I can remember accidentally dropping the F-bomb while playing the name game with the cast of The Rugrats (Chuckie-co-buckie…Banana-fana-fo…) and crying for the next 10 minutes because I felt so guilty. I can remember the overwhelming guilt I felt when my brother thought he heard me say the word "damn" when, in fact, I was just speaking in a Scottish accent. I can remember watching Save the Last Dance with a friend at the movies and declaring afterward, "Well the movie with the most curse words award goes to THAT ONE." And every time I heard my dad swear, I felt a mili-second of actual, physical pain and embarrassment. Such was my do-gooder childhood mentality.
Since then, I've mellowed substantially. With high school, college, and an interest and film comes the ability to stomach just about anything. I've seen my fair share of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, and most of it doesn't bother me in the least. Except for swearing.
It's not swearing in books, movies, or TV that gets me. In fact, I believe that a well-place curse word can be HILARIOUS. It can make or break a punchline. I've often wished that I swore on many an occasion, because it would make a good deal of my jokes and impressions a lot funnier. It's swearing in actual conversation that drives me nuts, particularly when I'm talking to a fellow Mormon/Christian. Every time someone around me swears, I still feel a twinge of embarrassment and, for lack of a better word, pain.
I've been asked several times why I have such a problem with it if I'm supposed to be this worldly English major that watch movies by Quentin Tarantino and understand that there's a world of language outside the Mormon Idaho/Utah bubble. It's something I've wondered myself. It's not fair that I choose to watch these movies and read books with foul language and then get on other people's case for swearing in front of me. What's with that, Annalee?
Well, the answer is this: it's not fair, really. I just expect a little more out of my friends who know better. I grew up in a household where swearing was off limits, but my Dad continuously swore, and I always resented it. I never thought it was fair (or responsible) that my father would teach us not to swear and then swear himself. And it wasn't just that- when my dad swore, he wasn't making funny jokes, he was angry. My dad wasn't saying curse words as part of a punchline, he was yelling them at my siblings and I. Those types of words were always coupled with slamming doors, yelling, and tears.
To this day, whenever I hear that type of language directed at me, or in my presence, I can feel all those emotions creeping back up. And it bugs the CRAP out of me.
So, my point is this: I choose to read books and watch movies that have swearing in them, but I would never ask someone to be submitted to that themselves, involuntarily. I don't see why, if you're in the company of ten people, and one of them might be made uncomfortable by the language you're using (and believe has certain spiritual ramifications yourself), you would choose to swear. It just doesn't make sense to me. It's inconsiderate and lazy (I mean, really, you can't find another word to express how much you really, really dislike homework/poorly-made chicken?). I don't think people would use "fag" in the presence of a gay person, or "nigger" in the presence of a black person-not saying crappy things in front of a Christian/Mormon person just seems like the next step. If I can hold back from dropping the B-word (my word of choice, were I the swearin' type) whenever I stub my toe or want to sound edgy, I think we all can. Amiright?
This rant isn't meant to accomplish anything more than to rant, really. Haha. Sooo there it it.
Peace out, Mother-fathers!