Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Cursing, It Must Stop

My office is filled with men who use colorful language, sometimes to great effect and hilarity. Believe it or not, I've occasionally been guilty of this bad habit myself. It's contagious. So much so that last year, everyone in my corner of the office contributed to a Curse Jar by putting a quarter in a glass jar each time we used a curse word. The jar filled up fast, too.

But last night I read the criminal complaint against Rod Blagojevich, the fine governor of Illinois. In addition to describing Mr. Blagojevich’s attempts to trade a Senate seat for personal gain, withholding state approvals in an effort to have critical reporters fired, and other similarly venal and corrupt acts, the complaint recounts conversations in which both Mr. Blagojevich and his lovely wife, Patricia, were caught on tape spewing profanities like street thugs.

Reading that complaint—which is an eye-opener on many levels—has inspired me to avoid using profanity ever again, for any reason. Not because I think I might be wiretapped, but because there’s just nothing to respect about a person who doesn’t have the words or self-restraint to express himself or herself without the F-bomb. Especially when that person is a middle-aged elected official. Or a governor's spouse.

Although the legal focus needs to be on what Mr. Blagojevich actually did, the governor's and his wife's small-minded ugliness and vulgarity certainly don't help his case. Or hers. In addition to separate lawyers, the Blagojeviches need their own Curse Jar. A big one, too.

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