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Jonah Goldberg: Vulgarity invades entire culture; few options for escape
Omaha.com ^ | 12-28-13 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 12/28/2013 5:43:13 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic

Newspapers are among the last places in America that have close to zero tolerance for [expletive deleted].

I could give you a hint about what word is between the brackets, but I’d best not for fear of arousing the ire of the editing Comstocks. About twice a year, I quote a profanity from a public figure, using just the first letter of the word and then some bowdlerizing asterisks for the rest. No dice, my editor tells me. You’re writing for a family newspaper.

There was a time when such standards were the norm at major media institutions in America. Sometimes things went too far, as when Lucy and Ricky had to sleep in separate beds, lest the public get the right idea about where babies come from.

But, as Lee Siegel wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal, vulgarity has become so common in the culture that there’s nothing rebellious about it anymore.

Elvis’ below-the-belt gyrations were taboo-breaking and suggestive. Today, there’s nothing suggestive about Miley Cyrus. Nobody watching her twerk thinks, “I wonder what she’s getting at?”

Indeed, if there’s any larger message to her routine, it is simply to announce that the exception has now become the rule: vulgarity is expected, decency a surprise. (The two most rebellious comedians in my youth were Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfeld — because they kept it clean or, in Seinfeld’s case, at least kept it suggestive.)

But my complaint isn’t really with singers, shock-jocks, comedians or whatever category Cyrus falls under. They’re not merely immune to finger-wagging on this score, they actually think such criticism is proof they’re rebels. The wiser course is to simply yawn and move on.

No, my real complaint is with how vulgarity has gone viral. We constantly hear that there is no common culture anymore.

(Excerpt) Read more at omaha.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Music/Entertainment; Society; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: culture; culturewars; goldberg; homosexualagenda; jonahgoldberg; obscenity; parents; trends; vulgar; vulgarity

1 posted on 12/28/2013 5:43:13 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I despise how low class we’ve become. Along with all the other garbage accepted as OK now. Idiocracy.


2 posted on 12/28/2013 5:48:10 PM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

“If anything, the new taboo is decency.”

And that about sums it up. I have co-workers who use the f and s words in just about every sentence to point of banality.


3 posted on 12/28/2013 5:49:10 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: afraidfortherepublic

4 posted on 12/28/2013 5:50:03 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: ReformationFan

I threw a 401k advisor out of our office and canceled our company’s contract with him because he dropped the eff bomb on our premises. He later was fired by the investment advisors that employed him. Probably not because of my yanking our very small account, but if he could talk like that at my company, he probably did it elsewhere too.


5 posted on 12/28/2013 5:53:26 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: ReformationFan

After a year, I finally complained to a day manager at our gym that most of the employees commonly use foul language for anything. This is a very open gym where anything can be heard on 1 end of the gym. I also took the opportunity to mention I think he himself is a high class guy. Very nice, friendly, and never heard him utter nasty hostile words.


6 posted on 12/28/2013 5:54:32 PM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

http://www.uhuh.com/nwo/communism/comgoals.htm

‘22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”’


7 posted on 12/28/2013 5:58:23 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I could use the language of Shakespeare, but today, these dimwits would not even know what I am talking about.

It’s bad enough, that where I live, and to whom I speak, I have to practice the “Mickey Spillane Rule”, i.e., nothing more than two syllables in each word, or you lose them!

ya know? ya know? ya know? NO I DON’T! Now, either tell me, or shut up!

ya know what im sayin? NO I DON’T!

Lastly, I do not have my ears tuned to the abomination of the English language, actually two, Ebonics and Cajun Pidgin English.


8 posted on 12/28/2013 6:01:40 PM PST by Terry L Smith
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To: afraidfortherepublic

9 posted on 12/28/2013 6:01:44 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
There is a modicum of escape. I canceled my television service nearly two years ago. I knew about some of the idiocy (Miley Cyrus), the sleaze (Joe Boxer ads and most television shows), and countless moronic statements by the likes of Kanye West and scores of malevolent democrat politicians and pundits.

I knew because I either read about it online or heard a clip on internet radio. There is a buffer in not having the visual. I swear my blood pressure has improved markedly. And I am better versed in the news of the day that matters than most. I'd wager that every FReeper is.
10 posted on 12/28/2013 6:02:32 PM PST by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Newspapers are among the last places in America that have close to zero tolerance for [expletive deleted].

Not true. When I was a kid, I could read the comics section. I cannot let my children look at today's comics section.

Compare:
1963
Peanuts
Blondie
Nancy
Mutt & Jeff
Beetle Bailey
Dick Tracy
Andy Capp
Li'l Abner


2013:
Dilbert
Blondie (post Chic Young)
Nancy (VERY post Ernie Bushmiller)
Doonesbury
Garfield
Non Sequitur
Monty
Luann
Zits
9 Chickweed Lane
The Boondocks


Okay, L'il Abner had issues, and some of the old-strips are more or less what they were back then (e.g. Beetle Bailey), but there are enough strips that are really aren't suitable for kids, even if they are great strips (e.g. Zits, Dilbert).

Scan the headlines, read the artcles in the news and style sections. Before the Bobbitt case, the "p" word was never printed, now it is, even when it is unnecessary to get the point across.

Regarding Goldberg's comment about the Ricardos sleeping in separate beds. Yes, they were married to each other, but we don't need to see them in the same bed any more than we need to see their toilet. For most other TV couples, it is for the dignity of the players that they should not be in bed together. The real life Mrs. Dick Van Dyke probably wouldn't want to see her husband in bed with Mary Tyler Moore on television. In his later years, Patrick McGoohan famously refused to even kiss a woman for a part, because of this. It didn't kill his career.
11 posted on 12/28/2013 6:17:27 PM PST by Dr. Sivana (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Related post here

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3106167/posts


12 posted on 12/28/2013 6:21:34 PM PST by ifinnegan
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To: Dr. Sivana

I’ve known more than one married couple (even today) who sleep separately. Some people have bad backs, sleep warmer or cooler than their mate, snore, etc. It was more common in the 50s than it is today, but people didn’t have King sized beds in the 50s, either.


13 posted on 12/28/2013 6:38:55 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Our public square is debased.
I am not a “prude” and have no problem at all with swear words in war movies or other appropriate places, and no problem at all even with pornography (a matter I leave to individual taste) so long as it is not paraded in the public square and all over the internet like it was free candy at Holloween. There is a time and place for every purpose under heaven, but the mass culture is not the place for such a steady parade of debasing or demeaning material.
Having had my say about all that, two cents worth maybe,...
I want to add that the debasement of our constitutional liberties and the almost complete abrogation or usurpation of our representative system of governance (”you have to pass the bills to find out what’s in them” -— no budget in five years so we can’t even begin to find out where they are spending or stashing all our money -— a steady stream of lies from The Occupant, etc....... just how do American citizens participate in the formulation of public policy and in the decision-making process now?)
I find these recent changes in our civic lives far worse, even, than the offensive language on the boob toob.

So now you have, for absolutely free, not just two...but THREE cents’ worth...of my stellar wisdom.
Don’t squander it all in one place, and
Happy New Year!


14 posted on 12/28/2013 6:42:45 PM PST by faithhopecharity
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To: the OlLine Rebel

On another web site somebody nominated “The Wolf of Wall Street” as the perfect examplar of Johah’s argument. I agree.

I’ve heard all these words, but I won’t tolerate them in my house. My children would never dare to talk in front of me like the actors do in some of the Hollywood movies of today.

Clark Gable’s “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn...” is far more memorable and mor meaningful than all of the language spewed in “Wolf of Wall Street” (a movie I walked out of after 10 mminutes.)


15 posted on 12/28/2013 6:44:01 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: ReformationFan
“I have co-workers who use the f and s words in just about every sentence to point of banality.”

I curse very little. My acquaintances know this even if it is at a subconscious level. This has it's advantage. When I do get profane it really gets their attention and they know I mean business. Those that curse constantly are crying wolf and lose this tactic. “When I want it to stick I give it to them loud and dirty” George Patton.

16 posted on 12/28/2013 6:45:46 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama phones= Bread and circuits.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

In a recent critically acclaimed 700+ page novel by a woman author, the main character, throughout the 16 or so years of the action, communicates with others mainly by saying to them “F*** you!”, while in the meantime becoming an art connoisseur.


17 posted on 12/28/2013 6:48:22 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Dr. Sivana
In his later years, Patrick McGoohan famously refused to even kiss a woman for a part, because of this. It didn't kill his career.

I seem to recall reading that Don Ameche, James Caviezel and Roberto Benigni were the same way.

18 posted on 12/28/2013 6:54:43 PM PST by thecodont
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To: ReformationFan
sadly you nailed it.

the commies promised it...and its been delivered

Kruschev was quite the Prophet.




19 posted on 12/28/2013 7:09:17 PM PST by MeshugeMikey ( Its beginning to look a lot like Kwanzaa)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Psalm 50:23

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me:
and to him that ordereth his conversation aright
will I shew the salvation of God.


20 posted on 12/28/2013 7:10:47 PM PST by HangnJudge
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To: MeshugeMikey

21 posted on 12/28/2013 7:13:55 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono
thank ya...thank ya ...

I dont think there were any falsh mobs or Knockout "games" until THE ONE appeared on the scene...were there?

thank fundamental change sure sucks


22 posted on 12/28/2013 7:17:13 PM PST by MeshugeMikey ( Its beginning to look a lot like Kwanzaa)
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To: Dr. Sivana

I wasn’t aware that comic strips still exist. Interesting.


23 posted on 12/28/2013 7:21:41 PM PST by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

We met an interesting couple recently while traveling andl the wife & I still correspond.......most anyone would find them charming

Until the guy opens his mouth
He can barely get through any conversation without using G__D***
I can’t stand to hear this profanity .....there’s just no need to do this in polite conversation.....or ever!
He’s an educated man.....but this surely must be a turnoff to others as well


24 posted on 12/28/2013 9:09:53 PM PST by Guenevere
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Vulgarity and horrible language are a form of violence and terror. As the author said, even when you stick to clean programming - I love ME tv - you have to it through disgusting commercials.


25 posted on 12/29/2013 4:11:28 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein

I watched a bio of Marvin Hamlisch very late last night and then switched to TV to something very boring so that I could fall asleep. I woke up this AM to Melissa (?) Curry advertising on HLN a show called “Cook My A** Off”. I couldn’t believe it. They actually have a show on HLN that uses a crude word in its title. I guess that’s why I never watch HLN.


26 posted on 12/29/2013 6:04:53 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
On another web site somebody nominated “The Wolf of Wall Street” as the perfect examplar of Johah’s argument.

Haven't seen that one, but for God's sake, steer clear of "Serial Mom". It appealed to me because of Kathleen Turner and Sam Waterson, both likeable actors (on screen). The IMDB site reviews extol it as a masterpiece of black comedy (as in graveyard). Got it from the library. I lasted longer than my wife, but after 10 minutes I hit the "eject" button.

I've been in the Navy and worked overseas and am quite familiar with vulgarity of all types, but this one hit new levels - and it was non-stop. I was stunned that such crudities were performed by such known actors. I've used some of those words in stressful situations (thumb meet hammer) but not in casual conversation.

On the TV and spoken level, while surfing, you run across conversations (court cases) where every other word is bleeped out and it is so widespread that it reaffirms Mr. Goldberg's article.

Another peeve, and I've often seen it here, is the casual use of "it/this/that/etc. sucks". Another vulgarity that's become an every-conversation epithet.

(The only time I thought that use was proper was in a bit of graffiti, which said, "Dracula sucks".

27 posted on 12/29/2013 8:46:48 AM PST by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
I’ve heard all these words, but I won’t tolerate them in my house. My children would never dare to talk in front of me like the actors do in some of the Hollywood movies of today.

A friend of mine and his wife stopped at our place in Texas on the return leg of a cross country trip. He's an online buddy, but lives in the same area of California where I hung my hat for decades. We've got several friends in common, as well.

Anyway, what really astonished my wife and I during their visit, was their kids' potty mouths. The eldest daughter is about fifteen, and the younger girl is perhaps eleven, but you should have heard them. They didn't think a single thing of uttering every swear word in the book in front of my wife and kids.

Later, as I was chatting in another room with my buddy, he unloaded a few choice words in front of my eight year old. I reacted pretty strongly to that, and he immediately apologized. He didn't swear in front of my kids again after that, but it still sort of shocked me that his standards were so loose that he didn't think twice about using such language in front of someone else's children.

28 posted on 12/29/2013 1:35:59 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I work in a factory and my co-workers are mostly intelligent, hard-working people. But. They over-use the same few words as every imaginable part of speech.

I have zero tolerance for bad language at home and keep reminding the kids, if they want to sound stupid, just talk like that.


29 posted on 12/29/2013 6:40:02 PM PST by Cloverfarm (This too shall pass ...)
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To: miss marmelstein

Depends on what one defines as vulgarity. Open vulgarity or coded vulgarity ie innuendo/double meaning.

I like the comment of legendary British comic actor Kenneth Williams who referred to ‘healthy vulgarity’, a form of comedy which is based on innuendo and its the listener who makes the rude connection, not the comic. Rude, naughty without being open and crude.


30 posted on 12/31/2013 7:14:20 AM PST by the scotsman (i)
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To: the scotsman

The concept of grown adults taking really pleasure in being “naughty” kinda sums it all up.


31 posted on 12/31/2013 7:53:43 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass (There should be a whole lot more going on than throwing bleach, said one woman.)
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