Friday, August 25, 2006

Cursing During Primetime

CBS will air an updated version of the 9/11 documentary about the attacks at the World Trade Center and the firefighters who responded that September day five years ago.

The Emmy- and Peabody-winning documentary, produced by brothers Gedeon and Jules Naudet and retired firefighter James Hanlon, will air September 10.

Airing the documentary represents something of an act of courage by CBS, given the gritty language that 9/11 contained in its two previous airings and the chill that is going through the airwaves over federal efforts to curb broadcast indecent. CBS has made no cuts to the language for this telecast. CBS sources said the documentary--which is the true-life portrait of what happened that day--is bound to generate controversy in some quarters.

Here are some of the problems I have with this "act of courage":

1) Children will be watching.
2) There's way too much cursing going on in the world.
3) Cursing has nothing to do with "impressing on the viewers the stress of the situation;" these same people curse all day long as part of their everyday conversations.
4) Using curse words demonstrates illiteracy -- there are better adjectives to describe the situation.
5) The curse words we are talking about are the s-word and the f-word; which are offensive in all situations.
6) I am more offended by the everyday use of the Lord's name in vain on just about every sit-com, drama, and documentary as well as on most rock, hip-hop and talk radio stations (Rush Limbaugh is one of the biggest offenders) -- these words will be used but are not considered curse words.

Some of us use gritty language on occasion but we don't use them in church, in business discussions, with our doctor or dentist. The world would be a much better place if we heard less cursing. If I stub my toe or can't find the tool I just bought in the midst of a "repair" and I let slip a curse word, I feel bad, and hope no one heard me, especially my children.

I have no interest now in watching this program. I do not like to give "energy" to topics like this. However, I am continually concerned over the decline of morals, etiquette and civility. CBS is adding to the decline of western civilization by its "authenticity" justification in this programming.

I just wish the fines were actually enforced and financially painful. Let the TV executives put it on or sell the program to a cable station. Society -- the market -- should make their authentic program cost them dearly in fines ("x" amount of ad revenue less cost of the program less "y" number of fineable words). If the fines are minimal or not enforced, the energy goes into their pocket and encourages more of the same.

Finally, some words from a modern-day Apostle Dallin H. Oaks from October 2004 that seem fitting here:
Here are some ways the devil will try to deceive us. God's commandments and the teachings of His prophets warn against each of them.

1. One kind of deception seeks to mislead us about whom we should follow. In speaking of the last days, the Savior taught: "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:4-5). In other words, many will seek to deceive us by saying that they or their teachings will save us, so there is no need for a Savior or His gospel. The Book of Mormon describes this as "the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people -- to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing" (3 Ne. 2:2).

2. Satan also seeks to deceive us about right and wrong and persuade us that there is no such thing as sin. This detour typically starts off with what seems to be only a small departure: "Just try it once. One beer or one cigarette or one porno movie won't hurt." What all of these departures have in common is that each of them is addictive. Addiction is a condition in which we surrender part of our power of choice. When we do that we give the devil power over us. The prophet Nephi described where this leads: the devil says, "There is no hell," and, "I am no devil, for there is none, and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance" (2 Ne. 28:22).

3. The prophet Nephi warns against another kind of deception: "And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well -- and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell" (2 Ne. 28:21).

No comments: