George Carlin would love this. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court spent time discussing the use of dirty words on TV. Carlin started out with seven, and it's unclear how many of them the Court discussed in the case of the FCC vs. Fox Television. What is known is that none of the Justices used any of them. I imagined them making BEEP noises whenever one of the words came up, but imDB says they used far less entertaining methods, like saying "the S-word and the F-word." In either case, I hope Clarence Thomas responded to his findings by using that famous line from Spaceballs: "We ain't found sh-- I mean, the S-word!"
It would have been appropriate. According to MSNBC "[t]here was no apparent consensus on the court about what to do in the dispute between the broadcast networks and the Federal Communications Commission over celebrities' one-time uses of profanity on live television during hours when children are likely to be watching." The entire case stems from a ban on "fleeting expletives" that the FCC attempted to enforce after Cher and Bono burned up the airwaves with the F-word during award shows. What did they expect? Bono and Cher are both four-letter words! Considering that the BBC and most European channels allow S-words and F-words, Bono's sins can be forgiven. As for Cher, I wonder what a Richard Pryor routine would sound like through that machine she uses on "Believe."
Justice John Roberts, who is the only judge with kids too young to hear the good stuff, said "[t]he reason these words shock is because of their association with a literal meaning." No S-word, Sherlock! Justice John Paul Stevens said "the occasional use of such words may be 'really hilarious, very, very funny.'" Are you F-word serious, Judge Stevens?! And "fleeting expletives?" What about the ones that last a long time? Are they okay to use on TV? Can Spongebob drop the F-bomb if he does it real slowly? You gotta love government verbiage.
Speaking of government speak, MSNBC says "C-SPAN asked the court to release a recording of the arguments for airing shortly after their conclusion. The court grants such requests from time to time, but turned down C-SPAN with no explanation." I know the explanation: The Supreme Court filled in the extra letters in the S-word and the F-word, and used them with reckless abandon. I think those justices are fulla S-word! Had C-SPAN gotten a recording, it would have come in a plain brown wrapper and sounded like "Def Comedy Court."
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