Friday, November 14, 2008

Trivia Hilarity and Memories

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.

3 comments:

David Dust said...

Some things never change. We had the same lyrics debate when I was at Penn State in the mid-late 80's!

XOXOXOXO

Whatever they were saying, it's still one of the best drinking songs EVER.

Oxy said...

Joy said: '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.'
I could not agree more. Here in the UK, we're now bombarded with profanity from 'celebrities'. One of them was on Letterman last night in the US - an awful man called Brand. The BBC finally saw sense, and he resigned before he was pushed. Ditto his other puerile sidekick Ross. Brand believes he can make it in Hollywood. Please keep him there if you can. These two have no ounce of decency, and in my view, no humor. They are like little boys saying rude words to shock people.
I've worked in the South, and nicer, decent people one couldn't hope to meet. Please carry on the fight, because unless we fight, before long we shall be forced to use profanity in everyday conversation.

Berry Blog said...

I feel that everything has its place and a person would do well to discern that. Agree that too many use it in an immature manner and rather than appearing avant garde, appear idiotic instead. I don't challenge the right to do it, but it seems more challenging to do it with discernment, use it as well thought out effective language at the appropriate times.when it is just common language, it diverts from the communication. The user isn't heard. It's just offensive static noise.
xoxo...Charlie