Naughty meanings and naughty words

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Piraro makes the point that he is allowed to publish a cartoon showing a street prostitute holding up a sign saying "GLUTEN FREE" (see it here), but he was censored when he came out with a cartoon showing a deadbeat vampire loiterer holding up a sign saying "WILL SUCK FOR BLOOD". Both clearly suggest the possibilty that oral sex is being referred to, if you have a dirty mind, but the second explicitly contains a word (suck) commonly recognized by the relevant prudish authorities as colloquial sex talk, wheras the first doesn't. The prostitute cartoon would doubtless also have been banned if it had incorporated the word eat, instead of just implying it through the reference to a potentially allergenic food ingredient. Piraro's comment on the situation is: "Americans (and maybe all humans, I'm not sure) are more obsessed with words than with their meanings."

He goes on:

I will never understand this as long as I live. Under FCC rules, in broadcast TV you can talk about any kind of depraved sex act you wish, as long as you do not use the word "fuck." And the word itself is so mysteriously magical that it cannot be used in any way whether the topic is sex or not. "What the fuck?" is a crime that carries a stiff fine — "I'm going to rape your 8-year-old daughter with a trained monkey," is completely legal. In my opinion, today's "gluten-free" cartoon is far more suggestive in an unsavory way than the vampire cartoon, but it doesn't have a "naughty" word so it’s okay.

Are we a nation permanently locked in preschool? The answer, in the case of language, is yes.

He makes a very good point, IMHO.

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