Indecency

The current fad of concern for indecency (and it is a fad, it will go away and come back again cyclically forever) puzzles me. I personally find it much more indecent to tell a bunch of lies that result in the death of thousands of people than to swear or show boobies, but that’s just me. Here’s some stuff on the subject from out and about:

Starting at the top or the bottom depending on your perspective, here’s a bunch of celebrities discussing their favorite swear words. I’ll admit that the number of women who cite “cunt” as their prized curse surprises me. I thought most women were opposed to that word unto death. Maybe they’re just opposed to men saying it. Interesting too to compare Laura Innes, who spells it, to Janelle Maloney who blurts right out “I like ‘cunt’!”

The maestro on this subject, George Carlin, discusses it in this short interview.

“What I always remind people is, radio and television and – as it happens – newspapers and magazines too, are advertising media. … When you have commercialism involved you have the kind of fear that advertisers are very afraid of offending some potential customer. They don’t want to lose a sale. So they have this need to inspect and clean up and watch the content in order not to hurt their own sales. It’s based on success at the cash register.

“And yet, they’re very inconsistent- on that Super Bowl broadcast of Janet Jackson’s there was also a commercial about a 4-hour erection. A lot of people were saying about Janet Jackson, ‘How do I explain to my kids? We’re a little family, we watched it together …’ And, well, what did you say about the other thing? These are convenient targets.”

Via Newsfromme. Because of Mr. Carlin, I can at any time blurt out “shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker mother fucker tits”, pause a second, “fart turd twat.” This is as ingrained and automatic for me as the doxology or the pledge of allegiance. Interesingly, the 30 years since then, 4 of the 7+3 “words you can’t say on television” can be said on television.

Here’s the Salon article on the recent furor with Howard Stern. While not an automatic conspiracy, it is interesting to note that the recent flare up in interest in fining him for doing and saying things no different than he’s been doing for nearly 20 years comes right about the time that he has shifted from supporting the war in Iraq to being highly critical of the president. Does someone hope that they can get him knocked off the air before he calls for his legion of 8 million devoted knuckleheads to mobilize against the Bush campaign?

Doc Searls wonders why is sex the only “dirty” subject? I don’t know either, Doc.