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By Michael Ferraro | May 11, 2007

For years I have been fighting against any sort of message to the MPAA (The Motion Picture Association of America) that smoking should play a key role in a film’s rating decision. That is simply ridiculous. Are you going to rate life too? Anywhere a kid goes these days, they are sure to bump into someone smoking somewhere. Chances are, many of their parents smoke too. Does that mean we should try and keep them away from mommy and daddy?

In case the MPAA didn’t know, kids come from these things called “the penis” and “the vagina.” When you combine these two elementals, and a period of nine months, kids begin their exciting journey that is life. The owners of said body parts are then called parents.

Some time ago, it was up to the parents to craft a moral code in their children. These codes and such would hopefully steer kids away from naughty language, drinking while underage, smoking while underage, smoking crack, trading sexual favors for a shot of heroin, watching movies with Larry the Cable Guy, watching Spider-Man 3, and torturing animals. Parenting was certainly a chore some time ago. I should know, I grew up in this kind of environment. And look at me!


Nevertheless, something has happened over the past few years. Television, film and video games became babysitters for a whole generation of kids and whenever a kid does something wrong, the parent finds them to be an easy scapegoat. It happened with Grand Theft Auto (a video game where players can have sex with prostitutes then kill them to get their money back) a few years ago. The sad thing about this is, is that the video game industry has their own rating system. The cover of Grand Theft Auto has a rating of M, which is their version of an R, and even has why it has such a rating written on the back of the box in a giant square.

This square on the back of the box says things like, “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs.” Probably not the best game for kids to play. Even with this written all over the box, some idiotic parents still purchased the game for their kids, and then became surprised when they finally caught a glimpse of them playing it.

Who do they blame? They don’t seem to say, “Silly me, I clearly should have looked at the warning provided for me all over the box.” Instead, they write letters to Hillary Clinton, who then spearheaded the “Video Games Need Stronger Warnings” movement.

What’s stronger than, “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs,” outside of strapping some crack to the cover?

And now some idiotic members on the planet want the MPAA to take smoking into account when they rate films. Some think that giving a film a harsher rating because of smoking may help save a kid or two from picking up the habit themselves.

Well you know what? Smoking helps control the population. Imagine if no one smoked at all. That means that the 440,000 people that die each year would still be alive, thus the overpopulation of our planet would greatly increase. The point is, people need to smoke. It’s what helps the traffic problem die down (really slowly anyway) in some metropolitan areas. It’s what helps renters in NYC find apartments. It’s what helps your crazy alcoholic a*****e uncle finally leave your life.

We need smoking. It doesn’t need to be censored. So please MPAA, don’t follow through with these plans. We don’t need the Lord of the Rings trilogy to be Rated-R because some silly Hobbits chose to smoke out every once in a while.

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  1. Kate says:

    I love cigarettes.

  2. Michael Ferraro says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s “liberal” as I am pretty liberal and this pisses me off. If anything, the MPAA is a pretty conservative organization (don’t make me pull out my old “MPAA on Trial” columns I used to write) ran by old white religious nuts who want to keep our children safe from everything they are going to see on their bus rides to public school anyway.

  3. Professor Tom says:

    This is liberal politics at its worst.
    This is what Liberals do best.

  4. Dave Lawler says:

    It’s the tree of knowledge from the Garden all over again. It’s Biblical – when you say there’s this really great tree right over there, but don’t touch it or you’ll be kicked out of paradise.

    While smoking may account for a good deal of population control, it also (and I’m shocked no one on the news has brought this up given the current culture of paranoia) employs many Americans.

    So now, the MPAA wants to remove vices, and in doing so, removes not the tree but the fruit.

    This is liberal politics at its worst.

  5. Professor Tom says:

    I agree with you. If the film and video game industries do what they can to blatenly warn people what is in a product without spoiling that product and people ignore the warning labels, then those industries shouldn’t be held responsible.

    Think about tort reform. The reason we have such ridiculous tort laws and warning labels is that a bunch of stupid people got paid big bucks because they were stupid and did something with a product that the product was never intended to do (and we’re talking about some pretty outlandish s**t here.) What was the trial lawyer’s respone? It was the manufacturer who was at fault because they didn’t dumb their product down for the dumbest among us. You know what the funny thing is? The a******s who got the whole tort reform movemnet going can’t even read the warning labels because they are illeterate. I mean WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?!

    Your second to last paragraph was great satire. Thanks for the entry. My only gripe was that you didn’t connect your name to your whitty remark in the art work.

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