When Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared “this is a big f—ing day” while holding up a bottle of beer on live television at Monday’s rally celebrating the Los Angeles Kings winning the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup I thought I was watching a promo for the upcoming “Dumb and Dumber” sequel.
Once you have commercials discussing four-hour erections, cartoon characters passing gas, and elected officials intentionally dropping f-bombs in order to look cool, we are indeed no longer in Kansas.
As an educator, I’ve held high standards for myself, including not using obscenities in front of students despite kids feeling emboldened to swear frequently regardless if adult workers are within earshot. Having the Mayor gleefully belt out a curse word in public sends the message that it’s okay to do so because, as he put it, the f-word is “something that plenty of people have heard in their lives.”
Well, plenty of people have seen pornography but that does not mean that the mayor of Los Angeles should be seen watching it. He was speaking in front of thousands of people, many of them youngsters.
Yet I wonder how long I can continue struggling against the tsunami of uncivilized behavior that infiltrates our daily lives.
My son and I loved watching the Kings playoff run, we cheered when Martinez scored the Cup-clinching goal in Game Five, and we smiled broadly watching the rally. And then the Mayor spoke.
His remarks spoiled the good feelings we had, stealing attention away from the Kings.
Worse than the mayor of the second most populous city in the U.S. swearing was the positive response he received. Being a politician, he surely knew that his calculated remarks would gain him “hero” status among some citizens. Let’s hope that those who view dropping an f-bomb as a qualification to hold public office don’t actually vote on Election Day.
What does His Honor plan on doing for an encore if the Kings win another Stanley Cup: drop his pants and moon the opposing team? Surely this would have people roaring their approval, but that does not mean it should be done. The mayor should aim higher than the lowest common denominator.
Garcetti should understand that as mayor he represents all Angelenos and should treat that position with utmost respect.
As mores continue to deteriorate, I refuse to be bullied by today’s culture to lighten up and not be a wet blanket in spoiling everyone’s fun at being naughty.
Recently I contacted Sit ˜n Sleep founder and CEO Larry Miller about a radio ad that repeatedly substituted the word “sheet” for the 4-letter s-word in every conceivable way, and asked him if he thought it was appropriate to air during daytime hours when little ears can hear it.
Miller said that “we have pulled the ad in question and will not run it again” explaining that “sometimes the creative folks go too far.” At least he realized a line had been crossed and took corrective action.
So thanks, Mayor Garcetti, for making my job as a teacher and a parent even harder.
I wish he could have seen the expression on my son’s face when he said that expletive, one of confusion not one of adulation.
In recent years it has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. But if it’s a village of idiots, what’s a parent to do?