Early in this blog, I tried to make the case that people generally ought to use cursing/”foul language” sparingly, lest it come back to bite them. I gave up the fight, as I was told, repeatedly, “it’s the way everyone talks.” I do not believe that to be true, but that was the standard response.
I was surprised by the Roseanne Barr situation. Oh, I wasn’t taken aback by a racist tweet, only that it was that particular message that got her in trouble, having seen other vile stuff from her.
And not just recently. Writer Ken Levine, who unwittingly got into a feud with her has noted how toxic she could be to her writers one her earlier show and had predicted her downfall.
Writer Mark Evanier noted: “The speed with which the decision was made as well as the star’s reputation for… I’ll be polite and say ‘instability.’ Deciding to ax one of your most popular shows is not an action taken on impulse. It’s the kind of thing you run past a lot of people including lawyers to determine any unforeseen legal complications.”
Then I finally got around to watching Samantha Bee did a great six-minute piece on her show Full Frontal about the regime’s untenable treatment of separating parents from children as young as 13 months, even for families that have entered the country legally.
And it’s all but forgotten because she chose to use the word feckless, followed by a word I’m fairly sure I’ve never used in this blog. “Feckless twit” would have been accurate description of the First Daughter – feckless means “lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible” – and wouldn’t have totally underminded Bee’s message.
So people write: “First Roseanne Barr then Samantha Bee. Do people no longer have any self control?” They talk about double standards. I suppose the difference is that Roseanne is a multiple repeat offender.
While I’m on the topic, I thought Michelle Wolf’s profanity at the White House Corespondents’ Dinner this spring also lessened its impact. The comments, especially about the press’ too-cozy relationship with the regime was dead on, but some selective words became the story, not the underlying message.
I’m not trying to be a prude here, merely pragmatic. If you want to speak truth to power, make sure the type of words you’re using don’t negate the message.