Friday, April 28, 2006

The Blasphemy of Profanity and Obscenity

I was overjoyed today to find that the FCC had "clarified" Their previous rulings on the definitions of the above. All previous definitions had been so subjective as to be unenforcable, and contained so many exceptions as to become a waste of paper.

There is a fantastic detailed article in this weeks Radio world. http://www.rwonline.com/

The new definition of profanity is as follows:

"language denoting certain of those personally reviling epiphets naturally tending to provoke violent resentment or denoting language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to ammount to a nuisance."

but in light of certain first amendment protections, the application of this effectively is limited to "the universe of words that are so sexual and excretertory in nature or are derived from such terms."

So, in this truck-sized loop hole you cant say fuck, but you can any racial slur you please. Unless you spur a riot. "violent resentment" so if you use racial slurs against black people that could be ok, unless you offend islam and spark a minor jihad.

But their examples bordered on absurd.

the utterance of the word "bullshit" on NYPD blue was deemed profane. Use of the word shit in the Martin Scorsese blues documentary was also profane. however do some unknow reason thsoe same utterances in the moving "saving private ryan" are not profane. yeah, I dont get that.

But the real winner here is the complete list of acceptable words/phrases that could previously be considered profane expletives and are no longer:

"sit their asses down"
"His ass is huge."
"wiping his ass"
"dickhead"
"kiss my ass"
"hell"
"damn"
"kick-ass"
"poop"
"sex with a dog"
"my ass"
"you suck"
"a load of crap"
"bitch"
"up yours"
"ass"
"fire his ass"