Quick, what do pouty celebrities on social media have in common with misbehaving toddlers?
They’re both prone to pitching fits in public; both get very dirty very quickly; both are in need of adult supervision — and neither demonstrate much self-control.
And now, on social media, far too many liberal celebrities are dropping the f-bomb and anything else they can think of to lash out at the Trump administration and other politicians and leaders they don’t happen to agree with or like.
“The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News took up this topic Wednesday night. “They’re insinuating a vulgarity into the culture and teaching our kids, yours and mine, that it’s OK to just throw an f-bomb. No reason, no argument, just attack. That’s not good enough. That’s not acceptable,” said Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo about these cursing celebrities.
He was referencing, in particular, singer John Legend’s use of vulgarity in responding to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) last weekend. Ryan had wished everyone a happy Father’s Day, and Legend’s response on Twitter was, “Seriously, f*** you. Reunite the families at the border and we can talk about father’s day.”
“Why doesn’t John [Legend] take in some of the families at his compound in Malibu?” said host Laura Ingraham, clearly disgusted with the Grammy-winning singer’s horrid remark.
“If people want to disagree over the policy, disagree. But do it amiably and civilly,” said Arroyo.
Various writers, actors, singers, professional athletes, random YouTube stars, politicians, and others have demonstrated a marked affinity for public profanity since President Donald Trump’s election. Given today’s culture, scores will blame this, too, on the current president, since they blame him for everything else under the sun. But in the past week or two, the foul rhetoric seems to have ramped up considerably.
A casual perusal of recent f-bombs tossed out by “blue check” (verified) accounts yields quite a variety of influencer types, but they all share some qualities. The bulk of them are riffing on the same issues, and the bulk seem especially fond of carpet-bombing social media with a certain four-letter vulgarity.
This week, as in every week for a couple of years now, they tend to hone in on Trump, Republican lawmakers, and anyone daring to publicly espouse conservative and/or Christian values.
This week in particular, they’ve honed in with intensity on the issue of immigrant children being separated from their illegal alien parents at the border. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, when President Trump signed an executive order allowing the children of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers to be housed along with their parents, those using social media as their megaphone launched a fresh set of curses haranguing the president for acquiescing to their demands.
The language is foul, to be sure. But the fact remains that usually they are “just words.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t always end with swearing. Sometimes, these people go completely off the rails — threatening public officials and young children, for example — and even their most ardent supporters start quietly backing away.
Here’s a secret that has clearly escaped the people who spew profanities on the regular, and do so with notable ferocity on certain political and cultural matters.
The use of vulgarity won’t earn the respect and adoration of true fans. It’s not cute or funny or clever or interesting.
It’s banal and common.
It’s time to cut out the obscenities altogether. These “stars” might then actually gain some fans.
In addition, celebs who ditch profanity for civility could save face. How many celebrities in recent months and weeks have had to backtrack and apologize after digitally foaming at the mouth? Kathy Griffin, Samantha Bee, Robert De Niro, and the swearer du jour, Peter Fonda, all come to mind, and that’s just for starters.
In a social media “discussion,” whether about politics, religion, or any other potentially contentious matter, the first person to curse loses. Once someone starts hurling swear words or attacking an opponent personally, it’s a signal the individual has run out of solid, meaningful arguments to support a position. It’s the verbal version of throwing in the towel.
Once someone starts hurling swear words or attacking an opponent personally, it’s a signal the person has run out of solid, meaningful arguments to support a position.
Curiously, science (don’t laugh — it was actual scientific research) has demonstrated that folks find swearing among women more offensive than men who do likewise. Studies also show that, for the most part, folks who swear aren’t doing so because they lack sufficient vocabulary to express themselves.
Celebs and social media mavens aren’t cursing profusely because they’re stupid.
They’ve just run out of ways to defend the indefensible — and they lack the self-control to step away from the computer, take a breath, and think before tweeting.
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.