New Law in Effect: TV ads can't blare anymore. AP via KHOU.com
TV viewing could soon sound a little calmer. The CALM Act, which limits the volume of TV commercials, goes into effect on Thursday.
CALM stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation. The act is designed to prevent TV commercials from blaring at louder volumes than the program content they accompany.
I understand that ads like this are annoying, and that low production values typically are what lead to them, but is this really something that our august body of legislators really need to focus their time on? Further more, do we really want society's least common denominator telling us how loud our commercials can be? Have we lost the ability to reach over with our increasingly obese arms to grab the remote control and change the channel?
Laws like this make me wonder.
And to note: This is not a Republican vs. Democratic thing. For this law to have passed and been implemented there were scores of mind-numbingly stupid votes cast by members of both. The sad thing is, there was probably a speech or two given about how this is "a matter of decency" or some-such hogwash. And why not, we already have elected Representatives who believe islands can tip over, and there was a turnip on the ballot last election cycle who famously said that rape could somehow be legitimate. We have a comedian in the Senate and, for some reason, people actually care what Angelina Jolie, Kid Rock, Clint Eastwood, Samuel L. Jackson and Eva Longoria think on certain policy issues. That the number one choice to replace Senator Jim DeMint is Stephen Colbert should worry you, that Kentucky could possibly elect Ashley Judd to the same body should cause alarm, and the fact that, during the last election cycle, the best idea the Texas Dems had for their Senate nominee was Tommy Lee Jones should bring tears.
I know, I know the argument is that the Republicans had Ronald Reagan. I get that, but when he ran for the federal office he at least had a gubernatorial tenure under his belt. OK, Arnold Schwarzenegger, I give you him, but that's California and they've long ago tossed the plot anyway.
It used to be said that politics was nothing more than show business for ugly people. The point was they were ugly but (at the least) capable of reading a bill and understanding it. How did we get from the elegant prose of the Founding Fathers to John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi? How did Republicans let a teary-eyed Representative with the spine of an earthworm get elected to a leadership position in the House of Representatives? We currently have a President who's incapable of giving an off the cuff speech without saying "um...uh" so many times you're afraid they're going to have to jump start him to keep the speech going, a Vice President who may, or may not, share a brain with a 5 year old, and an opposition party who can't even agree on what their core values are.
You know what the Nation wants? We want a leader who's not afraid to stand up for what he believes and who doesn't believe that this whole "politics" thing is nothing more than a Jr. High game of "gotcha" to the opposition. Instead we're stuck with a government that's only slightly more coherent than the British House of Lords.
And here's the sad thing. As America plunges full speed into sequestration our lackluster, lazy, boneheaded media is more worried about "who's to blame" than they are about reporting on serious solutions to the problems. The so-called "fifth column of democracy" is more concerned with gaffes and gotchas than they are policy and governance. Instead of an honest reporting of sequestration we get breathless proclamations that the "fiscal cliff" is going to be the end of us all, that the scary red menace of China is rearing up it's head to a point that Palin is going to see them soon. In today's media world you can be viewed as a serious thinker by starting off every Tweet with "Why is the GOP screwing up.....?" Trust me, it's being done right now. If you're really lucky you can get a Dem activist with anger management issues to tell people he's not even sure WHAT party you're affiliated with. Of course, you still have to have good business sense to land a reporting job until you find a way to live on Democratic good will but hey, money isn't everything right?
"Ah-ha!" you might say, "It's the media's fault". No, it's not. It's our fault for allowing it to get to a point that the number one Google search on November 6th was "who's running for President of the United States?".