Let me see: What epic event would justify an elected leader, public figure and inherent role model intentionally doing his best to undermine beleaguered efforts by parents, teachers, employers, Federal regulators and ethics blog authors to protect the vital cultural values of civility and respect from the onslaught of the boorish, inconsiderate and inarticulate who would make obscenity part of everyday discourse?
World peace? Curing cancer? Ending poverty? Nah. The occurrence so significant that Los Angeles’s mayor thinks it justifies his use of the vague and slovenly adjective “fucking” in a planned statement is the L.A. Kings’ Stanley Cup victory. You know…pro hockey? Where they bat that little rubber thing around the ice?
Occasionally, public figures like Joe Biden (but he has…well, you know…issues) have accidentally tossed f-bombs into unwilling ears canals, but never before has an elected official set out to do so. It is irresponsible, and demonstrates how America is increasingly electing children to high office. If the Mayor of L.A. thinks that a hockey game victory provides a sufficient pass to issue officially sanctioned vulgarity to America, what chance do parents and teachers have when they try to instill manners—that is, routine respect for those we interact with— into their young charges? Answer: less of a chance than they had before Mayor Garcetti opened his smug, pandering, dirty mouth.
It’s really worse than that. Broadcasters, educators and clerks get fired for talking like this on the job. Children get punished; employees get reprimanded, all as we try to keep the endangered cultural value of civility alive. Now they can all point to the leader of one of the nation’s largest (if not greatest) cities and say: “See? He thinks saying [fuck, fucking, fuck you, fuck-face, mother-fucker, fuck yourself] is OK, and he’s the mayor! Lighten up! Times have fucking changed!” This is how unethical leaders help accelerate cultural rot. Looking forward to the day when everybody talks in hip-hop lyrics or like Alec Baldwin? Thank Mayor Garcetti, for he is determined to send us there.
Personally, I blame David Ortiz. At least the Red Sox star who was criticized here for his emotional “This is our fuckin’ city!” to a packed Fenway Park and live TV audience as he expressed Boston’s pride and defiance after the Boston Marathon bombing 1) could be excused as an excited utterance; 2) is professional athlete, a member of a group not known for the linguistic precision or emulated for their social graces, and 3) had the good sense to acknowledge his gaffe in subsequent appearances, where he interjected a verbal “beeeeeeeep!’ for the obscenity. Still, Ortiz’s speech undermined our cultural standards, and Mayor Garcetti, who unlike Ortiz, who is paid to hit home runs, was elected to do what is in the public’s interest, just undermined them some more.
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