What the @#%$! is going on?
I grew up in the 80s. From what I remember, 80s music had no harsh cussing. Even 80s rap music was more fun and tame than today’s rap music. Eighties rap music talked about things like how to “walk this way”; today’s rap music talks about things like how to “kill this way.”
Who is to blame? To be sure, society is becoming more accepting of raucous lyrics. Thank goodness we have an FCC to police verbal content on television and radio. In the past parents like me could count on the FCC to keep profanity off the airwaves. But what happens when the FCC becomes more permissive? Recently the FCC investigated the possibility of allowing harsh swearing on TV and radio. The FCC solicited feedback from the public on this more submissive approach. People across American voiced their concerns. It looks like the proposal to allow harsh swearing has, at least for now, been tabled.
We don’t need a randomized controlled trial to tell us that the words people hear directly affect the words they speak, and that the words they speak directly affect how they think and act. People who continuously engage in raucous talk will, in all likelihood, become raucous individuals – edgy, wild, boisterous, disorderly, and unruly.
Proverbs reminds us that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I guess it is no surprise that artists like Pink, Adam Levine, and Avril Lavigne are kind of edgy and iconoclastic, or, in all fairness to their musical genius, are trying to appear that way for the purpose of advancing their music careers. If harsh lyrics sell, give the people what they want, right?
I will tolerate an infrequent, well-placed minor cuss word from others, as long as it does not mention deity. Even though I choose not to use such words, I understand that not all people share my LDS standards. As a testosterone-driven LDS male who is in an ongoing struggle against the natural man, I also understand what it is like to exercise constraint when the urge to speak harsh words arises.
What concerns me most is the increase in gratuitous use of cuss words in popular media. There is no reason for frequent harsh swearing in movies and music. I don't think it sells more movies or songs. I have traveled to a lot of different places; ordinary people don’t talk that way. It is time for musicians and Hollywood producers to stop pretending like they do.