Libertarians may rejoice over the release of Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t – Season 4, another collection of Showtime’s provocative series debunking popular theories and so-called conventional wisdom.
Hosted with an infectious sneer by skeptic-magicians Penn & Teller, Bullsh*t takes on issues of varying levels of seriousness and controversy, puncturing both liberal and conservative arguments whenever they seem, to the sarcastic hosts, specious. The Complete Fourth Season kicks things off with a swift kick to the Boy Scouts, who are shown no mercy for enforcing discriminatory policies against gays and atheists while thriving on government funding at all levels: federal, state, and local.
Bullsh*t visits with paragons of Scout virtue who were nevertheless kicked out for being homosexual, but the episode does something more: It deflates the very notion that the Scouts are even important to the teaching of survival skills as well as wholesome values.
Following that is a rather eye-opening show about prostitution, and why sex-trade workers can’t always be described as slaves. An obligatory, though fun, visit to a brothel in Nevada (where prostitution is regulated by the state) is complemented by a day spent with a 25-year-old student paying her tuition through sex sessions with upscale clients. But there’s pretty serious stuff, too, in the form of activist arguments on all sides of the debate about prostitution’s alleged threat to humankind.
Protests the Boy Scouts of America not allowing homosexuals or atheists to join as a government-funded organization. Claims the control of the Boy Scouts by the Mormon church as the source of the discrimination.
2. Prostitution. Pro-legalization of prostitution. Criticizes various viewpoints on the dangers of the profession, and points to the dangers of it not being legalized.
3. The Death Penalty. Argues against capital punishment, from pragmatic and moral viewpoints.
4. Cryptozoology. Concerning mythological creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. Cites the belief and study of these creatures as motivated by money as it creates tourism and royalties from film and video distribution.
5. Ground Zero. About the dragging of feet and design mistakes by the LMDC in rebuilding at the World Trade Center site, the lack of family and public approved memorials to the 9/11 attacks, the impact on local business, and how the whole process has been co-oped by people out to make money.
6. Pet Love. Concerns people obsessing about pets, anthropomorphizing pets, projecting their own feelings onto the pets, as seen in things like Neuticles and cat shows.
7. Reparations. Against indirect reparations, such as reparations for slavery, but not direct reparations to people directly affected, such as Japanese internees.
8. Manners. Pro rational manners that make sense, like for things regarding cleanliness and politeness, against arbitrary manners.
9. Numbers. How numbers in statistical surveys can be used to deceive and how one can be scammed.
10. Abstinence. Argues that abstinence-only sex education is ineffective and often misleading. Also looks at the healthiness of being sexually active.