Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Hysteria Over Vulgarity

Social conservatives are up in arms over the vulgarity unleashed by a thirteen-year old girl on a morning show live on network TV. Apparently the teen said the "C word" twice (and no, that word was not "Christian" or "conservative").

Why are some people mortally afraid of the sounds that come out of a person's mouth? Talk about superstitious nonsense. The social conservatives' ban on public vulgarity is consistent with the leftists' political correctness crusade, which also entails the censorship of "hate speech," racist epithets, etc. The points of view of both camps when it comes to selective censorship (not just of words, but potentially art, pornography, etc.) are so eerily similar that one sometimes wonders how meaningful and useful is the patented political dichotomy of conservatism and leftism.

The Today show segment mentioned above regarding the incidentally swearing thirteen-year old is specifically designed to grant more arbitrary discretion to the government regarding the enforcement of speech standards by eroding our judgment and respect for the rule of law. The matter at hand was the spurious connection of abusive text messages and actual violence committed against a fellow student.

In the angle pursued by the Today show, we are to all become as the "wise Latina" Justice Sotomayor and seek a compassionate, "empathetic" basis for law, which, because of the subjectivist nature of such a legal disposition, would not be law at all. It would be the granting of legislative and judicial fiat to those government officials who may or may not have our best interests in mind, and who may use such power, particularly in time of "crisis," to shut down undesirable viewpoints. But liberals and social conservatives are routinely unable to make such connections, due to their instrumental view of government as a mechanism to promote their respective causes, which all-too-rarely entail the expansion of social and economic freedom.

In my minority view as a "hardcore libertarian" (see quiz for a loose political categorization), there is liberty and tyranny, free speech and censorship, and the so-called political philosophies of the two major parties are but convenient veneers for the accumulation and wielding of power, each in their own particular and symbiotic way. One wonders what would happen if a philosophically consistent political party could even rise to power in such a climate of ideological confusion occasionally referred to as Kultursmog.

I concede that I just don't get what constitutes vulgarity in the minds of most people. There are no set philosophically consistent rules. Apparently Americans are of the mind, to adapt Justice Potter Stewart's comment of pornography, that they know vulgarity "when they see it," or in the case of the "C-word" uttering teenager, when they hear it. (See Carlin's The Seven Words on YT above for more on what I mean.)

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