'P' Is For Pressure Groups - And The P-Chip
It's often been reported that very few people actually make use of this feature -- either because they can't be bothered, because they feel it affects all programming they might want to watch, or because they can't get to grips with how to use it and they think it will be a pain (I wonder how many of the Vociferous Few use the V-Chip).
Well, today, a little-known but well-resourced pressure group launched the P-Chip -- which, the group claims, will overcome the challenges of user adoption associated with the V-Chip and significantly flatten the learning curve to ensure that nobody is exposed to "that huge mass of television programming and advertising that is so toxic and corrupting to the family values America holds dear."
Describing the P-Chip as "the next-generation V-Chip," the President of the Council for the Rehabilitation of Amoral Parents (CRAP), Thomas P. Bowdler, declared "the problem with the V-Chip isn't the V-Chip. It's the parents. They just aren't getting with the program. The 'P' in P-Chip stands for parenting, and it takes all the effort out of being the kind of parent America -- and God -- wants us to be."
Bowdler added, "We've taken the chip out of the TV and put it into the parent. What could be easier?"
By using a combination of wireless technology, nanotechnology, brain sensors and -- of course -- the remote control, the P-Chip recognizes programming that falls outside the parameters of acceptable programming within a user's household by category (sex, violence, profanity, bad acting, Barbara Walters), by time of day, and even by who else is viewing, and alerts the primary user (or parent), triggering an automatic response. Most typically the response takes the form of changing the channel, but it can also result in children being sent to bed or banished to another room to play with the endless array of neglected toys various relatives have bought them over the years.
CRAP claims to have been successfully running trials over the last nine months with spectacular results. "Not one of our trialists has reported seeing any material they found offensive or embarrassing," said Bowdler. "I've been using it myself, and none of my family have seen any commercials for candy-bar-eating mechanics of ambiguous sexual orientation, my kids haven't been traumatized by the pitiful sight of a suicidal assembly line robot (which will save me thousands of dollars in juvenile therapy), and we haven't seen a single program that doesn't reflect our view of the world. Surely that's what everyone should have?"
Responding to questions about just what the CRAP system does that any intelligent being with a cerebral cortex, a remote control and a little motivation could do, Bowdler replied "I've heard that one a thousand times. This isn't about freedom of choice. This is about the moral fabric of the nation. This isn't civil liberties -- this is TV. It's far too important to left up to the individual. Choice is not an option."
He added, "We know that just telling parents what to do won't work, and giving them a piece of technology to program hasn't achieved the level of compliance we need, either -- nor has lobbying or making campaign contributions. No, we need to play to America's love affair with convenience and relieve our nation's parents of the heavy burden of parenting. That's what the P-Chip is all about. Embed the chip and the rest is easy -- that's our motto.
"Besides," he concluded "if we get enough of these little suckers out there, we'll be able to control which ads they watch come election time. By golly, we might even be able to have some influence over those commercial minutes everyone keeps talking about!"
Later, Bowdler denied having been contacted by the FCC, the GOP and the Parents Television Council.