America the Crude? Fourth of July Celebrations Marred With Offensive Speech

220px-Joan_Rivers_2010_-_David_ShankboneBr9Ha6wCMAAXQiUAs many on this blog know, I have long griped about the loss of civility and basic standards of conduct in our society. Whether it is a halftime show or television broadcast or some fan or some athlete acting like a thug, we seem to be quickly abandoning any sense of decorum or decency. When M.I.A. used bad language and flipped the bird during a Superbowl game, many like the New Yorker insisted that she should not apologize and that such standards of decency that are nothing but a remnant of the fifties we haven’t shaken.” I remain unconvinced that our society has now abandoned such standards as historical relics. While I have opposed efforts to criminalize speech, I do believe that as a society we should enforce standards of civility and decency. My concerns were raised this last week again with scurrilous attacks on President Barack Obama and a profane laced Fourth of July celebration in Philadelphia.

First, let me begin by saying that I have never understood why people find Joan Rivers (or her younger version Kathy Griffin) to be funny in the slightest. I actually recoil while watching Rivers like seeing a car crash repeat over and over. However, that lack of talent was matched with a lack of decency last week when she called President Obama “gay” and the First Lady a “tranny.” It is an example of what passed for humor in today’s trash talking culture. I also fail to see why anyone would consider that attack on the First Family to be funny.

Many might say that such insults are just part of the New York culture. However, in Nebraska, families cheered a float in a small-town parade on the Fourth of July that depicted the “Obama Presidential Library” as an outhouse. While the organizers said it was protected political speech, my gripe is with the lack of maturity and respect to create such a float in a Fourth of July parade. I have been a loud critic of President Obama for his attacks on civil liberty and his violation of the Separation of Powers. Yet, I consider it shockingly inappropriate to parade such an insulting display as part of our celebration on the Fourth. He is still the President of the United States and we should be teaching our children some modicum respect even if we disagree with his actions. Moreover, the Fourth is a time when we celebrate our common beliefs and values as a nation. Trashing our President seems fundamentally at odds with the values of that day — values that we should be working hard to instill in our children. When people object to the rapid decline of civility and decency in our society, they need to look at displays like the one in Norfolk, Nebraska and consider the impact on kids. I did not see the display as necessarily racist, but I view it was wildly inappropriate for a Fourth of July parade.

Then there was the profanity laced Fourth of July concert in Philadelphia. While Mayor Michael Nutter said that he did not notice the profanity, many families were shocked by the profanity filled concert that is heavily attended by families and children. Concert broadcaster 6 ABC actually had to entirely cut away from live coverage of Roots frontman Black Thought at the start of the show because of all of the foul language. Then, just as families thought they could relax and take the hands from the ears of the kids, Nicki Minaj appeared in a skimpy outfit and proceeded to repeated as a virtual mantra words like “bitch,” “shit,” and “motherf*****” into every song. Then Ed Sheeran finished with his own f-bomb laced performance.

I just don’t get it. If you cannot sing without profanity, stick to the clubs and concert halls. These performers wanted this gig and were contractually required to keep the performance family friendly. This is after all a public concert for everyone, including families, to celebrate the Fourth of July.

I will admit that I no doubt sound like a prude and an old crank. Perhaps we have come as a society, as advocated by the New Yorker, of treating good manners as a “remnant of the fifties.” However, we are hardly a better society for it.

74 thoughts on “America the Crude? Fourth of July Celebrations Marred With Offensive Speech”

  1. randyjet

    While I am an admirer of Douglass, I know that James Earl Ray did NOT read such a speech. Douglass is wrong about there not being another nation worse than the US in regards to US slavery. While brutal by its very nature for the most part, US slavery was quite mild compared to the rest of the Americas. One only has to remember that only 5% of the Africans shipped to the Americas came to the US and that the importation of slaves after 1808 was banned. That made keeping the existing slaves alive and well very important. In the rest of the Americas, most of the slaves were killed off, and more simply imported until the Brits and the US started anti-slave patrols.
    That is the pure essence of Symbolic Racism.

    1. Dredd – symbolic racism does NOT exist. The very phrase is an oxymoron.

    2. Dredd, I am more concerned with truth than PC. All I stated were FACTS. I see that you failed to show that any of the ones I put forward are false. I suggest you read an excellent book I read not too long ago, Reconstruction by Foner which is the best on the subject of post civil war society in the south. I guess that you are as DUMB as Carraro since James Earl Ray was the assassin of MLK. I doubt that he would be reading that speech in any public venue.

      I usually try and have some respect for most of the posters here, but this one has passed my tolerance index I am afraid. Not only do you get well known facts and names wrong, you compound the error by calling names to try and buttress your rants. I guess that telling the truth is racism? You obviously do not know your facts or history. For example, Jefferson Davis and his brother started their plantation to prove that there could be a “humane” slavery. in fact, his former slaves wrote a letter to President Grant asking him to free Davis from prison because he had been a very good and kind master. While it is true that most slaves did not experience that situation, it is incontestable that American slavery was not as brutal or lethal as that practiced in most parts of the Americas. Please cite some facts or history to prove otherwise.

      Douglass’ speech was a political one which is not to be judged on the same level as a history lecture and latitude in facts are the norm not the exception, but of course, all the Hillary haters here would contest that. As a personal note, since I was personally involved in the Civil Rights movement in the 60s and am one of the few people here who actually heard Martin Luther King deliver his speech in person you are libeling me by making such accusations.

      While US history is replete with atrocities, as is the case of virtually ALL nations, knowing history, I cannot say that the US is the worst nation that ever existed. In fact, US history is one of the better ones among the nations of the world. I suggest you learn some more history and exercise some judgment.

  2. Jim22 wrote “I agree with your last two posts”

    Wow, this must be glasnost and perestroika!

    Jim22 wrote “people like Rand Paul talk about our foreign policies over the years have created people who would want to do this too us”

    Generally, I think Rand Paul is a five-star loon, but that point makes sense.

    The U.S. paid around 80% of the cost of France’s war in Indochina because, according to Eisenhower, “If Indochina goes, several things happen right away…. The last little bit of [the peninsula] would be scarcely defensible. The tin and tungsten that we so greatly value would cease coming.” We assassinated the elected leader, Ngo Dình Diem, because JFK was incompetent. We dropped more bombs on it than in all theaters of WWII, not to mention Agent Orange; people are still being maimed and/or killed as a result.

    We overthrew the elected leader of Iran in 1953 and replaced him with a tyrant, the Shah. Then when Iranians overthrew him in 1979, we whined that they took our embassy personnel hostage. Then we shot down Iran Air 655 resulting in the deaths of 290 innocent people. Not only did we not court martial the captain of the ship responsible, Captain Will Rogers III of the USS Vincennes, George H. W. Bush awarded Rogers the Legion of Merit decoration “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer.”

    And people wonder why Iran wants WMD?

  3. Paul, “In Living Color” was the best. It really took SNL to task. What a great cast they had. I always thought the sister was one of the best. “Yabba dabba doo”

    1. Jim22 – if nothing else, the Wayon Bros should be lionized because they brought us the delightful Anna Faris. 🙂

  4. Sauce,
    I agree with your last two posts. I have very little tolerance for 9/11 conspiracies. The only thing that I have ever heard that makes any sense in the “It was our fault” is when people like Rand Paul talk about our foreign policies over the years have created people who would want to do this too us and your stated “gross negligence, arrogance, and incompetence” . But these thoughts aren’t backroom is deals.

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