Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When the F-Bombs Fall

When the news is all about an F-Bomb instead of real bombs, that's probably a good thing.
Red Sox slugger made news this weekend with his speech prior to Saturday's baseball game at Fenway Park.  Let's just say he accentuated his speech with some flowery language that drew cheers from some while others were covering their children's ears. Meanwhile, networks and the FCC might have been using strong language of their own as they realized that Ortiz had just dropped the F-Bomb on live television.
Soon came praise for Ortiz and his speech and criticism too. And t-shirts. They had to turn it into a t-shirt.
Now I'm not one to curse very often. If I'm talking like that, it is a sure sign of a wealth of discontent - and a warning to keep your distance.

Otherwise, I try to avoid such language. I hear it too often from too many people. I believe we should elevate our language instead of lower it into the gutter of society. I've seen quality and intelligent people suddenly appear and sound like lesser versions of themselves because of their language. It pains me to see and hear people represent themselves in such a way. If you sound and talk like a low-class buffoon, people just might see you as such as well.
But in the case of Ortiz, I cut him some slack. Thankfully, the FCC did also. They recognized the situation and gave him the benefit of the doubt. It was an emotional moment and his language reflected the power and defiance that it represented.
I remember a professor of mine in college talking about obscene language. His point was that profanity was properly used when describing things that are profane. He cited the phrase "War is hell" as an example - even though that is hardly obscene in today's speak.
Since then, I've seen a place for obscenity. I still don't like to hear it and I won't use it in any of my books. I figure the world has enough of it without me adding to the profanity-lace noise we hear.
I don't like to hear it for the sake of cursing or as a means to be funny. That's just idiotic and a ploy to make up for a lack of substance.
But quite often I hear strong language in songs and see the power and descriptive nature that it brings. In one song,  Bruce Cockburn sings with conviction, "If I had a rocket launcher, some son of a bitch would die." There's power in those words. Same with in his song, "Call It Democracy." He sings "You don't really give a flying fuck about people in misery." The obscene describing the obscene.
There's all kinds of debate now as to whether Big Papi should have his mouth washed out with soap or if it was the proper thing to say. Certainly, it wasn't something kids probably needed to hear, but it also provided children a lesson in where profanity might actually serve a purpose.Sometimes the situation is just that obscene.
Ortiz was speaking from the heart and speaking with emotion. He was talking about a week in Boston that was pretty hellish - and that's putting it mildly.
Sometimes when there are no words to describe something, an F-Bomb just might do. 

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