By Laura Modrall | firstname.lastname@example.org
I can still remember sitting in that packed movie theater watching Brendan Fraser jump around in one of my favorite childhood movies, “George of the Jungle.” To this day, I often refer to the actor by his character’s name.
Anyway, close to the end, there is a scene between Ursula (the heroine), her nagging mother and her hen-pecked father. Breaking character, however, this scene displayed her father standing up for his daughter’s wishes despite his wife’s opposition.
At the end of the scene, once both females depart to further the plot, the dad is left alone, and under his breath mutters, “That woman’s a pain in the ass.”
Keep in mind I was six years old, and fairly sheltered, but I honestly couldn’t remember hearing any expletives in a movie before that time. It didn’t ruin the experience, as I said, it was one of my favorite go-to movies, but it did jar me a little.
Why am I reminiscing, you might ask?
Well, something happened recently that pushed me over the edge.
I was sitting in the dining hall at school, scarfing down a grilled cheese and a bowl of chili, when the peaceful serenity that usually accompanies my meal was broken.
At a table next to me were several “gentlemen” having a good ole’ time discussing … what else? Shoes.
Now, what I gathered from this very boisterous conversation was that said shoes were designer sneakers, and apparently the other men in the group were jealous of that fortunate soul donning the stylish footwear.
If the conversation was on the Jerry Springer show, it would have sounded something like this …
“What the BLEEP dude, those are some BLEEPIN’ awesome BLEEEEEEEPS!”
“BLEEP yeah brah, BLEEP cost me a BLEEP load.”
“BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP and … uh … totally BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!”
There might have been more substance, but all I could hear was an unnecessarily loud string of redundancy.
Let me just say that I don’t consider myself a goody two-shoes (well, maybe a little). Growing up in the theater, there isn’t a lot that shocks me, but I do have a problem with foul language being loudly spat out while I’m trying to enjoy my sandwich!
That was the profanity that broke the prude’s back.
Sitting there hearing them swear, for no reason other than they simply had nothing better to say, really got me thinking. I hear those same words, which hardly ever seem to be used according to their dictionary definition, every single day. When walking to class, while eating lunch, grocery shopping, working on projects in the library, from people when they’re angry or even when they’re glad, and I feel that society has become sort of numb to it all.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be all holier-than-thou, but what I am saying is that people seem to have absolutely no censorship, whether talking to their friends or their boss.
The occasional curse word is tolerable, like when something goes wrong or when adding zip to a punch line, but so many limit themselves to a select few words when there are hundreds to choose from. For those, I recommend investing in a thesaurus.
Even children hear and spew these words and phrases on a regular basis, with no idea what they are really saying.
Perhaps I am a prude after all, but I can’t help but think that if a 6-year-old today were to hear that line from “George of the Jungle,” it would not have affected them at all today.