This is the kind of post I dislike writing, because it’s not usually my nature to want to sound as though I’m scolding. I don’t think the people who read this blog are in need of scolding on the points I am about to make — besides which, I’d rather write to you as peers and as friends, not as my students. So this is not for the regular readers (if any) but about the ”conservatives” who are found around the internet. Some, in their behavior, are often indistinguishable from the leftists, who pride themselves on being transgressive.
So I hope I can be excused for venting here. I wonder if I can get an Amen?
It seems there’s no subject that isn’t considered joke fodder on certain ”conservative” forums (and blogs, too). I’ve seen the grimmest and most disturbing news stories provide material for bad jokes, with seemingly everybody trying to outdo each other in gross, or even blasphemous “humor.” Many of the ‘wits’ who resort to the crude ‘comedy’ are self-identified (or should that be ‘self-styled’?) Christians, as well as being ‘right-wing.’
I’ve seen flippant threads about gruesome murders, cannibalism, and now this.
Is it any wonder I rarely look in on that forum these days? Their politics, mostly ‘cuckservative’ in nature, and their fondness for ‘DR3’ pleadings, are enough to annoy me into staying clear of the place. But beyond that, it’s become distressing to realize that our folk are becoming so jaded and unshockable that they can joke about something like the subject of that article. Suppose the parents of the young woman in question happened to read these comments, or to hear about them from someone? I suppose if that were known, they would joke and laugh about that, too.
Remember when those articles appeared a while back about the ‘experts’ and the leftist wreckers promoting anthropophagy? I’d rather not say the more well-known name. Well, that too was treated as one big joke, rather than provoking shock, which is just what should be the reaction of a civilized person. But all the comments I read were the usual stale, hackneyed jokes about ‘fava beans and a nice Chianti.’ By the way, I recognized the ‘fava-beans-and-Chianti’ jokes as being from that movie Silence of the Lambs, though I never saw it — so often do people make the same old tired ‘jokes’ containing that phrase.
People like to defend those jokes as being just ‘black humor’, and a coping mechanism, just trying to lighten things up when disturbing subject matter is discussed, etc., etc. Always some kind of ‘psychological’ pseudo-explanation is offered up for every bad habit or quality people exhibit.
Personally I can laugh at a little black humor; it’s not anything new, but there are limits; some things are not fitting subjects to be discussed in civilized or mixed company, much less to be the material for jokes.
Nothing is sacred, it seems, nothing is taboo anymore. What becomes of a society which appears to be shedding every inhibition, erasing every taboo, allowing people to transgress all the rules that governed civilized societies.
I think we have crossed the line from a civilized society already, for the most part. And it’s hardly necessary to say that the left has been the main source of this kind of deliberate and systematic shattering of all our former taboos. But it can’t all be blamed on the left; as we can see online, where people are emboldened by anonymity, that the ”right” has aided and abetted the left in tolerating this profanation of everything. Online we can find ‘right-wing’ people using gutter language — the ‘F-word’ and the ‘C-word’ (both of them, all of them). And it’s not merely the crude words which were once used only in anger or for strong emphasis, but now are just used habitually or to strike a pose) but it’s also the use of obscene imagery when ordinary metaphors would do the job just as well. I don’t want to be explicit, but what I mean is metaphors involving “knee pads”, ”vaseline”, certain orifices, etc. All involve perverted acts. But this is ordinary language even on blogs whose bloggers say they are Christian. But it should not be just Christians who should want to use non-vulgar language.
The English language, for those who know it well enough, is a very rich language. Now, modern ‘experts’ say it’s impossible to count the words in a language; after all, no language can be ‘superior’ to another; linguistic ‘supremacy’ might be implied, and we can’t have that! But back in the Era of Sanity, in my college linguistics class, we were told that about 700,000 words were part of a fluent English speaker’s vocabulary, and that is a rich store of words from which we can choose. Our language is full of nuance and varying ‘hues’. We can express ourselves without falling back on crude language and metaphors. We don’t have to use the vocabulary of perversion to get our meanings across. We can talk or write like civilized adults.
Children used to be taught that those who used profanity were displaying ignorance; why else resort to the ‘four-letter’ words when other words were far more expressive and nuanced? I think that is a valid criticism, but it’s not the whole story. Usually people adopt crude language in adolescence as an attempt to sound ‘tough’ or street-wise. It does make people sound hard and jaded. Surprisingly (or not), lots of young girls today say they aspire to be (in their words) “badass.” Is that what we are encouraging in them? The school system and the feminist ‘teachers’ feed them this kind of thing, or at the very least, they allow it. And what we tolerate, we get more of.
Nobody wants to enforce standards. And if traditional adults don’t uphold any standards, then who will?
I wonder: does anyone today realize that people once used to be shocked by the gutter language and the cavalier use of the vulgar metaphors — used today even in the presence of very old ladies and little children? Are we proud of our ”frankness” today? Have we all become so hardened and immune to shame or embarrassment that we reject all limits?
The conservative forum I linked to used to be, even ten or fifteen years ago, much more civilized and mature. Once the commenters were people who were able or willing to discuss the news without relying on four-letter words and ugly metaphors. There also used to be mods who enforced rules, and didn’t tolerate the balding Beavises-and-Buttheads, the public who are now middle-aged, yet still adolescents, using their crude words and obscene metaphors.
Our society needs to be rescued from the crude and profane. Rules and standards need reviving, but is it too late for that? There may be too few adults nowadays to pull our society out of the gutter.