Massachusetts Town To Fine Teens for Swearing?!
Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than the word "fart". It was seriously hard for me to type it just now. It's so gross, so crass. I just hear that word and the muscles in my arms tense up. I hate it. How have we, as a society, not gotten to a point where we don't have to talk about such gross things?
Everyone says Star Trek is a utopian future, and they never talk about farting.
But I would never dream of banning the word "fart" (besides in my own writing, which I have, from this paragraph forward). It seems like the town of Middleborough, Massachusetts disagrees with me though. After a town hall vote of 183-50, Middleborough has authorized police to issue anyone swearing loudly in public a twenty dollar fine. Twenty dollars! That's like 2.5 Chipotles!
How many Chipotles is the First Amendment worth to you?
Small business owner Mimi Duphily was in favor of the measure, describing her problems with those who would shout profanities outside her auto parts store: "They'll sit on the bench and yell back and forth to each other with the foulest language. It's just so inappropriate," she said. Let's be honest, the only truly "inappropriate" speech is movie spoilers and even then for only two weeks after the movie is out.
I'm so excited for Friday when I can finally start writing Prometheus spoilers.
The way I understand it, the fine isn't so much for swearing, per se, as it is for shouting profanities publicly. So yeah, you probably should get fined if you're being a belligerent d-bag in public. But it's always scary to hear that saying a certain word is illegal, and therein lies the problem—from a messaging standpoint, Middleborough is now the town that made swearing illegal. This was a stupid way to frame the problem because ultimately it isn't about specific word choices but the disorderly way they're being said. So Middleborough, make shouting like an a**hole illegal, because perceptions matter. No one gets offended if you arrest a belligerent d-bag because he's making old people feel scared.
Yeah, go to Hell you monster.
But everyone gets offended if you arrest a belligerent d-bag because he's exercising his First Amendment rights.
Don't let The Power win, freedom fighter.
Is Middleborough making a mistake banning swearing? Let me know what you think on twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!