April 18, 2005

Childhood Of Counting Dirty Words

The Number Of Fucks In Deadwood

Whenever I read something like this, I'm reminded of my childhood.


OK, I had a strange childhood.

Look, it reminds me of childhood, because I lived in a town with a group of people who were determined to save the children from rack and ruin. Specifically, from the ungodly parts of our educational system; like forcing the school system to not show any movies rated more than PG, cutting funding from the school system, and, in one episode making the local papers, stealing a student's copy of a weekly alternative and then showing the evidence at a school board meeting.

But my favorite was the counting of the number of "f-words" and "the M-F-word" in a little movie called The Breakfast Club. I never remember if it was as part of a social experiment, or if it was just something the teacher did as a treat, but a teacher showed this movie in class. It's an excellent movie in that it explores kids talking honestly about their lives and seeing that they're not so far from one another. It's a good film, especially for teenagers. I can completely understand where the teacher was coming from.

At some point, naturally, an objection came from these holy rollers. What got me was the factual evidence that they presented. Evidentally, The Breakfast Club contains 57 "fuck"s and 1 "motherfucker" -- something I found too trivial to ever care about. It's like watching Casablanca and counting the number of times Rick says "money", trivial to the point of the movie.

But what I will never understand is that someone had to *sit* through the movie and count those words. Sit there and *count* while these kids on screen talk about their pain and agony; and then turn around and use that count to provide evidence to a group who would inflict a little more pain and agony on other kids in the name of decency.

Twenty years and I still can't get my mind around it.

Posted by Ted Stevko at April 18, 2005 11:20 AM | TrackBack