On February 17, 1964, the FBI launched a sweeping investigation into a problem that threatened to subvert the nation - namely, were the lyrics to the song "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen filthy or not? After months of intensive analysis, the bureau was unable to conclude what the actual lyrics were, and the case was dropped.The tune, written by Richard Berry, remains the nation’s most popular party song.
Oh, does this bring back memories! We used to play that song over and over again in the dorm trying to figure out the lyrics we were told had dirty words in them. We couldn't figure them out, either, but there were many speculations.
Back then, profanity wasn't spoken in movies or on TV. In fact, George Carlin has a famous routine about the Seven Words You Can't Say on Television. It was on a comedy album for which he won a Grammy. That's where we could hear things like that - record albums. The only place to see nude photographs was in National Geographic Magazine, and those weren't exactly provocative. Now we're bombarded with nudity, sex, profanity, and all kinds of things. Breaking down taboos makes them less shocking but definitely blurs boundaries. We do need boundaries and limits. Too much repression leads to hypocrisy and too little leads to rudeness.
I'm from the South where we are expected to be polite whether we mean it or not. We understand that and are OK with it. A friend of a friend from NYC said that got on her nerves because she couldn't tell if Southerners were just being nice or really meant something. We can usually tell, but it doesn't really matter because we go on with our business anyway.