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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the "F" Bomb

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Posted

I hereby petition that the current ban on profanity be lifted. Let the court record that this gesture was made in a spirit of cordiality and without malice.

Not that I want to turn this place into Sodom and Gomorrah or anything, but my petition is grounded in three things I suppose:

1) Profanity can be utilized to good effect. There's nothing like a well placed "F" bomb, and its absence, can at times, be rather painful, like shaving with one of those dollar store razors. Sometimes, to quote DaveT, "it's about the marvellous F-word that is essential to that phrase." I think we can trust our members not to cheapen the utilization of profanity.

2) One may want to quote someone else's words that include profanity.

3) The real source of this petition is grounded in annoyance, truth be told. Over in the Art thread, I kept trying to post an image of a work entitled Artist's Shi t, but it repeatedly would not accept the URL because it contained the word sh*t in it; it took me what seemed an eternity to figure this out. :(

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Posted

There is also an issue with typing perfectly innocent and acceptable clauses or phrases that contain swear words, if one looks carefully.

For instance, [What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?]ake mushrooms.

Inversely, minor alterations to the spelling, or using bold, underline, or italic tags can easily beat the censor, thus rendering it obsolete.

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Posted

Sure, but attempting to "beat" the censor is an easy way to help decide who to ban.

What are the "good effect" uses of profanity, DCD? For info, there has always been a censor at this site; it only disappeared when the software changed and the current version is a test of said software.

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Posted

People aren't attempting to beat the censor because they're being rebellious.

Sometimes (for instance, using a word like shitake, or quoting someone else), reading is made much more inconvenient and frustrating when [What the point of wearing...] cuts into the flow of text.

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Posted

Profanity offers a relief that's denied even to prayer. - Twain.

If we wanted to really see society absolutely melt down, and require a sanitarium at every corner, then all we have to do is outlaw profanity.

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Posted

I think most mature people know when to use profanity, and when not to. Profanity is, or at least can be, expressive and widens the expressiveness of discourse. The censor will turn us all into hypocrites eventually, as we'll all have the occasion where we'll want to use a swear word and find ourselves fighting the censor for a moment.

But when profanity is overused, it sort of narrows the expressiveness of discourse. But the only reasons I can think of for censoring for vulgarity is "for the kids", but generally I don't think the kids are as affected as the adults who hear them. There's still the idea that certain things are inappropriate for kids to say or do. But, if we started swearing like pirates (pirates are sailors, right?), I can imagine school libraries blacklisting us from their computers, in theory anyway.

Maybe I just forget when the censor was added in the first place. Maybe I said something different then :)

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Posted (edited)

Salinger, Hemingway, Joyce, Artaud, the Cohen brothers in film, have famously utilized profanity as part of their works; perhaps, if anything, the ban could be lifted so as to find ourselves in good company. :)

There is profanity, rooted in pain and suffering, here Twain's words as always prove entirely relevant, at least insofar as, and I shall speak only for myself, TGL is a place of therapeutic benefit, and then there is profane profanity, a kind of laziness of the mind. Indeed, I am not wholly unsympathetic to the once Mormon President, Spencer W. Kimball's contention that the utilization of profanity is "the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly." I think it is this latter profanity that is justifiably or unjustifiably feared will plague TGL if the ban were lifted.

It's a matter of trust I suppose. Can the members of TGL manage their affairs democratically and with maximized freedom of expression, or will these two things, coupled together, result in the forum, as so many are seemingly want to do, just above 4chan par?

What I find almost ironic about this is, in the Art thread, I am playing role of Roger Scruton apologist, and in all actuality, am indeed sympathetic to his aesthetic sentiment, his role of prophet crying out in the wilderness demanding beauty in a world full of such filth and ugliness, while here, I am demanding the ugliness be let in. Interestingly enough, I tried to bring a bit of this ugliness in by posting one of those famously ugly "postmodern" works of art, but couldn't in light of the profanity ban. Has TGL heeded the call of Mr. Scruton?

Edited by DeadCanDance

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Posted

I think I've removed most of the filters.

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Posted

That's fine that most of the filters have been removed; it's kind of in keeping with the community self-policing policy upon which we are relying instead of banning. It's just a shame that we felt we had to resort to extensive filtering. If we end up getting a lot of the "feeble brain" profanity to which DCD referred, we can just reinstitute the filtering for keeps. In the meanwhile, we could also use the rep system to express our distaste for the utilization of (let's just call it) unconstructive profanity.

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Posted

Thank you gentleman (Hugo, Michael) for addressing this concern (complaint?) without any manifest umbrage.

I apologize if I came across as being unwarrantedly petulant, such was certainly not my intention; my superego has clawed its way into my ego over that last post of mine.

Now that this change has been made, I want to make it known that if anyone starts lazily flinging profanity around, to the detriment of the "proper" use of profanity, the following is in store for them:

pikachu_bitch_slap0.jpg

Or maybe just a neg-rep.

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Posted (edited)

Hmm. Not something I was ever real concerned about ( more amused than anything else, the filters have wreaked havoc in some PM's) but removing the filters is not that big of a deal either. Unless, of course, it just becomes ridiculous. I have a sailor's mouth in normal life, not on this site though unless it's a casual conversation. Any site where I lace my posts with profanity generally means I simply don't respect it that much at an intellectual level. But profanity has its place - especially if you're just quoting something. Regardless, hopefully, self-policing works because this is the last conversation I ever want to have about constructive or nonconstructive profanity. I shudder to think about what sort of policing threads will crop up because people disagree about what is inappropriate or appropriate profanity. We self-reflect on these things too much already. Long threads on this would be a disaster.

Edited by mosaic
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Posted

If you allow profanity you are going to get people who have nothing else to offer.

What we have here is a cultural collapse. Go here and download the book if you want a thorough understanding of what that means. One symptom of a collapse is that the people reject all standards of politeness, morality, public behavior, excellence of any kind. That is why we have reality shows on tv instead of quiz shows and sitcoms. That is why the top stars are emphatic slobs instead of talented performers. That is why profanity has replaced vocabulary. That is why the best kids' show in the last forty years specializes in distractions instead of demonstrations. (In the 50s, kids' shows were all at least an hour long and many were up to four hours. Sesame Street skits are measured in minutes.)

You can't stop the collapse, but you don't have to surrender to it just yet.

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Posted (edited)

If you allow profanity you are going to get people who have nothing else to offer.

What we have here is a cultural collapse. Go here and download the book if you want a thorough understanding of what that means. One symptom of a collapse is that the people reject all standards of politeness, morality, public behavior, excellence of any kind. That is why we have reality shows on tv instead of quiz shows and sitcoms. That is why the top stars are emphatic slobs instead of talented performers. That is why profanity has replaced vocabulary. That is why the best kids' show in the last forty years specializes in distractions instead of demonstrations. (In the 50s, kids' shows were all at least an hour long and many were up to four hours. Sesame Street skits are measured in minutes.)

You can't stop the collapse, but you don't have to surrender to it just yet.

I don't think anyone is rejecting any "standards" - at least they're not advocating that senselessly vulgar conduct is acceptable. What has happened is merely the rejection of a clumsy tool which limited freedom of expression without regard for extenuating factors. Yes, now it is possible to swear like a sailor-- but here, as offline, that is not without its own consequences.

Edited by John Castillo
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Posted

If you allow profanity you are going to get people who have nothing else to offer.

What we have here is a cultural collapse. Go here and download the book if you want a thorough understanding of what that means. One symptom of a collapse is that the people reject all standards of politeness, morality, public behavior, excellence of any kind. That is why we have reality shows on tv instead of quiz shows and sitcoms. That is why the top stars are emphatic slobs instead of talented performers. That is why profanity has replaced vocabulary. That is why the best kids' show in the last forty years specializes in distractions instead of demonstrations. (In the 50s, kids' shows were all at least an hour long and many were up to four hours. Sesame Street skits are measured in minutes.)

You can't stop the collapse, but you don't have to surrender to it just yet.

I think you need to put the Rupert Murdoch rags down.

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Posted

I think you need to put the Rupert Murdoch rags down.

I don't know anybody by that name. Please elucidate.

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Posted (edited)

I think you need to put the Rupert Murdoch rags down.

I don't know anybody by that name. Please elucidate.

Rupert Murdoch rags would be media (newspapers, television, etc.) owned by Rupert Murdoch. Here is a list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation

Many of these companies (especially some of the more prominent ones) are considered to be conservative, reactionary, and potentially fear-mongering by many of its political and cultural opponents.

Edited by the sad clown

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Posted (edited)

If you allow profanity you are going to get people who have nothing else to offer.

What we have here is a cultural collapse. Go here and download the book if you want a thorough understanding of what that means. One symptom of a collapse is that the people reject all standards of politeness, morality, public behavior, excellence of any kind. That is why we have reality shows on tv instead of quiz shows and sitcoms. That is why the top stars are emphatic slobs instead of talented performers. That is why profanity has replaced vocabulary. That is why the best kids' show in the last forty years specializes in distractions instead of demonstrations. (In the 50s, kids' shows were all at least an hour long and many were up to four hours. Sesame Street skits are measured in minutes.)

You can't stop the collapse, but you don't have to surrender to it just yet.

Are you suggesting that profanity cannot be a part of intelligent, eloquent vocabulary? Do you really expect children to sit still for up to four hours watching the television (or for any reason)? Do you not think you're exaggerating a wee bit with the generalisation in your third sentence?

You do realise that people have been swearing like sailors for centuries, don't you? Have you spotted the lovely little C-word in Shakey's Henry V, or the good fuck in The Merry Wives of Windsor? Perhaps the dozens of references to penises, vaginas, and sexually transmitted diseases tickled you. Perhaps not.

I think you're the first person I've seen to complain about children's TV dumbing down whilst using Sesame St. as an example.

Edited by DaveT
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Posted

"Are you suggesting that profanity cannot be a part of intelligent, eloquent vocabulary?"

It can. I've seen it done. But it almost never is. Profanity is primarily an expression of frustration, not of intelligence or eloquence.

"Do you really expect children to sit still for up to four hours watching the television (or for any reason)?"

Yes. That is normal for kids over the age of 6 or so. Bear in mind that Sesame Street was specifically designed to cater to younger kids, and older kids watch it because there is nothing else available. When I was a kid I had to shower, put on clean clothes, then walk a little over a mile to the theater for the Saturday morning cartoon show: an hour of cartoons, an hour of a live radio show on stage, a serial movie and a feature length movie. Four hours in all. And then I had to walk home. I don't know of anybody who forgot why they were there during the presentation.

"Do you not think you're exaggerating a wee bit with the generalisation in your third sentence?"

Quoting: One symptom of a collapse is that the people reject all standards of politeness, morality, public behavior, excellence of any kind. That is taken from the link above. You can see it in action if you look for it, although if you are under under 40 you might never have seen any better examples of public behavior. I am pushing 70; I can remember washing the breakfast dishes hastily so we could sit and listen to The Breakfast Club on the radio. It was broadcast live every morning from some big hotel in some big city and it featured people who simply talked to each other. Yes, it's true: there used to be professional conversationalists; people who were famous for talking to each other, and they were good enough to make a living that way. I have never heard a good conversation since then. Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and a few others did some fairly good scenes in movies, but other than that there is nothing to compare. When television was invented there was a Broadway show named Darn Yankees. Occasionally a host would slip and say Damn Yankees on the air, and his cohost would quickly correct him: Darn Yankees. You used nice words in public in those days, quote or no quote. In entertainment we had ... You know, the names don't seem to convey the impressions I wish they would. What seems more significant is that the stars of those days were almost always seen wearing suits. With ties. And their hair was neatly combed. Even bums wore suits in those days, if they could find one. People wore suits to watch baseball games, or ride airplanes, or just to go to a restaurant. Now people don't even wear suits when they go to church. The only recent example of habitual good grooming was Michael J. Fox in the tv show Family Ties (1982-1989), and he was presented as a joke. (My favorite line: He was shown a clip of hippies protesting and he asked "What were they protesting, good grooming?")

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Posted

I think you need to put the Rupert Murdoch rags down.

I don't know anybody by that name. Please elucidate.

Rupert Murdoch rags would be media (newspapers, television, etc.) owned by Rupert Murdoch. Here is a list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation

Many of these companies (especially some of the more prominent ones) are considered to be conservative, reactionary, and potentially fear-mongering by many of its political and cultural opponents.

I have heard of a few names on that list. The only name I have frequented is askmen.com and I gave that up because it seemed so insipid and out of touch with reality.

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Posted

Boy, I'm sure glad those days are behind us. :mrgreen: Can you imagine wearing a suit to a baseball game? :shakehead:

Thankfully, suppressed countercultural currents were already actively at work in those days to undermine and sink the prevailing paradigm, like the precursors to rock and roll in music and the literature of Henry Miller, banned until around 1960 but peppered with the dreaded word "fuck." :wave:

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Posted

It's nice to know that the best way to raise kids is to stick them in front of the TV for four or more hours at a time, anyways. dry.gif

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Posted

When I was a kid I had to shower, put on clean clothes, then walk a little over a mile to the theater for the Saturday morning cartoon show: an hour of cartoons, an hour of a live radio show on stage, a serial movie and a feature length movie. Four hours in all. And then I had to walk home. I don't know of anybody who forgot why they were there during the presentation.

Time you could have spent exercising or doing community service! :angry:

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