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January 2008 Cover
January 2008 Cover

 Dirty Dishes Dirty Dishes Archive  
January 2008 Email this to a friend
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Fuck! Shit!
By Dawn Ivory

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Dawn was amused to read that the Bush administration, after losing a lower court ruling, is suing the Fox Network to prevent broadcast of the words "fuck" and "shit." So odd to have Bush barking at Fox. So odd to have Fox defending the First Amendment.

Dawn cares little about whether fuck and shit make it to primetime (who watches network television anyway?), but finds fascinating the peculiar legal ratiocination behind the lower court's ruling (which okayed Fox's tolerance of the F and S words used by Cher during the Billboard Music Awards, and by Nicole Richie later). In its ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the FCC's policy on the expletives in question was "arbitrary and capricious," and that the regulator defied "common-sense understanding" of the words, which it said were often used in everyday conversation without any "sexual or excretory" meaning.

Evidently, the rule is that if "shit" means "to defecate" or "fuck" is used to signify copulation, these plain old-as-English words are dangerous for kids to hear, but if they are used as simple vulgarisms they are legally acceptable. Such "thinking" reminds Dawn of the standard by which pornography is legally defined: material which appeals to prurient sexuality and is "devoid of socially redeeming" merit. Utter nonsense to those who find prurient sexuality itself "socially redeeming"!

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