Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Do as the bloggers do

I'm finally making progress on this European Union law paper, meaning this post is terribly ill-advised. In any case, I think I've got a good topic: the current trend in EU television regulation to ban "unhealthy" programs and advertisements, and the inherent conflict with the principle of free movement of goods.

The highlight of my research so far has been reading about the worst fear of European regulators: America and it's "culturally inferior programming." One writer describes a particular horror during the late 1980's, when the Cosby Show was the top rated sitcom in France and Germany.

I've seen this firsthand. When in Rome during my grade 12 class trip, I made a stop at a tiny cafe. (Unremarkable so far, except that I did legitimately work the phrase "when in Rome" into my blog). Anyway, in the corner of this cafe was a television playing the Cosby Show. It was all translated, including the title graphics, but I was surprised to see the name of the show had also been changed. It's new name confused me: I Robinson.

Now at the time, I thought this was strange: were Italian broadcasters channeling Asimov with that name? Was the Cosby show somehow existential in a way I hadn't noticed before?

Mystery solved. It hasn't been until right now, doing this essay that I recalled this memory and put my years of learning Italian in the intervening years to use. The word "I" is actually the Italian plural for "The." So in effect, the show wasn't the Huxtables' take on I, Robot after all, but simply, "The Robinsons."

Finding that out is actually kinda disappointing.

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