What’s The World Coming To?

Today’s blog has not been predicated on any one news article. Today it’s about the slow decline in attitudes towards decency and respect (that’s ‘respect’ not ‘respek’). Are we sliding towards an apocalypse without knowing it? Will slow moral decline generate the final bug, like Rage in ‘28 Days Later’, turning us into slobs and anarchists? Read on.

moral-decencyLike most things it takes the drip, drip of gradually applied pressure to make me boil but the final straw was something I read in the papers the other day. A mother dared to make a complaint on a web page called Mumsnet. It was created by parents, for parents. A laudable endeavour, or so you might think. In this one instance the mother complained about a play her 14 year old was being forced to study in school. It’s called Mogadishu. I haven’t read it, nor am I likely to, but that’s not the point. In it there are something like 200 instances of the word f*** and the same number of c***s.

Anyone that has read any of my books know I’m not a prude but that number of profanities, even if they are illustrating a council estate in an English city, seems to suggest that the author ought to get a thesaurus. The complaining mum seemed to think, for some absurd reason, that it wasn’t suitable material for a 14 year old. I’m not a parent but I suspect she raises a good point. Anyway, the follow up abuse she received from people purporting to be teachers was quite unbelievable. Citing Shakespeare and Chaucer to justify the use of such language is absurd; I cannot remember a 4 letter profanity in either author’s work. Normally the words were much longer and highly descriptive and certainly not equivalent to the lowly F or C word – and were in context. If these rebels with a 4 letter cause were in fact teachers, then we at least get a hint of their pretty low level of moral attitude and why they might believe this book acceptable in the school curriculum. They probably support teacher-child affairs as well – they’re just expressing their sexuality, they’ll cry.

Courtesy of The New Yorker
Courtesy of The New Yorker

That’s another point, if it’s in the school curriculum, who the hell thought it was acceptable? Even if it has won an award, there are plenty of other ‘gritty’ (for ‘gritty’ read ‘poorly written’) novels out there winning awards but the line in the sand has to be drawn somewhere. What happens when these words, made acceptable by their studies, overflows into everyday life? How would these same teachers moderate the kid’s language? What if one or more of their children/pupils decide to let the teacher know what they think of him/her by calling them a c***? Would they accept it and give them a gold star for remembering their lessons – after all they lit the fuse – or would they be more likely to cry to the head teacher? They’d probably sue the school for mental cruelty.

All this leads to my primary point. Apparently, people who complain about low morals, including swearwords  don’t have a clue about life, should visit the real world, get a grip, get over themselves, or the worst accusation, and I know I shouldn’t put it down on paper – they are called ‘Middle Class’! How dreadful! What slander and libel!

Since when did being Middle Class turn into a swear word? Next it will be a hanging offence! Of course, those that throw that slur around are either Guardian reading lefties (sorry Guardian) or people who wouldn’t work in an iron lung. Let me tell you about the Middle Classes.

1. They pay most of the tax burden of any country in which they reside.

2. The tax they pay covers the cost of the schools and the salaries of the teachers they feel they have a right to be involved in (bad parents!), and complain when deemed necessary. Unchecked, the Leninist-Marxist attitudes of a significant number of teachers would become the norm. God help us then!

3. They are the upholders of standards of decency (mostly) because they strive for a better life.

4. Their willingness to complain acts as a watchdog on governmental behaviour, moderating ‘official’ activities through unofficial oversight.

5. They are the reason laws exist to protect the little man. Without them, the aristocracy or those in charge would not have evolved from the Divine Right of Kings Monarchy of the Middle Ages.

In summary, being Middle Class is not a swear word. As we’ve seen swearwords are usually much shorter in length with a single syllable so that simple minds can understand them.

So there!

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2 Comments

  1. I’m an avid Shakespeare fan and I can truly say without a doubt that I have yet to encounter any profanity in his work. This comes from a guy who’s read his plays over and over again at least once every few years. He’s a poetic genius. I still have to see any four-letter words there!

    1. I quite agree, Jack. I never did and would not regard any of his work profane. I do think people get hung up on certain bawdy aspects and the use of the word pizzle, but these plays were not intended for 14 year olds in the first place. Anyway, none of his wordage could be seen as comparable to the 4 letter words I wrote of and are used instead of using other words. These works are not illustrative of either good grammar or clever use of vocab. Hardly suitable for education purposes, certainly not for young people. I absolutely love Shakespeare – even his longer and more complex plays have bright spots in them that make it all worth while. I like your last point – Shakespeare never used 4 letter words – correct, his words mostly had 2 or more syllables 🙂

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