Steven Pinker (just youtube it) had some interesting insights related to this
subject. In short two parts of the brain associated with language, cognitive and
emotional, swearing is more attuned with the later. One example was that an
animal may howl in pain. Humans often swear instead of howl...
An interesting topic for research, truly. However, in the end, swearing and
vulgarities are not within the standards my family lives by no matter what the
research will find.
We give words whatever power they have over us.
The modern entertainment industry has an open and stated agenda of promoting
substance abuse and wanton sexuality. Part of this agenda includes an attempt to
destroy traditional marriage and family. The insertion of profanity into
movies is part of the attempt to advance that agenda. Modern
Hollywood portrays marriage as a burdensome institution to be scorned and
ridiculed. Indeed, Hollywood treats marriage as something to be avoided at all
costs. Indeed, much of the profanity in movies is used to belittle marriage.Unfortunately, an impressionable public has begun to imitate what is
shown on television and movies. As a result, the rates of illegitimacy, disease,
and profanity are skyrocketing.The irrefutable fact is that wanton,
uncontrolled sexuality does have harmful effects for both the individual and
society. Shame on those who seek to impose this harm.
Factual correction: "Gone with the Wind" does not have the first swear
word in the history of film. In fact, there have been swear words through the
entire history of sound film, and there were incidents in which there were swear
words in the intertitles of silent films.
Why is it that the media pushes so hard regarding drugs, pornography, and
anything else that is vulgar and degrading? Money is not the only reason, there
has to be more behind their promotion of such. Cyrus, Spears and many others
have been ruined because of this monster. What a pity!
Words have meaning and power assigned by society, and are taboo because some
group or segment of society has put energy into restricting those words. I remember talking with a British acquaintance about the first Harry
Potter movie, where Ron said "bloody" in response to being surprised. In
America we use that phrase to parody typical British speech patterns. In
England, however, that word is vulgar in the extreme and she considered it very
shocking to hear in a kid's movie. We chatted more about words
and some of our most taboo are common phrases over there. Stop
generating energy by saying some words are so "bad" they can't be
used. Problem solved.
Our family doesn't use profanity and we don't bring media into our
home with excessive profanity. That being said, I disagree that profanity is
increasing in family friendly movies. We have tried showing our kids 80's
movies we remember fondly from childhood. Big mistake. TONS of profanity in
movies marketed to families; we had just forgotten. It's hard to find a
movie geared to families now, but when one comes out, profanity is mild if it
exists at all. I've seen a number of movies void of profanity, with the
exception of one word strategically placed in the script to earn a PG-13 rating
and increase sales (which is sad.)I think the much bigger concern is
social, especially family interaction in supposedly family-friendly media. I
recently banned Disney Channel in our home (not kidding) because I was tired of
rude, disrespectful, outright rebellious kids and moronic adults lowering the
standard of civil society in every episode. I also don't like that
today's superhero movies market to very young children (with everything
from backpacks to snack foods to Velcro shoes) yet the films are violent enough
to warrant a PG-13 rating.
I find it ironic that Hollywood and their ardent supporters always talk about
the importance of artistic expression and their desire to show the
"reality" of the actions portrayed in their stories. Yet, if you told
them that the "reality" of their actions never show the consequences of
their actions, they would sneer, as if consequences aren't "real".
In their minds it is only the actions that are real, but not the consequences.
They criticize those who "edit" movies, as if they are not living in the
"real" world, when, in fact, it is just the opposite. The
"real" world takes into account the whole human experience, not just the
usual despairing, depressed, violent, objectified sexuality of their world. I go
to the movies to be entertained, to see the clever, artful mosaic of life that
leaves me laughing, motivated, joyful, and hopeful, something Hollywood will yet
learn--when enough people demand it of them.
I tell my kids not to swear in front of me, and anyone else. If they do swear,
it is in secret with their pals. Just as it should be.
No, Midvaliean, I think a lot of us will disagree. Swear in secret? Why?Why not try to raise your kids like a few of those I taught in the past.
Kids who would tell another who swore that it was wrong. Kids who had enough
courage to stand up for what they knew was right.When I was
teaching, my classroom always had a quote on the wall: "Foul language is
just the pitiful attempt of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully."
Without asking them to do it, the kids often memorized it. It did my heart
happy when occasionally I'd hear one of them quoting that to another.Give our kids ammunition to stand up to peer pressure and many of them
will do it.
@one old manI see what you are saying, and that is great and all. But the
reality is kids swear. And if they have enough respect to treat adults as they
should, it will go along ways when they are grown up and on their own. Having
the respect to not swear where it is inappropriate is a worthy skill.
Midvale, I agree. But your first post sounded like surrender. While reality is
that people may swear, there is nothing wrong with at least giving it a good try
to teach young ones that it's not only inappropriate, it's not really
necessary.Back in the stone age when I was 16, we could join the
local fire department. I cut loose with a really "adult" word at drill
one night. Later, the chief took me aside and asked why I'd said what I
had said. He then talked about how he had lost some respect for me in that
moment. Then he asked to me consider which of the other members I'd want
backing me up in a really nasty situation. He pointed out that the ones who had
the real courage needed were not the boastful, noisy, foul-language spouters.
Instead, they were the ones with the intelligence and self-confidence to make
foul language unnecessary. It was a very powerful lesson that has
stuck with me through all the passing centuries. (Well, centuries might be a
bit of an exaggeration -- but only by a little.)
One old man: I agree! I'm sure there is a lot more we could agree upon if
we sat down and actually listened to one another. When I'm not listening,
I find very little to agree with here. Thanks.