I sometimes watch TV with the closed captioning on to make sure I can decipher what's said, though the danger is I'll start reading the show rather than listening to it.
Jack And The Beanstalk. Costello was singing his song when I noticed the CC got the words wrong. This is bad enough, but the wrong words meant the rhyme didn't work. This is unfair to songwriters Lester Lee and Bob Russell, who no doubt worked hard on getting it right. But it also shows an insensitivity to lyric-writing that's all too common these days, or the CC person would have known there was an error. What do you expect in an age where no one blinks an eye at rhyming "together" and "forever"? (I'm not mentioning the specific error only because I've already taped over the movie.)
last Thursday's 30 Rock that had Liz and Jack going down to Florida, allowing the writers to mock the Sunshine State. One gag had Jack calling 911 and getting a recorded message dealing with common problems--for an anaconda in a crawl space, press 1, a sinkhole full of Indian bones, press 2, if you want to know why JAG wasn't on last week, press 3.
Okay, but then just as Jack hung up, we heard "If your Shabbos..." and that's all. Odd line. At least unless you read the full line on CC. Apparently, these people are given the scripts to work from, since it read "If your Shabbos goy..."
For you gentiles out there, a Shabbos goy is a non-Jew who works for Jews on the Sabbath, doing things Jews aren't allowed to do. "If your Shabbos goy..." is a decent joke, while "If your Shabbos..." isn't much. I have to assume someone at NBC felt the term was offensive in some way.
Platinum Blonde, a 1931 Frank Capra movie starring Jean Harlow and Loretta Young. In it, actor Walter Catlett does that thing people have been doing for decades to imitate American Indians--hitting your palm on your mouth and going "woo woo woo." Yes, I'm sure this isn't an ethnographically accurate. But here's how the CC puts it: "Making racist war cry."
Isn't this a bit too judgmental? Or at least a little too heavy on the moralizing? (It's not even clear. What would a deaf person make of it--a war cry that calls out all inferior races?) I've started to see the words "racist" and "sexist" and "misogynistic" pop up rather peremptorily in certain newspaper headlines, but I figured I'd be protected from editorialzing in my closed captioning.