Sunday, August 8, 2010

What Do We Tell The Kids

I'm not sure what people are thinking these days. I drive through town and see bumper stickers with the B-word splashed proudly across it, bumper stickers and window clings showing cartoon characters peeing on something (usually a logo), and general obscenities displayed without thought to who will see these words and who won't. I can't tell you how often I hadtofield questions from my children and grandchildren asking what that meant or listening tothem try to read the phrases and then having to tell them what they are saying is not acceptable in polite company. Then I have to try to explain why, if these phrases or words are not acceptable in polite company, they are being worn in public.

Isn't it enough that we're bombarded with this kind of thing on a daily basis when walking down the street or getting on to Facebook, Twitter or other social media site? People feel they can say anything they want without any repercussion. I can't even count the number of times I have walked down the street and people drop the f-bomb as if it were no different that saying 'hi'. We use WTF without thought. Words like hell, damn or the s-word are used without regard to the audience. All this does is teach our kids that saying these type of words is perfectly ok.

Now, a company that caters to people of all ages....from early teens to oldsters like adding to the rash of obscenity-laden advertising and marketing. I'm talking about these three ads for Geek Squad:

How do I explain these to my younger children or grandchildren?

Some say this is brilliant advertising. That it touches on something everyone can relate to. Who hasn't said something like this at one point or another when the computer locks up or goes the way of the Kabuki Trail? Of course, if our children say any of these words, we would send them into time out. So why is this ok in a public location?

If I walk into an adult bookstore, I know I'm going to see certain material that is not appropriate for all ages. I go into a store where I am supposed to be able to bring my kids and see signs like this, I'm not a happy camper. I don't expect it. I expect something more family friendly. If I open a magazine that isn't published by Larry Flynt, Hugh Hefner or Bob Guccione, I don't expect to see something like this smacking me in the face.

Have we as a society become so inured to obscene language that the use of it in a public location where children of all age groups can see it has become acceptable? I don't find this creative, I find it offensive and totally unacceptable. I don't want to walk into a store or open a magazine and have to explain what is being said in these ads or why. Maybe I'm old. Maybe I'm too conservative. But why should I be blind-sided with inappropriate images or language everywhere I go?