When I was a little girl in the 70's, I only heard three people use dirty words. Three people. One was my Uncle Brown. He was grouchy and said 'what the hell?' a lot, but cooked the best catfish I had/have ever eaten, so it kind of balanced out. The other two cussers were Jeff and Huffy, two brothers that lived down the road from me. Their dirty vocabulary was more diverse. They also looked at dirty magazines in the woods, and I never ever saw their parents, so I guess it was just kind of expected and accepted. But that was it. No movies or TV shows were allowed where folks talked bad. It wasn't as much of a religious thing as it was a cultural thing. When the TV put up a warning at 8:00 that the following show was not appropriate for young children, well, the young children had to go to bed. Rated R meant no one under 17. Period.
This started to change during the 80's, but for the most part was limited to movies. VCRs were in the early stages, so I was not inundated with the stuff. None of my friends cussed and no one in my family did, either. Call me naive, but I miss that. Now that mess is literally everywhere, and try as much as I like, I can't keep my children from it. What makes me even more angry is how aggressively this is being marketed to my kids. Case in point--the latest 'must see' movie of the week that is pushed on the kids - Super 8.
I didn't know much about Super 8 before reading the reviews. I knew it had mostly a kid cast, with some big name adult players. Another version of it was made several years ago by Steven Spielberg. Critics weren't giving it much praise. Of course, my teenager wanted to go, since many of his friends were going to see it. So, as usual, I read the review from Plugged In Online. As PG-13 movies go, this one was looking more promising than many others lately. No suggestive sex stuff. Then, I came to the language section:
One f-word and over 30 s-words lead the profanity pack, but barely. God's and Jesus' names are misused nearly 30 times. And there are over a dozen uses of "h‑‑‑." "A‑‑" and "d‑‑n" are spit out a handful of times each. We also hear "b‑‑ch," and "p‑‑‑y," "d‑‑k" and "douche" are used as put-downs.
Why? Really, why? It is bad enough when adults use this langauge, but in this movie it is mainly the kids. Total desensitization. No censoring by adults. It just makes me sad. I know I will go to my class of 11 year old girls in the morning who have seen the movie over the weekend. They will probably be talking about how good it was, not even giving the language a second thought.
And that just makes me sad.
However, on a happier movie note, we did go see Kung Fu Panda 2 last week. I give it two paws up. It was tame, with a good message, and I wasn't slumping in my seat counting the minutes until it was over. Looking forward now to Cars 2 in a couple of weeks. Hopefully it will be as much fun as the first one.
You can read the entirePlugged In review of Super 8 here.