A big shout out and Don't Sugarcoat It award to Waveflux via Shakespeare's Sis. Such a lovely response to the issue of vulgarity on weblogs:
Fuck him, fuck them, and fuck you.
And have a nice weekend.
Waveflux is responding to an article by Daniel Henniger of the WSJ. This editorial is deserving of a little more nuance, but not much. Henniger thinks the blogosphere a place of weird thoughts:
...it looks to me as if the world of blogs may be filling up with people who for the previous 200 millennia of human existence kept their weird thoughts more or less to themselves. Now, they don't have to. They've got the Web. Now they can share.
Admit it, readers, the internet is full of more than weird thoughts. It is full of smut. You have no idea just how much bad porn Blue Gal must wade through to find nice panties pictures for her dear readership. Seriously, summa these girls need a shower AND a shave. On the face. But ALL publishing revolutions, print, voice recording, film, etc. have begun with two primary subjects: the accepted religious canon (King James Version, anyone?) and pornography. I used to keep trying to remind everyone at work, and then I gave up: the internet is NEW. Desktop computers are a NEW technology. NO! We do not have the kinks, or the kinky, worked out yet. Give it time.
Henniger narrows his focus on three areas where the decline in discourse has sullied our society. First up are the teenage antics of MySpace bloggers. I feel sorry for Henniger and any other adult who take it upon themselves to "examine" MySpace for content. I also can't say whether Henniger has much experience with teenagers. Blue Gal has lots, and she knows: when it comes to the 13-17 demographic, the wholesale destruction of the polite proclivities of mature society is their job. It may be unfortunate that they now have a platform which anyone can access (and more needs to be done to wake teens up to this fact; "how dare you read my blog, Mom!" can kiss this momma's ass.)
The second area is popular culture itself: cable, music, etc., i.e. The F word on the Sopranos. Henniger feels that a massive movement of "disinhibition" is leading us down a slippery path where "crazy people" control the discourse. As Henniger asks:
...does the Internet mean that all the rest of us are being made unwitting participants in the personal and political life of, um, crazy people?
This is where Henniger crosses the line. He equates the foul language of political bloggers and commenters to a form of insanity. We are living through some amazingly, mind-bogglingly insane times. The pictures from Abu Garhib? The 2500 soldiers who thought they died because of 9/11? An administration for whom it seems each individual member is personally profiting from a war based on lies? A mainstream media which is, with few exceptions, either comatose or actually participating in a calculated public mesmerism? Notice I have not crossed the line into obscenity. Or have I?
Here's an obscene example from my own crazy mind, Mr. Henniger: if I call Michelle Malkin a quote-unquote "demented cunt," in what way have I denigrated the discourse more than she already has?
UPDATE: 57% of respondents in this Daily Kos poll think calling Michelle Malkin a "demented cunt" is too good for her. Noted.