Not Fucking Important

Tuesday morning, I accidentally caught two snippets of news from the Today Show – news that I imagine undoubtedly shook the core of the earth.

On Apr. 20, Boston Red Sox orator and (I guess) player, David Ortiz, exclaimed to a crowd of terror weary fans that Boston is their “fucking city.” Naturally, in the 150 second sprint before the next commercial, the Today anchors needed to ponder the outraged expressed by some that this was inappropriate.

On Apr. 21, North Dakota NBC affiliate news anchor A.J. Clemente mistakenly said “fucking shit” while live-miked during the station ID and just before his career debut.

Here’s the Today Show recap of the latter incident.

Excuse me for a moment to digress: I can’t help but notice the irony of an NBC program, let alone the Today Show, polling the necessity or lack thereof of Clemente’s firing, especially in light of NBC’s firing of Today anchor Ann Curry for reasons that pretty much sum up to undeserved ego and blind hubris.

Back to the point, which I can some up as follows:

Who fucking cares?

Why are we using any oxygen to dignify this “issue”? Specifically, why are we deluding ourselves into thinking that we can, and perhaps should, get our fragile sensibilities offended by the utterance of one of the seven evil, no-good, naughty words on television. What is to be gained by maintaining this absurd veil of puritanical, pointless, false morality.

I know, I know. The children. They’re innocent, and special, and pristine, and clean.

And by children, what we really mean is “If anyone hears my kids saying that word, I’ll look like an asshole.”

Let’s be honest. No one in their truly right mind believes that any child has ever turned to a life of crime, drugs, and AIDS-infected anal sodomy because they heard the word “fuck” on television. Granted, I’m sure there are parents who think that. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there are still people in this country who think that a crystal will cure an ill humour caused by a troll living in your stomach. Neither of these minorities are significant enough to phase our society’s ever-warping rules of order.

Thus, we’re back to the original point: people want to keep the minds of children as pure as driven snow, because there is nothing more precious, except maybe the naive, meaningless facade that their children have never heard the word.

Let’s back up a second. Boston. The argument there is that there are children at the game. Yes, there are. And even if we really were trying to keep their ears virgin, that pretty much went out the window when whatever adult that brought them heard the total cost for a beer, coke and two hot dogs. Not that this was the first time the kid heard it, unless they were kept in a vault until seconds before that game. I’ve been to Boston. I like it there. Say what you want, but I think the official name of the city, dating back centuries, is “Ye Olde and Respectful City of Fahkin’ Boston.” I defy you to cross the street, regardless of what color the light is, without hearing some obscenity yelled from a car directly at you. It is impossible. Spare me the bullshit about children at a BoSox game, or any game for that matter, having their innocence annihilated beyond repair by an athlete.

As for Mr. Clemente, I’ll answer the question everyone’s asking: yes, he should have gotten fired, but not for mumbling obscenities, and certainly not as much as the producer who hired him. What brain-dead moron thought he’d be a good anchor? He is awful. I think he said “fucking shit” because he was predicting what he was about to do in his pants when the camera came on. Did he even interview, let alone audition, for that job? Ever hear of a camera test? Aren’t you suppose to get your feet wet doing some public access TV crap in college or high school? Practice at home with a camcorder or a phone or a mirror. Try speaking first. Man, he just sucks.

More importantly, in the course of one week, we went to watching a manhunt for a guy who indiscriminately blew people up to wringing our hands over a guy who made the most unforgivable crime in our society: looking bad on TV when you’re not supposed to. We were so shocked and appalled that, in the course of six days, we played it on YouTube 1,621,713 times. So what is that? 1,621,713 nightmares wrought upon our collective psyche? 1,621,713 people who will never see the world the same again? I’m sure there’s a study that shows the toll the word “fuck” uttered by a stranger does to a person. Well, multiply that times 1,621,713. My god.

And as far as the children go…. Look, at some point, we all reach the age where we mysteriously know the word. We’re not going to hell because of it, nor for hearing it or saying it. The mere concept that there is such a thing as “bad” words is absurd and frankly more offensive than all of the “bad” words combined. That said, even if we are going to play this charade, can we at least tone down the bullshit, and not make “news” out of it?

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