As our culture’s norms and protocols shred and tear, an issue I’ve noticed is amazing content laced with profanity. Now, most who know me know I can have a bit of a salty tongue myself. I’m sure it’s from a past life when I was a pirate. Or perhaps it’s just a stress-reliever, kind of verbal punching bag. Maybe it’s when I was a pirate in therapy. Who knows? Regardless, there have been many times I’ve wished to use the perfect clip or content to relate a concept, yet it’s laced with vulgarities. What’s a teacher to do?
Case in point: John Oliver’s latest post about the primary and caucus rules, state by state, was amazing. I won’t link it in case there are children present. There have been multiple Daily Shows, clips from R-rated movies (as long and as bad as it is, Troy with Brad Pitt shows his naked hiney, so I can’t show that….). Glory with Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick, also fantastic, but says the “f” word, contains war violence, and uses the ‘n’ word; however, a case is made to understanding the context of the ‘n’ word. Years ago when a publisher switched out the ‘n’ word for ‘slave’ in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is wrong for so many reasons.
Here’s my wish: if there is some content that could be easily edited, or comes edited with the language ‘gone.’ There are some programs that allow for this:
Look, I realize I’m beginning to sound a bit Ned Flanders about the whole thing. I would no more censor The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian than Huckleberry Finn, so how is it that content in visual formats more shocking?
So — teacher friends — how do you decide what’s worth showing? I know one that is always a hit: