There is not a lot to say about the graphic above, other than:
- It is crude.
- It is funny.
- It is intentional.
- It is inappropriate for a general audience newspaper
- A competent editor should have caught it, and
- The graphic artist needs a warning and a reprimand.
The media, its staff, celebrities and assorted vulgarians and boors seem to be determined to make public square America as uncivil as a locker room, as crude as a peep show, and as juvenile as a junior high school farting contest. Professionals, including USA Today editors and publishers, can either do their duty and discourage this intentional rudeness in their products and services, or shrug it away. Similarly, our culture needs to decide if we are going to just define our deviancy down some more, and accept gratuitous sexual innuendo that will gradually make the whole population into a bunch of snickering Beavises.
It’s our choice, ultimately. I’m not offended, I’m just saddened by it, just as I am saddened to see people going to the theater dressed like slobs, kids screaming four-letter words in stores while their parents do nothing, twelve-year-old girls dressing and making themselves up like Victoria Secret models, platinum-selling hip-hop songs graphically extolling misogyny, cable news commentators calling the President “a dick,” Academy award winners peppering their acceptance speech with “fuck,” and “Extenz” ads on TV at 8 PM.
You can see other examples of this media phenomenon—or is it a trend?– courtesy of journalism critic Charles Apple, here. This is what happens when a vital democratic institution requiring integrity, self-control, professionalism, ethics and a sense of responsibility is in the control of second-rate minds with third-rate values.