The manners of society appear to be heading south at an accelerating rate, with our up and coming generations being increasingly sent the message from the culture, celebrities and even elected officials, that manners and civility in public conduct and speech is for snobs, nerds, dorks, and goons. It’s cool to be vulgar! I admit, I’m in at least two of those three categories, so I really don’t get it. Ethics dictates that one communicates with respect for anyone within hearing distance, and unless ugly words serve a material purpose, using them is not the mark of a good citizen, a good neighbor, or a trustworthy human being. Nor is spouting vulgarity witty, and unless you are 11, and employing obvious code words that sound like curses, epithets and obscenities isn’t especially funny either, since we pretty much exhausted the possibilities at summer camp. I have no idea why anyone would want to recast the culture as a place where professionals curse like sailors and the words “fuck” and “cocksucker” are as likely to issue from a debutante’s lips as those of a hip hop artist, but that seems to be the objective now. President Obama, the Fish Head, signaled his approval by repeatedly using the word “bucket” in a televised event when he obviously meant “fuck it.” First President ever to use fuck on TV! Yes, Obama continues to burnish his legacy. Small wonder that CNN’s John Berman thought his audience wanted to see him snigger over a colleague’s “big stones,” a testicle joke that always has them LOL-ing in the 7th grade. Making sure that there is nowhere for the civil and well-mannered to hide, all the other TV stations happily accept money from advertisers using code words for “ass” (Verizon), alluding to sexual intercourse (Reese’s), and evoking the word “shit” (K-Mart and DraftKings).
“This vacation has been a year in the planning.… The rest of your vacation hinges on the moment you walk through that door. The door opens, you hold your breath and then you realize: You got it right! You got it booking right. Because it doesn’t get any better than this. It doesn’t get any booking better than this! Look at the view, look at the booking view! This is exactly what you booking needed. Bask in the booking glory at over half a million properties. Planet Earth’s number one accommodation site. Booking dot com…booking dot yeah!”
Not only do they think I have the wit of a closed-head injury victim, Booking.com also thinks I’m stupid and gullible, too. Responding to objections from hyper-sensitive viewers who imagined a less than cultured intent behind that and similar pitches, the company responded with a classic Jumbo, saying that Booking.com ads featured “no ambiguity” regarding the word “booking.” The word was repeated throughout the ad, it swore, only to reinforce brand recognition; if there is anything amiss, it must be all in the complaining listeners’ dirty minds. Why, “booking” is used only in a positive tone in the ads, conveying “enthusiasm and joy,” rather than in the negative and derogatory tones associated with swear words and obscenity.
I mean, who ever says, “Fucking yeah!”?
Booking.com even denied that its commercials featured any words that sounded like vulgarities, and that it ads could reasonably be criticized as encouraging the use of rude language among children.
Lying must be cool now too.