Monday, January 10, 2011

Enterprise Videos

I don’t really know what is considered “conduct unbecoming an officer”, but I wonder…

It was hardly mentioned that these videos were produced largely as humorous, but useful guides for sailors, bearing titles such as “The Hazards of Shore Leave” and various other things. It makes me wonder if the production of such videos was actually part of the job of the XO of a Naval Vessel, and if the only questionable thing was that he presented these topics using gross, offensive humor instead of the military’s drab and boring usual tactic (“VD, and YOU!). Perhaps this might have even gotten the message across a little better than a drab infomercial on the topic would have.

I’ve read multiple articles on this, and have read about how “distasteful” and “obscene” and “offensive” these videos are, and yet, the only things that were described as being any of the above in any of the articles were as follows:

A.) He made a jerk-off motion with his hand. This is seen on national broadcast TV constantly, so I fail to see the big deal here.
B.) The video included an improvised proctologic exam (not showing anything, mind you, just insinuating it). I’ve seen proctologic exams discussed and even enacted on no less than a half dozen shows – Seinfeld, Family Guy, Blue Collar Comedy, and so forth.
C.) The video showed two women, and then two men, in showers together, showing them only from the shoulders up, but insinuating that they were naked. Any soap commercial on broadcast TV will give you far more viewing pleasure that just some shoulders.
D.) Probably the biggest deal – the XO used a derogatory word for homosexuals in one of his monologues. Again, any number of shows on TV do the same thing on a nightly basis, but this one is a little tougher because this guy is undoubtedly the boss of (probably) a number of gay people, so I agree that this one was totally out of line.

I guess I need to watch the videos to really see if the stink is worth the ink, but so far, I haven’t really seen anything here that would warrant this guy getting anything more than a stern reminder that he shouldn’t use slurs as the captain of a naval vessel, whether racial, sexual, or otherwise.

All-in-all, I think what was described was quite a bit milder than your usual, run-of-the-mill episode of Family Guy – I really don’t see the big deal. If it helped morale at all on board the ship (which I’ll bet it did, aside from a few whiney types who were “offended”) then I would think that the end justifies the means and more power to him. I’d be interested to see how many, of the 5,800 on board, were really offended. I’d also be interested to find out why, after 4 years, this is just now coming out.

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