By Dom Cioffi
I’ve been known to curse from time to time, and to be honest, I’m not ashamed of the fact.
Like most adults, I’ll swear when I’m upset, but personally, I’ll probably resort to profanity more often when I’m telling a story – particularly a funny one.
I’ve always viewed vulgarities, when used correctly, to be conversational spice. I’m not talking about truly obscene words. I’m just a fan of the occasional common expletive in order to trump up an otherwise dull storyline.
Comedians know how important swearing is and use it to great effect in their acts. Sure, some can cross the line, but most realize that swearing can add tension and nuance to the delivery of a particular bit.
Of course, derogatory usage is solely dependent on the company that’s present. I’m not about to swear in front of people I don’t know and I certainly will refrain from cursing in the presence of children, clergy or obvious teetotalers. But when the time and atmosphere are right, I’ll drop an expletive for added effect without a second thought.
Obviously I have to exercise restraint when writing my column, but if the weekly newspapers of the world agreed upon a decidedly HBO approach, I would have no problem lacing my diatribes with the occasional f-bomb.
Not surprisingly, this vernacular has its drawbacks – most notably in the form of my 11-year-old son.
It is true that my son has heard me curse. He doesn’t hear it often, but he’s heard it enough to understand that when I swear, it generally means it’s time to pay attention. And if he hears me swearing at an amplified level, it probably means something has gone horribly wrong.
At the same time, I’ve also had several conversations with him about the use of profanity. So, even though I may not walk-the-walk, I am confident that he understands that the use of curse words is wholly off-limits in his regard.
At least I was confident of that up until this past weekend.
Last Saturday night my son had two friends sleep over. These days, a sleepover amounts to he and his buddies huddling up in front of the Xbox and spending countless hours trying to kill aliens or pretending to be rock gods.
Even though I’m not a fan of excessive gaming, I basically leave them alone, figuring that these are the experiences that they will all look back on with adoration.
On occasion I’ll sneak up to his room and stand outside the closed door listening to their conversations. I keep thinking I’m going to stumble upon a conversation about a girl or some scenario that will mortify me, but most of the time it’s just dull commentary on how awesome they think they are at killing extraterrestrials on the TV screen.
However, this time as I sauntered up to the door, I immediately heard something that gave me pause. My son was apparently in the middle of an alien execution when I heard him yell, “Take that, you slimy son of a b***h!”
I was in shock. I don’t think I have ever heard my son say such an “adult” thing. Just then, one of his buddies chimed in with his own tirade. “Yeah, cut that piece of s**t in two,” he countered.
I honestly broke out in a cold sweat at that point, not knowing whether I should burst in with my own profanity-laced condemnation or a subtler chastising about common sense.
Everything stopped when I swung open the door; the boys knew they were busted. However, my son, in his infinite wisdom, decided to preempt the inevitable tongue lashing and promptly stated, “Dad, forget everything you just heard. I swear to god that was just the soda talking.”
This week’s film features another young man who can’t seem to resist using profanity-laced dialogue. In fact, the level of his cursing (along with some epic violence and nudity) pushed his new film to the first-ever “R” rating for a superhero movie.
“Deadpool” is yet another Marvel comic come to life. In this case, however, the character is socially suspect, leaning heavily toward the over-sexualized, highly inappropriate edge that most other films in this genre have blatantly avoided.
This film is not, and I repeat, NOT for younger viewers. Yes, it is a superhero picture, but the storyline that it’s wrapped up in is wholly inappropriate for younger children. With that said, however, this film does break new ground by delving into the “R” rating atmosphere to great effect. “Deadpool” is wildly entertaining in an untapped way and humorously self-deprecating to a fault.
Check this one out if you’re in the mood for something that pushes the obscenity envelope. Otherwise stay the “f” away.
A profane “B-” for “Deadpool.”
Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.