Friday, November 28, 2014

Could We Watch our Language?

I've been watching a large number of "fail" videos and Vine videos. (6 second videos, mostly humorous).

Some of the videos have been funny, really funny. This one has some funny bits:
Yet one of the things I've noticed about Vines, fail videos (that aren't of Russian or Chinese car crashes) is the frequency of vulgarity. The videos toss off "N** r" with a frequency that could shame Kat Williams. They f -bomb more times than George Carlin did in a lifetime. Beaches are neither trees nor sandy places.

In an effort to derive humor from incongruity the vulgarities are frequently uttered by toddlers and tots in car seats, children who shouldn't have an idea of the meaning of these words, much less have thought through the connotations of their utterance.

There are very few "fag" appellations in the videos I've watched. Not quite sure why that's the case, but it does seem to be so. Humiliation seems to be a common theme, but that's for another post. Right now I'm concerned about verbal vulgarity.

I wish we'd drop dropping "f," "b," "c," and even "n" bombs. All of  us. Even black males attempting to be the next Kevin Hart or Kat Williams should drop the "n" word. Yes, black folks and "my nizzle" one another. Snoop Dog made it permissible. (By that same logic, shouldn't it be the prerogative of women only to use the "b" bomb?)

Vulgarity derives part of its power from being extra-ordinary speech. It derives some of its power from being words forbidden for  children's use. We are in danger of making these valuable expletives powerless and meaningless by the frequency with which we use them. 

So guys - can we please find new ways to be disparaging? Favorite writer Fred Buechner used to use "nig-nog" in his Book of Beebe novels. I don't have any female focused derogatives in mind just yet. And for the f-bomb we might borrow from Norwegian or Swedish. Or follow the Scandinavian lead and use the devil as a source for our disrespect.

Please mamma-knullare! 

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