Recently, one of the greatest comedians of a generation died.
It's been more than one month since George Carlin died of heart failure.
Carlin was known for controversy. It followed him practically everywhere he went. He seemed to relish in controversy.
One of the greatest moments on comedic history was Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words."
The sketch featured Carlin talking about seven words you can't say on television.
In 1978, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 in a decision which affirmed the government's power to regulate "indecent material on the public airwaves."
Just more than one month after his death, Carlin must be squeaming.
He's still laughing at the "nonsense."
The entire situation regarding Carlin has been blogged about, by myself and Times' Staff Reporter Jason Jacobs.
There are certain words that people can't say on television. They have been termed "offensive."
There are certain subjects that people simply can't talk about amongst friends or family.
They have been termed "politically incorrect."
In this day and age, people have to watch what they say and it appears they have to watch what they think also.
I find that offensive.
Take for example, two of the greatest subjects people -- including some of my family during the weekend -- aren't supposed to discuss at all: Religion and politics.
Everybody seems to have an opinion regarding religion and politics, but you can't really talk about it.
Or can you?
An opinion someone may have regarding politics or religion might be deemed offensive by another.
Is that fair?
Every once in a while, I'll find myself in a discussion regarding politics or religion. And during those discussions, I find myself stopping mid-sentence to make sure I say the right thing and others don't find it "offensive."
Is that fair?
The mere definition of the word opinion comes to mind.
An opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts toward something. It's not fact, because opinions can't always be proved.
But as human beings, people are allowed to have opinions on issues. Humans have the ability, unlike other species, to formulate opinions.
But you can't always state that opinion. It might be deemed "offensive."
Political correctness has a lot to do with this.
Political correctness is a term used to describe language, ideas, policies or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups.
Some argue that political correctness is censorship.
I think it's silly. To a certain degree.
When I think of political correctness, I?can't help but think of the old saying, "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Apparently, words do hurt.
Admittedly, it does hurt sometimes when someone says something to you that you may find offensive.
I have tried for quite a long time to not let things like that bother me, reminding myself of that old saying.
I know people that get very upset during political discussions. They aren't willing to accept that others have different opinions.
I know people that get very upset during religious discussions. They aren't willing to accept that others have differing opinions.
Words are my life. They provide the paycheck which helps pay the bills. But even we in the media, however, have to be careful with what we say and how we approach the development of a sentence or paragraph, headline or photograph cutline.
"Sticks and Stones may break my bones, ..."
"But words do apparently hurt me."
Words to live be indeed.