B.E.P. Longhorn: “Did you like the movie The Departed, Seizure Boy?”
Me: “I loved that show. I thought it was a brilliant movie, and one of the best roles that Leonardo DiCaprio has played in his entire career. Did you like it?”
B.E.P. Longhorn: “Actually not very much. I was a little bit stunned at the usage of the F-word in that movie. But then again, I have two little girls, and I’m not very used to hearing that word as much anymore.”
Me: Shocked/confused/WTF/heart-broken look across my face. “Wait, what?” Keep in mind my response was given because of my concept of who B.E.P. Longhorn is. This is a Texas Football fanatic who probably won the pass, punt, and kick competition when he was in his mother’s embryo. A man who has biceps that I could more than likely do pull-ups on. A man who one could assume has been exposed to more rear ends, more foul language, and more dirty jokes while doing time in locker rooms throughout his entire adolescence and young adulthood. And he was stunned by the language in The Departed?
B.E.P. Longhorn: “Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of that movie, too crude and foul. I even walked out of The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3. I thought it was just as offensive and distasteful.” For the record, I would have walked out of The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3 as well, not for the language, but for the simple reason that the movie was a disgrace to filmmaking.
Me: “Too many F-words? I know they cursed a lot, but I thought you would be used to that seeing as how you’ve played football, and you’re from Texas, and you’re a…you know…guy and all.”
B.E.P. Longhorn: “Back in the day I wouldn’t have had a problem with the swearing. I was desensitized. But now, having a wife and kids and all, I just don’t want to have that language around them.
I could see the wise Texan sage’s reasoning. It was at this point when an even wiser sage made a very valid argument in regards to how our world/culture overprotects children. This character’s blogalias shall be The Royal Viking of Jericho.
The Royal Viking of Jericho: “I think that our kids are sheltered too much in today’s society. I think that we need to teach them what the world is all about before they hit college. Not like overexpose them to everything bad, but if they’re watching Dora the Explorer and she blurts out something like, ‘Hola, Mother $*%#-ing Amigos!’ I think that will help them out.” No curse words were actually made in this statement. The Royal Viking of Jericho actually spoke the individual signs.
His comment about the Spaniard explorer was made in jest, with laughs abounding following his dialogue that included the words, “dollar sign, asterisk, percentage, pound sign-ing Amigos.” However, he did have a point regarding the overprotective nature of parents, and clueless perspective that kids have coming into what the world really sounds like.
For the record, I used to be a Dora the Explorer junkie back in the day. Not that I had a secret crush on the Nickelodeon superstar, but the fact that I used to watch her while babysitting my little sister a.k.a. The Professor, who by the way is fluent in Spanish with great help to this cartoon explorer. In the three years that she and I spent adoring Dora, I never once remember her saying phrases such as “Holy $#*! Kids”, “Kiss my @$$ Swiper”, or “We’re lost, son of a %*!”
Okay, maybe her shouting out vulgarity to the swiping fox, or yelling out curse words to her cousin Diego would not help children become “better” people to help shape their lives. And maybe being exposed to the real world’s soundtrack will not help them become better future citizens, but I could see the point the Royal Viking of Jericho was trying to make here. Kids are sheltered. Kids are covered by a hypothetical blanket. Kids are given shades to cover their eyes on what the real world will be. And it’s crippling them.
Back in the day, I remember a gadget called TV Guardian that my parents had. The entire purpose of this device was to delete and replace any curse words or dirty language from the films or TV programs that we watched.
So when Jim Carrey was giving himself a bathroom beat down in Liar Liar and yelled out, “I’m kickin’ my @$$, do ya mind?!” TV Guardian replaced the word ‘@$$’ with ‘bum’. When Jeff Daniels said in Dumb and Dumber that he had crossed a Bulldog and a Shiatsu to make a Bull S***, TV Guardian replaced the word ‘S***’ with ‘Garbage’. When Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket gave his 6-minute tirade to his incoming Privates, TV Guardian deleted the entire scene.
How shocked was I when I started playing high school football my freshman year, and the TV guardian wasn’t there to bleep out every curse word that was uttered, vented, and screamed from a missed block, a dropped pass, or a blown tackle? Very much so. I’m not criticizing the revenue attempts that were made by a default company so that a 13-year old boy could not hear the F-word. Wait, yes I am. I thought that the little black box on top of my television made me think that every thing in my life was clean and pure.
But it’s not.
I guess the point of this discourse is to ask where the fine line of sheltering and protecting exists among parenting. Granted, I am not even close to being prepared to raise children whatsoever. How am I going to know what to do whenever that day arrives anyway? The Royal Viking of Jericho did make a good point when he stated that there are extremes to anything. Being extremely overprotective, or not even censoring your children at all are the polar opposites in this situation. Whenever that day comes when I have my own offspring, I just hope that they aren’t raised by cartoon characters that instill false images and backdrops in their minds that the world is a perfect place.
At the same time, I don’t think I’ll let Dora the Explorer’s singing terrain chart serenade a verse from its song such as, “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the Mother #%$&-ing Map!”
Location:600 E,St George,United States