Some people must have their ‘fix” ever day. Some get it by using drugs and end up destroying their lives; others need to release bilious thoughts.
There is one man who rides around on a bicycle shouting extremely loudly, the most obnoxious expletives against the President of Guyana. He rides around saying the most obscene things imaginable.
He has been doing this for years and he has become a sort of regular fixture. No one bothers too much with him but he still continues saying the most awful things imaginable about the government and particularly about the President of Guyana.
This is his way of getting a fix. If he does not do this perhaps he will not feel well. He is obviously a man who feels that he is on a mission, a mission to say the nastiest things imaginable about the government and the President.
Those are his opinions and he is free to have them. No one can or should deny him from believing what he wants to believe. He is free to hold whatever opinion he has about the President. Not that it matters because people do not take him seriously and many quite wrongly feel that he is a mad man.
But while he is entitled to his opinions, he is not entitled to express those views in whatever manner in feels. He is certainly not free to publicly resort to colorful and expletive-laced language to express those opinions.
And certainly, while some adults may find him an interesting character and someone to whom too much seriousness should not be given, it must be also mentioned that there are often children around when he is publicly cursing out the President and they have to ingest this terrible language ever so often.
Too many of our children are today being exposed to profane and vulgar language. And they are taking this language into the classroom. Teachers cannot correct this problem since the instruction in profanity is taking place in the wider society and is undermining morals.
The use of invectives is a malaise which needs attention. This is a problem which has been around for sometime now and while there has been a campaign against bad manners, there has never been a campaign against swearing and the use of profane and unsavory language in public.
Great strides have been made in creating awareness of the problems associated with child and domestic abuse, alcoholism, stigma and discrimination and a number of other ills within our society.
Every day on the television there are ads advising sexually active persons to get tested. But what about the ads urging restraint in the use of obscene language in public? There are no such campaigns.
A few years ago, the airing of songs with vulgar lyrics was topical. There were complaints about the lyrics of some songs being played in public transport vehicles, particularly some mini-buses. In fact, it was observed that some school children used to wait on certain specific buses because of the lyrics of the songs that were played.
Even sadder was the fact that adults used to sit right next to children in the buses where this sort of vulgar music was being played and said nothing to the driver and conductors about the appropriateness of this practice. Yet many of these adults would not have their own children join these buses, but they would sit and enjoy the vulgar lyrics in the presence of another person’s child without saying anything.
Fortunately, this practice seems to have been on the decline and was helped by the initial ban that was placed on the playing of music within minibuses.
There have been criticisms of some politicians ‘cussing down’ one another. Well, as bad as that may be, those politicians do not use expletives when they are at it. But the politicians are not the only ones that are ‘cussing down’ each other.
Throughout this country, there are public quarrels between individuals and it is not uncommon for the most uncommon of language to be used in the “public commons”, the streets of Guyana by ordinary citizens quarreling among themselves. Some of the things that are said in these public “buse-outs” are unprintable.
The War on Bad Manners is over. Bad manners are still very much with us. But far more urgent than correcting bad manners is the need to restrain the use of swearing on public. This is not healthy for children who are exposed to such obscenities.
A new campaign needs to be undertaken so as to protect the minds of our children from being contaminated from profanity. The police need to do more. There should be a zero tolerance on profane language used in public.
If someone wants to curse, if this is what gives them a fix everyday, let them lock themselves into a room, and empty their dirty thoughts in private.
But please, when you are within earshot of the public, when you are in public places, and especially when children are around, restrain your tongue.
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