F-Bomb No Longer
***This Blog is For Mature Readers Only. Do NOT read if you are easily offended***
Once upon a time it used to be that uttering the F-word was quite taboo. Nice girls refrained from using the word, not just in front of their parents, but their peers as well. The F-Bomb was generally thought to be for sailors, rock stars and hoodlums. Eventually it became the primary attitude and vocabulary of both the Punk world and the Goth World. Teenage angst and rebellion was taken to a whole new level as kids started cussing up a storm.
Puritan America started censoring movies in the 1940s. Risque acts such as Josephine Baker or Mae West were quickly things of the past. Kissing was allowed, but no tongue and it had to be brief way back when. Mainstream media meant that it was clean and safe for the whole family. Sexuality could only be hinted at. Violence is perhaps the only thing that was the least bit accepted. It wasn’t just movies and TV, but literature as well. At one time the language and sexuality in both DH Lawrence and Henry Miller’s books got the banned. Catcher in the Rye was considered a bad influence.
Slowly sex saturated the mainstream both visually and verbally. The 2nd wave of feminism hit in the 1970s and male-made censorship started to crumble. I remember being shocked at hearing the word Bitch uttered in my day time soap The Bold and The Beautiful back in the 1990s, but now it is uttered in a great many shows. In my favorite show Lost Sawyer was known to mutter Son of Bitch a great many times and no one thought much of it. In shows like the The Vampire Diaries they talked about people being a dick or a douche when they have crossed the line from jerk to major asshole.
HBO and Showtime have always lent themselves to soft porn and bad language, but now shows on regular cable push the boundaries by creating new words to stand in for the ones they are still restricted from saying. On the cable show Battlestar Gallactica they use the word Frakk. Fricking and Freaking are not uncommon to hear at any given time on TV either.
And don’t get me started on so-called “Reality” shows that attempt to bleep out language. Jerry Springer is among the worst offender, but the list grows longer every year. Now even shows that aim for the label of family entertainment are filled with bleeps. Prime-time shows like Kitchen Nightmares are getting away with murder, so to speak. Most kids are savvy and they know exactly what is being said. I’m not sure why they even bother to try and censor it! And personally I don’t know why they broadcast such low-brow shows.
Recently, many of the movies I’ve view have been rated R simply due to language. Movies like My Best Friend’s Girl, Role Models and Forgetting Sarah Marshall are filled the the f-bomb and many other colorful phrases just to name a few. While there is zero to mild nudity and very little violence, they get slapped with an R because they used the Fuck more than once. If you drop the F-Bomb once only you can squeak by with a PG-13 rating, but any more than that and you have to be 17 to hear it! Never mind that PG-13 movies still can get away with the word shit more than a dozen times, but, somehow, that not considered too terrible.
It occurred to me not too long ago that the F-Bomb is really no longer a bomb at all. It has lost its shock value for many and become common place. Even good girls get to tell people to fuck-off these days and it isn’t a big deal. In fact, many her peers will be cheering her on if she drops the f-bomb on someone who’s been mean to her.
And make no mistake, the fairer sex actually cusses more then men. Well, at least in mixed company. Men don’t mind using coarse language when with other men, but there is a bit hesitation speak their minds when around women. Many men want to appear more refined then they are, so they try to reign in the bad language. Women are the ones who have grown accustomed to cussing and not caring who hears.
James Lipton on Bravo’s The Actor’s Studio commented on this phenomenon. He observed that the women who graced the stage were much more likely to let the f-bomb and other bad language fly. It was, surprisingly, the men who were reluctant to cuss in front of the audience. Why is this I wonder? Perhaps it because bad language in a woman is no longer a turn off?
In any case, I am calling for the f-bomb to be replaced. Although I agree that sometimes the word fuck flows naturally and fits perfectly into the conversation, many times it is cliched. It is a worn out expression that doesn’t hold much shock value any more. When you are faced with a great deal of frustration, pain and anger it is time to come up with a more creative insult. Say something like, “I’d wish you’d die a horrible painful death” or “May you rot in hell” or “I hope monkeys fly out of your ass.” or “May werewolves tear you limb from limb” or “I hope vampires find you before I do!” Just don’t drop F-bomb because its handy or well-known. Reach for something the expresses your emotion uniquely.
Perhaps it is best to write these insults down, think them over and then move on. Anger is a natural emotion and should not be left undealt with, but sometimes striking out verbally or physically can be more destructive than anything. Thinking about the insults, instead of letting popular culture take over, is a good way to slow the anger and down and express it more selectively in my opinion. So why NOT be more creative?