mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

F*** this post!

I've started to become a fan of Penn and Teller's show Bullshit on Showtime. A bunch of the stuff they've covered reflects my own opinions (ie the episodes they did on PETA and recycling).

Yesterday they had a show on profanity. They found some fringe people to talk about how evil profanity is and make fun of them. They also complained about how the FCC has censored such performers as Howard Stern and Mancow.

As much as I dislike the hand of government, I have trouble getting too worked up over the government fining Howard and his ilk. There are so many forms of media these days - broadcast radio, satelite radio, broadcast TV, cable including premium TV, newspapers, magazines, direct to video, and above all the internet - that I don't really see removing a small amount of content from the most accessible of media. I have some sympathy for people like Lileks who want to be able to turn on the radio without their kid hearing certain stuff. As long as all these other mediums exist, it seems like a small cost to pay, as much as I worry when I hear policies promoted with the phrase "but think of the children!"

While I'm sure that most of people on the show wanted bans on cursing, I think they also wanted something that's more laudable - more polite discourse in society. I think there is a time and a place for certain language (if you have ever read the other blog I write for, NewsAmuse you know that). With friends, with coworkers who I know don't mind, and when I'm alone (espcially when there is someone I disagree with on TV), I curse all the time. But in work, shopping, ect, and on this blog that has a more broad audience, I try to watch what I say.

I work in tech support, and I have to say that I lose respect for people when they start off a conversation with a string of F-bombs. It certainly doesn't make me want to go the extra mile for them. Sure, if you just found out that you lost all your files, I'll grant you a few choice words, but when you start off a conversation by saying that you "can't log into your f'ing computer", I start to wonder about you.

I think that when dealing with strangers or customer service reps, a certain degree of politeness is expected. I also don't think that not letting Stern say the n-word on broadcast radio, when the web and satelite are available, marks aweful levels of dissent crushing. And if you don't agree with me, F*** you.


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