Do we miss you, Lenny Bruce?

WARNING – THIS POST CONTAINS RUDE WORDS AND IS NOT SUITABLE FOR MINORS, OR MAJOR PRUDES

I am not a prude. I am not a stranger to swearing. The familiar four letter word is, well, familiar. (It is compact, expressive, and effective communication. Beat that if you can.) The less familiar four letter word is less familiar, but not a total stranger; used sparingly – as it should be – it signals a particular extreme form of displeasure in a single syllable. In short, bad language – of itself – neither upsets nor offends me.

Hold that thought.

The following is an extract of the lyrics from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song Around the World

I try not to whine
But I must warn ya
Bout the motherfuckin’
Girls from California

They were playing this song on the radio tonight. Ordinary radio. Anyone can listen to it. And when I say tonight, I mean around 5pm.

As you may have gathered, there does not appear to be any watershed for radio broadcasters in Israel.

I confess I was shocked. If you recall the introduction, you will know the shock was nothing to do with the foul language as such; the shock was that this was being broadcast in the middle of the day, for all and sundry to hear. I was culturally shocked; it just seemed wrong. Now, Israeli society may not have grievously suffered over the years at the hands of four letter flourishes across the airwaves. But, on the other hand, what good did it do? Would some restraint have been so difficult. Do we – Israelis – need to so readily expose our kids to that language? Can we not allow them a little more of the innocence of youth?

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