Thursday, January 19, 2012

[censored]; The Meaning of Pinterest and a Vulgar Childhood

There's been a lot of excess angst recently over censorship and privacy in my recent Facebook news feed and I chose to stay out of most of this. But yesterday was the day when the very last two drops of water made the dam burst, releasing the tsunami and giving birth to my first rant in a year;  Modern Family and Pinterest.

At first, I didn't really understand the SOPA or PIPA bills. And I didn't think I'd have to worry about it. Until I logged onto Pinterest and found out that SOPA would result in the "foreclosure" of my most beloved website. I can't bear to loose Pinterest. I've sorted everything I ever want to own, become, and style on that website into specific little boards where I can click on the link and get amazing recipes for Enchilada Pasta and Crock Pot soups. If I lost that website, my future would be full of home style magazine cut-outs and interior designer expenses or white.

Just…. White. Everywhere.

I'd also loose my credibility among peers as a good cook and pastry chef. Like any magician, a chef will have her secrets. My intense secrecy is based off that constant, Mormon sub-culture popularity competition among housewives, neighbors and extended, marriage-rooted family. And if I didn't have Pinterest, I'd be stuck with Betty Crocker, and I can't afford to get fat on her decadent Banana Cream pie. Point is, Pinterest is the only way I can be a successful, respected housewife. A nice home and great food pretty much equates respect.

Imagine Superman without Louis Lane. Imagine Batman without his mass (and oddly regenerating) wealth. Imagine Frank Sinatra without his voice. There are some things that go together better than PB and J-- and nothing should separate that bond. A powerhouse and her source of strength should be respected. So get your grimy, government nose out of my personal affairs!

So some people feel that SOPA/PIPA isn't so much a crack-down on internet piracy as it is a censorship act. And, because we live in a world that likes to skew and garble words over the decades, censorship isn't the bar across the occasional nip-slip, it's a restriction of freedom. In high school, there was this really weird poster in my Journalism room of a guy with holes cut out of his eyes and mouth. The caption read "CENSORSHIP; THE DIRTIEST WORD OF THEM ALL." And I never really understood it.

Until now.

Modern Family is now under fire for latest episode, "Little Bo Bleep." Protesters have been claiming things like "it encourages profanity," "they're setting the wrong examples," and stuff the like. But given the warm, family tone, the lack of explicit profanity, sex, etc, and the goal of the show, I cannot support these claims and have to disagree.

Modern Family is riotously hilarious and light-hearted, showcasing an odd-ball, mixed up family with gays and foreigners and ADHD kids. The mix of these allow for scenarios and conflicts that happen to almost everybody. I think that part of its appeal comes from the commonplace situations in each scenario of each episode. The characters allow for a broad range in audience; age, gender, sexuality, nationality…
There's nothing this show doesn't humorously cover. And because of the good nature of Modern Family, the episodes are capable of teaching morals and being a good source of entertainment. In fact, my family watches Modern Family together and everyone of us can laugh without the worry of unsavory content.

As to the nefarious purpose of "encouraging youth profanity," I have this to say to you all:

"When have you yourself heard your son/daughter/sibling swear, ignorant of the meaning, yet somehow learned of the word?"

There are infamous moments in my family's life where all 3 of us children swore, whilst retaining innocence. Let's start with my own "indecorous" past.

When I was young, I like to point out the things I saw and use my burgeoning vocabulary by excitedly pointing and declaring its name. Once upon a time, I was in San Francisco with a large American flag. And, like any child, I had my speech impediments. Mine was that my 'L" was virtually non-existent. It wasn't that cute "w" sound, it wasn't even a "y." It just wasn't there. So, there I was, happily situated in my stroller, making things awkward for the unreasonably sexuality-sensitive people of San Fran.

Along the same lines, my youngest brother didn't put together the pronunciation of "tr." To him, "tr" wasn't "tr," it was, inexplicably, a "fff" sound. When he loudly told my church what kind of fire-prevention vehicle was depicted in a children's book, he put that one inane joke to new meaning.

You know, the one that's all:

B: Uh…
A: FIRETRUCK! *derp derp derp derp*

At this point, your argument might be something like "Well, that's just uneducated kids sayin' things the wrong way, there ain't no shame in dat."

1. Fix your grammar. You're using a double negative, an apostrophe in place of a 'g' and a 'd' in place of a 'th.'
2. I'm not done shaming my family's mouths.

My second brother was given a hands-on training lesson in the art of obscenities by my godmother at the sensitive age of 2. He was a little aware that these exotic words were something you said when you stubbed your toe. However, at the age of 2, he was oblivious to the darker definition. It took just a little while to correct this habit and teach him less offensive phrases in place of the more flavorful.

Going back to the bigger theme of Modern Family, I think this episode empathizes with parents that have dealt with embarrassing children, loudly displaying their colourful vocabulary.

How could you even claim to be a family show unless you showcase the unflattering sides? Modern Family is a comedy of errors! Not an idyllic suburbia! Everyone loves to see mistakes. It brings us together and helps us remember our pathetic humanity and wide margin for erratum.

In the back of my mind, I recall another kid show familiar with just about everybody who doesn't live under a rock…. Does anyone remember that Spongebobe episode where Spongebob and Patrick learn how to cuss? So how come no one made a big deal about him "not setting the right example?"

No comments:

Post a Comment