*nt’ and the phrases ‘c**k s*cker,’ ‘m*th*r f**k*r’ and ‘a** h*le.’”
The good Congressman then goes on to prohibit “compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle and infinitive forms)” —just in case some wily rocker, Paris Hilton co-star or other linguistically adept threat to society tries to pull another grammatical end-run.
School of hard knocks: Bites was awed by the sheer gentility of last week’s Sacramento City Unified School District board meeting. Here was an independent auditor telling the board that it had failed as an oversight body, that the California Administrative Services Authority (CASA)—a beefy retirement program the board approved for an elite group of district employees—led to potential conflicts of interest, both legal and ethical, and a potential liability for the district of approximately $10 million! The board listened, stony-faced, and the audience members, known to holler themselves hoarse in the past, did nothing but sigh loudly. The auditor, Fred Forrer of MGT of America, thought the dollars were unlikely to come out of the district’s pocket anyway. CalPERS and Social Security, to which much of it is potentially owed, had signed off on CASA before everybody knew the whole story, so they could only pitch so much of a fit now. Community members, when they got their two minutes each to address the board, repeatedly said, “We told you so,” but Reginald Fair, whose report inspired the audit, stood up as the last speaker and asked the board members to put the whole mess behind them and start thinking about the kids again. “We spend too much time focusing on adults in this district,” he told Bites privately.
Doughnut disaster: When the New Helvetia coffeehouse was evicted from its Midtown space earlier this year, incoming doughnut mavens at Krispy Kreme were quick to make it clear that they were good community-loving folks. Surrounding businesses, from the tattoo parlor to your very own SN&R, were plied with frosty doughnuts (Bites even got a complimentary T-shirt).
Meanwhile, Tim Hinchey III, vice president of Brand Development for Golden Gate Doughnuts LLC, Krispy Kreme’s Northern California franchisee, went out of his way to assuage concerns regarding the loss of the community coffeehouse by emphasizing Krispy Kreme’s own corporate commitment to community service (see “A hole in the middle,” SN&R News, March 13). “We are truly a part of the community,” Hinchey told SN&R at the time. “Our philosophy is ‘give ’til it hurts.’”
Alas, that point apparently was reached earlier this month. Sacramento Bee columnist Bob Shallit reported last week that executives from the company’s North Carolina headquarters showed up in town to deliver the bad news: that the local headquarters will be either downsized severely or closed entirely after the holidays and that Hinchey will be among those looking for jobs in the next few weeks, abandoned by a company that gives ’til it hurts.