FCC Complaint: When Did Grainy Images of My Own Future Demise Become Acceptable Television? by Charlie Stockman
Dear FCC Goldbrickers,
My apologies if this complaint letter tends to ramble or does not fit a prescribed format. It is the first such letter I have had cause to write. Not because heretofore you were doing your jobs — indeed, I suspect you were not — but because in all my 67 years, I have never watched TV. That is, I never had watched TV, until a month ago when fate put me face to face with the vile medium. Allow me to explain.
You see it was around that time that I inherited an estate from a distant uncle in the backwoods of Massachusetts. It is a wonderful place, away from the unwashed masses of the city and replete with all the features one could hope for in an old house: a laboratory, a crypt, a locked room that I do not have the key for. Unfortunately, it also came with one of those infernal contraptions that seem to occupy every American home nowadays: a television.
And not just any television, an enormous Samsung that — through some bit of Oriental trickery I am yet to understand — manages to turn on by itself. Even when it is unplugged. And just to add to my vexation, the gardener seems too afraid to enter the house to retrieve the cursed thing. (No doubt he is convinced that I am an immigration agent trying to spring a trap.)
And the obscenities I have seen on this Samsung…well, allow me to list a few here.
Language. There is far too much Latin on television. If I did not know better I would think that Kennedy had successfully made us all subjects of the Pope. Why, just the other day I walked into my living room to see a pale redheaded girl (Irish) staring out of the screen and whispering some filth about “diabolus” and “sanguinem.” Fortunately, I left the room before the part where she presumably gets in line for the dole while giving birth to 13 screaming papists.
Sexual content. If I wished to see a half-man, half-goat impregnate a virgin on an altar, I would attend a gypsy wedding.
Loud commercials. I do not know what they are designed to sell (ear plugs perhaps), but the frequent, 30-second advertisements that consist solely of an albino woman covered in dirt (Welsh) shrieking at the top of her lungs are truly dreadful.
Lewd music. The hypnotizing melodies that resonate from the TV every night should be confined to an inner-city jazz club. What if my niece had been staying with me? As an impressionable woman, she may have been beckoned straight to Harlem.
My own demise. I do not know how the footage was captured, but I do know that the grainy image of my own body, crumpled and lifeless at the bottom of Widow’s Bluff, is being used without my permission and without any compensation to me. (But what else would I expect from the tribe that runs Hollywood.)
All of these offenses, but particularly the last one, have bled my last nerve. I will be sending a complaint letter, just as scathing as this one, every day until the problem is rectified.
HP Bozell III
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is actually being sent by Jane Bozell. It was found in the hand of my late uncle after he fell from the top of Widow’s Bluff on the way to the post office. I figured he would like me to see it through.
I would also like to mention that his death, while sudden, was not an entirely sad event. For one thing, I will now be inheriting his wonderful estate. For another, he was a bit of an asshole.
Charlie Stockman is a writer and performer living in Los Angeles. He is one half of a two-man sketch group called Charles. They can be liked, retweeted, and watched at facebook.com/CharlesComedy, @CharlesComedy, and funnyordie.com/CharlesComedy
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