Four-Letter Television Coming Soon

Like a lot of parents, I suspect, I try to curtail my use of obscenities when the kids are around.  I’m not always successful, but I do try.  It’s not that I think that hearing certain words will somehow turn them evil; it’s that I’d just as soon my kids weren’t introduced to such language and such a young age.  I’m not going to completely shield them from rough language, but I’ll do my best to avoid adding to what they do encounter.  Especially since, in the future, they may be encountering swearing somewhere they hadn’t previously: on television.

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission ban on on-air cursing is unconstitutional.  This means that your kids may very well hear more colorful language coming from the idiot box.  Language you or I might not want them to hear.  (Remember George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”?  Yeah, he might have to rework that a bit.)

In practice, of course, if you’re an involved parent who does care what sort of language your kids hear, chances are they’re not going to be watching any shows that would take advantage of this change.  I don’t think we’re going to hear Elmo dropping the F-bomb anytime soon and I doubt the folks over at SpongeBob were sitting around thinking that their show would be so much better if only they could be cursing all the time (although, come to think of it, it certainly couldn’t make it any worse.)

So in the long run, I don’t think this decision is going to make much difference at all.  We in the United States already live in a society where profanity is tolerated if not accepted in most situations; I don’t think extending that to a few television shows will make much difference.

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