I can kill you but I can't F**k You?
A popular genre of You Tube postings is the Police Brutality one. I came across this example today, entitled Pig shoots American hero attempting to comply with orders (not my title). From the video, it looks like a vicious case of wrongful shooting but that's not why I mention it.
After warning the viewer repeatedly about the graphic nature of the content, i.e. a film of someone actually being shot several times, the host then explains that the curse words had to be bleeped out. Well naturally. We can't shock the nation with the word 'f**k', while we are desensitising them to violence with lurid tapes like these.
The is part of the bizarre dichotomy of the United States. They manifest a prurient and prudish attitude to sex (remember that Janet Jackson thing); are scandalised by what amounts to mere table manners when it comes to language; dish out draconian punishments to minor drug infractions; yet the sex/drugs/gambling combination is what drives the US economy (read Eric Schlosser's Reefer Madness).
I believe it is the false social repression that brings the real personal reaction. France is a modern First World European country (with iPhones and everything). I've visited the beaches there since I was a child. They just let everything hang out and no-one gives a damn. Does it cause a complete breakdown of society? Of course not, that's ridiculous. The Netherlands has legalised bars where they smoke weed, though not without controversy, but now Belgium and Germany are thinking of following them.
The Victorian puritanism seeping into US culture is a garrote around the neck of free expression. Mirages of public order, morality and decency are all mixed together to create a miasma of a sharing, caring 1950's world, while in the background obesity (accepted as a 'lifestyle choice') rises at phenomenal levels, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15-24 year-olds, and (it's almost redundant to mention) they're fast heading for a fascist dictatorship.
If one can generalise about 300 million individuals, I'm very fond of 'The American People,' so I hope they wake up and pick their battles a little better. Leave the swearing in. Perhaps the sight of a compliant serviceman being shot by an over-zealous storm trooper would have more effect if they could hear a few shocking 'fucks' thrown in.