Few of us are really innocent when it comes to the use profane language now and then. C'mon. You've probably said a little more than "Rats!" when you slammed your leg into that open drawer while trying to put away some socks in the dark.
But what has caught my ear as a Details Dad in the last couple of weeks is the use of profane language on what seems to be an increasingly public stage. A couple of weeks ago, I went to see "The Jersey Boys". My wife and I were excited, because her parents really wanted to see the show, and we were going to take them. I am a big fan of theater anyway, so this was going to be fun. But, not long after the curtain went up, the "F" word started flying. I thought to myself, "Well, they've only used (that word) a couple of times now. Maybe that's going to be it." But it continued, and I thought about my wife's parents sitting a seat away from me.
"What were THEY thinking?" I thought. "Is this going to ruin their theater-going experience?" At intermission, I told them I was concerned about the language being used in the show, and my wife's mom calmed my fears. She just said, "Jon, we HAVE heard these words before."
Don't get me wrong. I thought "The Jersey Boys" was a great musical, and I loved the music. In fact, our entire group thought it was great, and it turned out to be a wonderful day. I would recommend the show to adults-- but it's not a show for kids.
Of course, someone told me later that there was a warning before you went into the theater that there was going to be "authentic Jersey language" used in the show. I didn't see the sign, but was that really enough of a warning?
That wasn't my first run-in with profane language in recent days. My son and I were watching the end of Game 5 of the National League Division Championship between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers. One of the Brewers' players hit a single to center field to win the game, and that helped the Brewers advance.
My son really wanted the Diamondbacks to win, so that was a bummer in itself. But when the TV commentator tried to interview the Brewers player who hit the winning run, he was running around and yelling into the stands, saying "F*** Yeah!, F*** Yeah!" It was an accident that that ended up on national TV with all of the chaos. I understand. But I wonder: Did the player think there may be young ears listening?
I've probably said more than my share of bad words, and I think we all do at one time or another. And if the material is geared toward adults, I guess it's OK. But I just wonder sometimes if language in movies, TV, and even in sporting events is getting a little out of hand? Even the close-up of head coaches makes me cringe as a Details Dad. I just find myself hoping that my kids aren't able to read lips.
How do you keep your kids from being exposed to too many foul words? It's probably not easy to do anymore. And maybe I need to look in the mirror a little, too.
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