With fresh video of the Jan. 6 takeover of the Capitol dropping every day it seems, I’ve been fascinated by the lengthy “bleeeeeps” indicating gentle viewers are being spared curse words shouted by the dangerously dumb as they ransacked desks and much worse on that sorrowful day.
To the networks: Do you really think it’s necessary to bleep the words when the real and true obscenity is that a police officer is being beaten to death with a U.S. flag by redneck “patriots” all jacked up on 5 Hour Energy and memories of high school pep rallies back when they were somebody? (I’m just guessing here.)
The endless “bleeeeeeeeps” protected our ears just fine. The problem was our eyes, watching video of the dumb and destructive take photos of documents found in lawmakers’ desks with a deluded sense of duty I have not witnessed since Barney deputized Goober.
“Ted Cruz will want this,” said one as he clumsily angled his cell phone above a document he might as well have been holding upside down. There’s not a doubt in my mind, if you asked him which were the three branches of guvmint, he’d stumble around before offering up, “I dunno. The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria?”
That hubris? That ignorance? That violence? That, my friends, that’s the real obscenity.
Over decades of writing this column, I’ve been upbraided for using mild profanity at times. The pearl-clutching is epic, along with prayers for the salvation of my withered, dying soul. One memorable correspondent ironically condemned me to the fires of hell via Bible verses for using “bad words.” Her notepaper was decorated with sketches of kittens playing with yarn and there was a matching envelope. So horrified was she that I had used a mild swear word that she could not rest.
The hand-wringing “how could you’s?” range from “I’m coming for you and your cats” to the tsk-tsk pursed lips of the “I’m just so very disappointed in you’s.” This is meant to cut deep but, honestly, nobody but a parent can use that line effectively and both of mine are gone to glory so, yeah, that’s a non-starter.
My point is this: We need to pay attention to what is truly evil and what is just … stuff.
Our outrage is misplaced when we let our kids watch this video because the curse words have so very thoughtfully been bleeped out.
Too often in the past four years, we have focused on the exact wrong enemy, getting all worked up over some comedian’s tweet – a COMEDIAN—while not seeming to give a happy crap about a 2-year-old in a cage. Tral-la-la, that kid asked for it. I mean, he would have if he could talk…
We get a do-over now. A spot of profoundly undeserved grace. So, let’s think about where we really want to invest our indignation. Here’s a hint: It hasn’t got a damn thing to do with curse words.
Celia Rivenbark doesn’t get the whole sea shanty craze as pandemic diversion. Ain’t no Tiger King.