The Critical 'I'

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

FCC URGES CURSING KIBOSH
(Don't ask how long it took me to come up with that cutesy headline...) Alarmed over the spread of naughty words on the telly, FCC Commissioner Michael Powell is on a crusade to increase the dollar amount of fines levied on broadcasters who allow the f-word to ride on their airwaves.

Where do I stand on the f-word? Exhibit A: My post from last Friday, headlined by Evel Knievel's crackerjack quote. Fuck you very much.

Actually, I grew up with enough of the sanitized television of the 70s and 80s that I'm taken aback by some of the stuff that's now commonplace on the tube. I'm not at all offended by it, but it's a situation where I've been conditioned to expect stuff on the broadcast networks to generally steer clear of explicit language and content, and so encountering it comes as a surprise, like someone was asleep at the switch (which is often the case).

Note that Bono's offhand use of the word "fucking" during the Golden Globes broadcast is the root of this controversey, particularly in the pained determination that its use as an adjective absolved anyone from penalty. Way to go, Boner! Actually, I'm surprised the notorious "It Hits The Fan" episode of "South Park" wasn't hauled out as an egregious example of curse words gone wild. Sure, it's on after 10PM, which supposedly is a more "proper" time for television cursing; and maybe the word "shit", as featured in that episode, is somehow less offensive (then again, it's one of the seven forbidden words).