June 22, 2012

Also, Stay Out Of My Yard

So some communities (in this specific case, Middleborough, MA) are talking about fining people for swearing. To those communities, I say "go fuck yourself."

Seriously, though. This worries me. First of all, you have the question of what constitutes "profanity." You must have a list of forbidden words, otherwise, you're leaving it in the hands of law enforcement to decide, which I think is a dangerous precedent. In other words, if an officer doesn't like what you're saying, even if it's not creating a danger, you could be ticketed. If you do create a list of profane words, that seems to be in direct violation of the First Amendment, does it not? Not to mention that you then run into the problem of worrying about determining intent. Is a dog walker yelling "cut that shit out" to his dog the same as him saying "excuse me while I pick this shit up"?

There is no right to not be offended. In fact, in any truly free society, you are almost guaranteed to be offended at some point. That's just how it works. It is unfortunate that some people can't control their mouths, and curse publicly. But that's all it is--unfortunate. It's not illegal, nor should it be. I will say, though, that I would get behind this law if the "quality of life" aspect was applied universally. For example, go ahead and ticket those who swear in public and detract from my quality of life. But you know who else you have to ticket? The parents of those brats who scream at the top of their lungs in public. Now, I'm not talking about infants. They can't help it. I'm talking about the 5-11 year-olds who scream like they're being murdered when a) they can't have something they want, b) they're playing, or c) any other time. That's affecting MY "quality of life." I'd much rather listen to (and be less offended by, frankly) someone working up a good cussing, especially if he knows what he's doing, than some snot-nose who is just creating noise pollution. These parents ought to be held responsible. Yeah, fine, you've learned to tune your kids out. But why should I have to?

And if the kids who live in your neighborhood are anything like the kids who live in mine, the revenue generated could possibly single-handedly save the economy.


Actually, the more I've thought about it, the more violators I've come up with:
  1. People who keep the bass in their cars so loud you can hear it through the walls in your house as they drive by,  because, apparently, they like their music so much they just can't help but share.
  2. Motorcycle drivers who feel the need to rev their engines, even though they're not actually in a race of any kind. Dude, you've got 50 feet to the stop sign on a 30 mph, residential street. This is not the time to be compensating for your small penis.
  3. People who use their outdoor voice for...well, for pretty much everything. This seems to happen most often in places like Wal-Mart, and it's always the most idiotic people. You never see some nuclear physicist doing this. "THE HEISENBERG UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE STATES THAT A SUBATOMIC PARTICLE'S POSITION AND MOMENTUM CANNOT BE MEASURED SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH A HIGH DEGREE OF ACCURACY!" Then, at least, I might learn something.

Feel free to add more to the list..

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