I have a growing unhappiness for all of the ‘adult babies’ in our culture. You know who I mean – those people who believe that the use of certain expletives, curses, and ethnic terms should be censored by such means as bleeping, disguising, or simply blanking out the sound. Is it because they as cannot bear directness, the possibility of denigration, or expression of intense feelings? Take the following statement for example.
“I was treated like s**t by the f***ing a***hole K**** behind the counter at the DMV.”
While this format is considered fine by both broadcast and print censors, in reality the asterisks (or bleeps in the case of broadcast media) accentuates the use of the words making them register to the subconscious mind as the most important part of the sentence.
In the TV series Caprica, the writers have circumvented the problem by creating and using an alternate word ‘frack’ that means the same thing as our word ‘f**k’. The dialog goes much smoother.
“Kill that fracking son of a Caprican!” denotes the intensity of dislike of the Caprican without drawing attention to the adjective. Compare that to hearing “Kill that BLEEP son of a BLEEP.” The bleeping focuses one’s attention on the possible words that had been said rather than the meaning of the sentence.
The strong influence of censorship in the United States has caused me to rethink how certain words are used within (or excluded from) my fantasy-adventure books. Fortunately for fiction writers, and especially those whose stories are crafted on original worlds or universes, new words can be coined to replace the ones the ‘adult babies’ cannot handle.
In my opinion, all censorship of words and ideas (save libel and slander) must cease if we are going to be truly free. If you do not like the words employed, do not read the text. If you do not like the words spoken, change the channel or walk away. The only difference between the BLEEPING BLEEPER and BLEEPED is BLEEP. I’m sure you get my drift.