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Arts and Entertainment

Eye (or Ear) of the Beholder

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One of the best and funniest bits of social commentary on television is the recurrent bit, "This Week in Unneccessary Censorship" on Hollywood-based Jimmy Kimmel Live. Each week, in order to "help" the FCC, Kimmel explains, "We bleep and we blur things whether they need them or not."

The show bleeps and blurs fragments of politicians' speeches and children's programs in ways that turn former US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's famous dictum on obscenity, "I know it when I see it," on its head. The evil genius of the premise is that there is no way to object that the words and images are bleeped and blurred in ways that prompt one's mind to automatically replace them with complete filth without admitting that your own mind seems to harbor a stockpile of innuendo and smut. It's beautiful.

You can download clips in a .mov format from a fansite or catch "This Week in Unneccessary Censorship" around 12:10 am on Fridays (well, technically, that's Saturday morning, but you know what we mean) on ABC.