Sat through a crime drama recently in which all characters used the f-bomb. (Yes, I know it is not ‘wholesome.’) Good guys said it. Bad guys said it. High class said it. Low class said it. They said it when angry. They said it when not angry. Men said it. Women said it. Everyone said it—constantly. It used to be that people said ‘um’ as a word whisker. Do they have any idea how ridiculous they sound?
And no, I’m not worried about bad associations spoiling useful habits. “Pass the f-n salt, please,” I said at the family dinner. (Not hardly. Not yet. Not never, assuming I don’t make a practice of watching such shows.)
Too bad, really, because it’s otherwise not a bad show, as cop shows go. I can even put up with ‘a little bit of poison,’ to use the expression. I’m not so sure I want to chug it by the vatful however. Sheesh!
And to think I took Pops to the movies 15 years ago and he objected to the cursing—cursing that wasn’t one tenth as bad but was still novel for him. (And no—he was not a religious man.)
The gallery: “I hope you don’t get taken out into the virtual back room.”
I’m not all that worried. Obviously, bad words are things to avoid. They have a corrosive effect, and I do avoid them, save for when the jacked-up car slips off and lands on my foot. But there is the type of person who would never ever use a swear word and points to that abstinence as ‘Exhibit A’ in his claims to be a Christian. Would that it was so simple.
After all, if upbraided, I could always point to the elder who said, ‘S**t!’ after smacking into my car when it was in the turnaround spot he didn’t expect it to be while backing up. He apologized. “Don’t worry about it,” I told him, ‘that’s what bumpers are for.”
***More from the gallery: “I have a 6 year old grand daughter that uses it frequently in conversation. Unbelievable!”
“I have a little story from a number of years back. When my little buddy (my dog) and I were walking through the park by my place one fine summer day, we were walking behind two girls. They were late teens, early twenties. Between the F-bombs, and the word "like," for the life of me I had no idea what they were talking about. No clue how they knew either! Amazing in it's own way.”
“I remember a couple of (fleshly) brothers that I used to run into occasionally at lunch time that worked in another body shop across the street from the one I worked in at the time. I wasn't a Witness then & I definitely wasn't a goody two-shoes, but those guys embarrassed me with the flood of 4 letter words that came out of there mouths. I don't believe they could say 3 words w/o one of them being f---. Now adays, a lot of TV shows and movies are almost as bad as those brothers were. We will, quite often, quit a program after a few minutes into it because of that.”
“You have to switch off the TV. Personally I think it is used to fill up space in modern films instead of pithy dialogue. If you took away the f__ words used those 90 minute films would likely only last around 40 minutes.”
We’ve come a long way from the days where moviemakers were allowed one F-bomb to avoid a no-no rating. ‘Make it count, son’ moviemakers would say as they maneuvered so that F-bomb would be the crescendo of the film. Maybe it is still that way, but it doesn’t matter. A torrent of entertainment venues have arisen that don’t give a hoot about what the rating police want.
And to think that, as a boy, I was on the beach with my family, surrounded by other families with beach towels, umbrellas, and picnic baskets. A group of teens passed by. One of them uttered the S-word. My dad rose like a grizzly bear. “Hey! There’s decent families here! Watch your mouths!” They may have made fun of him, but not until they were very far away.
(photo by mana5280 on Upsplash)
****** The bookstore