Too many mouths for soap
I've always loathed swearing -- I consider it a sign of mental laziness -- so I found this WaPo article about swearing students particularly disheartening:
In classrooms and hallways and on the playground, young people are using inappropriate language more frequently than ever, teachers and principals say. Not only is it coarsening the school climate and social discourse, they say, it is evidence of a decline in language skills. Popular culture has made ugly language acceptable and hip, and many teachers say they only expect things to get uglier.Our modern pop culture is very much a "lowest common denominator" culture, especially at the youth level. I remember reading that Harry Truman's favorite book as a child was something along the lines of "Lifes of Famous Men." It was a common enough book at the turn of the last century, and was intended to inspire and uplift young people. Now, it's MTV on Spring Break and gansta rap. Censorship will not work. The entertainment companies are market creatures and as long as Americans allow their children to buy and watch this kind of garbage, these companies are going to keep purveying it. So you really can't blame either the kids or the media. Instead, blame has to go where it truly belongs -- a generation of parents that lacks the time, energy, strength and interest to treat children's minds as something precious, rather than garbage cans for Hollywood and Madison Avenue trash. UPDATE: I just read over at Townhall.com that Rebecca Hagelin has a new book, Home Invasion : Protecting Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad that provides some guidance for parents facing the cultural garbage I discuss above. For your convenience, I've linked to the book over on the right, so you can check out what Amazon has to say about it.