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Dropping Bombs

26 June 2013
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That’s some quality swearing.

 

You wouldn’t know it from the way I speak, but I was not raised in a household of meth dealers and truckers. I was also not raised in that five seconds of Star Trek IV where Kirk mentioned that “no one pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word.”

But I kind of do swear every other word. Friends of mine have gotten used to the fact that I’ll just drop the f-bomb for no apparent reason at what most people would consider fairly inappropriate moments. I’m not running around screaming “fuck the police” at funerals or anything, but swearing is pretty much a part of my daily lexicon at work, at home, or wherever.

It’s one of those things you come across a lot if you listen to podcasts (including the one my pal Christopher and I do, where I attempt to earn the “Explicit” tag in the first minute of the show). When there’s a guest on who hasn’t done many podcasts in the past, there’s a moment where they ask “is it OK if I swear on this thing?” And the answer is usually “You can say whatever the fuck you want.”

Here’s the thing — podcasts are doing big business now, some of them reaching more people than TV shows. There’s no censoring body in place to make sure you’re only listening during safe-harbor hours, or that the hosts and guests refrain from using “shit” and “fuck” when they put out an episode for mass consumption. All of this “bad language” is going out unregulated…

And the world hasn’t ended yet. Really, even after millions and millions of downloads for something like Smodcast or Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler, nothing has really happened. It’s almost like (*gasp!*) we humans can handle hearing “bad words.”

I’m one of those people who wouldn’t really care if the f-bomb got dropped during an episode of Modern Family or something. It’s pretty hard to offend me with words, especially ones I use all the time (and really, so do most people I know… which may speak more of the company I keep than the state of cursing in general). Now, I do keep an eye on what I say while I’m around kids, so I can see why there might be a need for some sort of censorship on network TV, but even then… I know I heard someone swear up a storm before I was five, and I haven’t turned into a serial killer or anything.

So what’s your opinion? Are our censorship laws as far as TV goes too strict? Too lax? What’s an acceptable amount of swearing for prime time?

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2 July 2013 0610

    People’s perceptions of swearing is so funny. “Shit” is okay, but DO NOT say “Fuck.” And apparently the world will crumble if someone in the US says “Cunt”; whereas it’s not as big a deal in the UK. But the “C” word…that’s like you leaped the “F-Word” creek and ended up in a river of cunt.

    Swearing obviously doesn’t bother me. Some might argue that we talk about such wide topics on the podcast that we could reach a wider audience if we didn’t swear, but I think an appeal of our podcast, and others where people swear, is the conversational tone. I CAN get through talks and probably even a podcast without so much as saying “crud,” but…the conversational tone is often part of the appeal.

    It’s strange how people let words rule them. Not that I believe we should all rush around shouting “Fuckityfuckfuckfuckfuckcunt!” all day at work (I don’t swear at work, but don’t care if others do), but I know people who will watch a movie. They LOVE the movie. And…someone says “Fuck!” Just once or twice. DVD comes out and the person proclaims the movie terrible, even if the “Fuck!” is justified.

    I was allowed to swear in my home in my teens. Again, it wasn’t like “Fuckityfuckfuckfuckfuckcunt!” at the dinner table, but if friends were over and one said something and I said, “No shit?” it’s not like my mom came unhinged. And because it wasn’t taboo, it wasn’t like I felt compelled to swear. I realized there are times and places for swearing. I don’t swear in public where others can hear me. I don’t swear in front of kids or people I don’t really know well. But on the podcast…yep, I swear. Our sign off has the word “fuck” in it, and it’s a good sign off. So…why go an entire episode without swearing, only to say, “Chill the fuck out…and make the damn thing!” at the end?

    Swearing on TV wouldn’t bother me. It’s funny when you look at all the wrong things Family Guy can get by censors because they game the system very well. But say “shit,” and they’d be fined. We can BEEP out swearing on Maury Povich when people are screaming at each other. I know this because sometimes the show is on the TV in the break room at work. I find people shouting (not even swearing) far more offensive than someone softly saying, “No shit? That’s cool.”

    It’s all kinda fucked up.

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