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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

S*** Happens

No, I'm not cussing. I'm venting.

In case you haven't seen them, there are several new Volkswagon ads out that show friends driving along in their Jettas (btw- friends don't let friends drive Jettas), and, suddenly, they're in a major accident. Cars folded up like an accordion- the whole bit. The next shot is of the friends standing outside their car, and one of them says, "Holy..." and "Safe Happens" appears on the screen.

Is it just me, or can we be pretty sure that "Holy Safety" wasn't what was about to come out of those characters' mouths? I mean, they're not dressed up like Robin or anything.

Now, California seismologists (and, presumably, whichever California government agency is responsible for PSAs) are starting a earthquake preparedness campaign with the slogan "Shift Happens." No, I don't really want to get into a discussion of the necessity of a campaign to make the fine folks of the great state of Caleeforneea (I think that's how Ahnold pronounces it) understand the potential dangers of earthquakes in a state best known for same-said quakes. To me, it just proves how much of a nanny-state California really is.

No, I'm talking about "S" words. I try very hard not to cuss. I'll admit I don't always succeed, but I do try. And, I get a little... peeved when people chose to go the overly vulgar route just because they can. But, I'm not so naive that I think no one should ever cuss. I know better- it's going to happen. And, if there isn't a cuss word available, they'll make one up (see Battlestar Galactica's use of the word "frack" for the f-bomb and Farscape's "frell"). Course language happens. I know that.

The subliminal use of cursing is just a bit grating for me. I have two teenaged boys to raise, and I'm trying to show them that there are other words to use besides the standard issue cuss words. (Yeah, I started cussing when I was about their age, mostly because I thought it sounded grown up.) I know they're going to cuss. It's part of growing up, and part of being an adult, I guess. (I will, however, do my best to delay it.)

My "rules" are pretty simple- I try not to say anything that I wouldn't feel comfortable saying in front of my grandmother. Like I've said, I don't always succeed. But that's my goal, none-the-less.

There is a (false) belief out there that people who "resort" to course language do so because of a lack of education. That is completely wrong. Some of the smartest people I know have made cussing an art form. And, sometimes, the best way to describe a situation concisely is with a few choice words.

I know all of that. I'm ok with it, even (as long as no one is taking the Lord's name in vain). I'm not ok with media (be it a commercial from a car company or a state PSA) making it seem common place and acceptable at all times. It's not.

But I'm sure I'm just being over-sensitive. Right?

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