Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Any reports of bleeding ears?

Some radio and TV stations are in dutch with the Federal Communications Commission as the result of their airing of the Philadelphia Phillies championship celebration a few months back. The offense, at least according to the couple of dozen people who complained, was the utterance of the "F word" by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who proclaimed that his team was "F-ing World Champions." Utley later apologized for his use of the word and implored youngsters not to follow his lead. But that wasn't sufficient for those who apparently were scarred for life by Utley's utterance. Said one person in an FCC complaint: "This was an intentional misuse and abuse of the public airwaves ... How am I to explain such profanity to my child?" Get a grip. Maybe you should just tell the tot that Mr. Utley said what you consider to be a bad word, and you don't want to hear the younster using it. And Utley was a fairly unlikely candidate to drop the "F bomb." An AP story says he has a "genial image" in Philly and is known, along with his wife, for supporting animal rescue and adoption. It's not like the Phillies and the TV and radio stations turned the floor over to Andrew "Dice" Clay. When my son was a small fry, I often took him with me to the golf course. My golf game, to be kind, was rather inconsistent, and the young lad often heard words one might not say while greeting the queen of England. Included among those words, frequently, was the "F word." I don't think he was scarred for life by the experience. In fact, he'll soon be 20 years old, and I've yet to hear him utter that word. I'm not one to categorize words as "good" or "bad." My suggestion for those wishing to protect themselves or their children from "naughty" words is to build a cabin in the woods, cut off all outside sources of information and, if you have kids, homeschool them using nothing but the Bible. But choose the passages wisely. I understand there's a lot of sex and violence in the "good book."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago, I had an Atlanta Braves game on TV, and the game ended with a disputed call at the plate. Thanks to those ever-present cameras and mics in the dugout, one of the players (I think it was one of the NY Mets) dropped an F-bomb with thermonuclear force as he slammed his glove down to the ground.

The announcers awkwardly chuckled and said, ha ha, that sometimes happens with live TV, folks! I can't imagine any children sustained lasting scars over that.

--Brad Hundt

January 7, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Mike Jones said...

Nothing beats Greg Lloyd following the 1996 AFC Championship game against the Colts when he predicted, in a live locker room interview, that the Steelers were going to bring back the (bleeping) Super Bowl. Unfortunately, he did not make good on his promise.

January 7, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Also, unfortunately, the guy was a major-league butt wipe.

January 7, 2009 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

The people who complained to the FCC are those who refuse to exercise a little parental responsibility. That would have been a great opportunity to teach the children socially acceptable behavior and proper language.

My dad always said that cussing indicated that you have a limited vocabulary. He was wrong, of course, since I have a voluminous lexicon. But you know, there are times when no other word will do BUT the F-bomb.

January 7, 2009 at 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forget the name of the writer whyo explained that his dad swore so much, the "offensive" words lost their effectiveness so that, when his father accidentally cut off his own thumb with a circular saw, all he could say was, "Gee!"

With nasty words so prevalent, what do we say when we really want to offend someone? Throw Monty Pythonisms at him? "Your father was a hamster ..." Or start throwing shoes?

Try as we might, we will never be able to insulate our kids from "bad" words. All we can do is hope that they don't use them in inappropriate circumstances. My son is 20 and I have never heard him curse, although I'm sure he knows every "banned" word and probably uses them out of company.

I'll never be able to figure out why some words are bleeped and others aren't on TV. Why can you say "ass" but not "asshole?" And why can you show people sleeping around but not allow them to swear? Why feamle nudity but no male nudity?

This type of pseudo-censorship reminds me of the stag films where men wore socks but were otherwise naked. Or the censorship standards of the early film industry where it was OK to show a man and woman lying in bed together as long as one of them had a foot on the floor.

January 8, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Joe Tuscano said...

Television got what it deserves in this case and others like it. They constantly want to bring fans and viewers into the dugout, or on the sidelines, or in the penalty box to be closer to the game.

Well, surprise! Players don't say, "Geez, Phil, I believe your contact with our quarterback was a little excessive."

The worst is the halftime interview with a losing football coach, who has absolutely nothing of relevance to say other than, "We have to play better."

I don't know why TV wants to invade these spaces. I always tell fans to keep an arms-length from their heroes because they might not like what they see up close.

January 8, 2009 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Just this past weekend, I noticed the same thing as the most recent anonymous poster. I was watching a movie on one of the basic-cable stations - USA Network, I believe - and while they bleeped out things like a-hole and the F word - the characters were not bleeped when repeatedly using the "T word" to discuss women's upper-body assets. It's mind-boggling. I remember years ago, when Spielberg was making "E.T.", he had the young boy in the movie use an expletive in a deliberate effort to make sure the movie got a PG rating instead of the "dreaded" G, so that adults didn't think of it as just a movie for little kids.

January 8, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

My ex-wife can't string together ten words without three of them being the f-bomb. Yet my legal-age daughter recently bought a rap CD with the explicit language warning on the label. The ex was apoplectic because of the foul language on the CD. I believe she said something like, "That motherf**king CD is terible!"

January 8, 2009 at 2:00 PM  

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