Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Too much of a bad thing

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   In the course of my adult life, I have lived and worked in situations where the use of profanity has been the norm. In many cases, certain descriptive words and phrases were colorful replacements of punctuation.

   However, these terms were always used to express a deep emotion or sentiment. They were rarely, if ever, used in an off hand manner, nor were they ever used in mixed company.

   As long as you were not on the receiving end, some of these tirades were masterworks of imagination and marvels of execution. Run afoul of an irate bosun’s mate or a furious First Sergeant and the dressing down that follows will make the next argument you get into with your significant other sound like Gregorian chant sung by a choir of nuns.

   What Shakespeare was to the sonnet, Sorsovino to sculpture and Schwarzenegger to silly accents, these people are to swearing. I have seen butt chewings that lasted over 20 minutes and never once did they repeat themselves. The saltiest seaman or toughest paratrooper who was having his deficiencies pointed out was reduced to a weak, quivering mass, nearly in tears. Moreover, I can guarantee you that whatever the mistake was that led to the confrontation was never repeated.

   Honorable mention should be given to those folks who comprise the editorial board of newspapers and other news organizations. If you want to see the paint blister off the wall, just watch the exchange of views, particularly during election time. It ain’t pretty.

   This all leads to the point. It seems that nowadays it is ‘cool’ to swear. There are no apparent reasons. Just having a potty mouth and knowing the vocabulary is all the excuse that is needed. Some of the major contributors to this phenomenon are the shock jocks and comedians on TV.

   I have always been a big fan of Robin Williams. I think he got robbed blind by the Oscar committee for his performance in “Awakenings”. However, he has stepped over the line in his latest HBO special. (I referred to this program in a recent column where Williams brought more national attention to Governor Sanford’s latest indiscretion. By the way, a tip of the humor hat to the staffers at a local paper. They referred to Sanford as “Mark Sanford, R, Buenos Aires”.)

   The program lasted one hour and 28 minutes. During this time, Williams used the ‘F’ word 205 times. That is an average of once every 25.7 seconds. I am not making this up. I may be going out on a limb, but I think that is a tad excessive.

   Anyone can swear. You can teach a parrot to swear, but to what end? If the idea is to shock, think again. Shock wears off with repetition.

   So, here is a little challenge to entertainers. Cut back on the foul language. For example, Mr. Williams, the next  special you do only use the ‘F’ word 102 times. That way you may get an old fan back. © 2010, Harmony County

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Written by harmonycounty

January 15, 2010 at 4:42 p01

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