The N-Word and the Triumph of Vulgarity

For the second time in the past month, a video of a group of white girls shouting the N-word made the rounds on the internet. The first was uploaded a few weeks ago, and showed a sorority at the University of New Hampshire singing along to a rather obscene rap song which included the slur … Continued

Culture

The Problem with the P-Word

Well folks, that’s it. It’s all over—the election, the inauguration, the women’s march. Even the women’s march clean-up is over. The litter and glitter are gone, and the discarded banners and signs have found their home in the garbage (or, bizarrely, in museums). This week, trash trucks across America will be full of fifty shades … Continued

Culture

How Disney Became the Most Vulgar Purveyor of Pop Culture

When Philo T. Farnsworth invented television back in the late 1920’s, it’s clear that neither he nor anyone else associated with this revolutionary technology could imagine a future where we would have hundreds of channels of programming at our fingertips, or homes where the television replaced the hearth as the gathering place for families. Television … Continued

Parenting, Television

The Rise of Vulgarity Feminism

Before Donald Trump becomes president and vulgarity moves from being a vice to a virtue, let me take a moment to denounce the effort to create a new category of “femojis” focused on representing women’s emotional and physical state while menstruating. The company Bodyform has started a Change.org petition soliciting support on Twitter “to get … Continued

Culture

How Gawker Promotes Rape Culture

No one would mistake Gawker editor John Cook for a pleasant person—least of all the man himself, I imagine.  Sometimes his snarky pose is fun; sometimes it is banal; and sometimes it is dark.  Last Thursday evening delivered an example of the last of these. Kathryn Lopez is a Catholic syndicated columnist and editor-at-large of … Continued

Culture

Assholism: A Review

Editor’s note: This piece is part of a symposium in which a variety of writers and thinkers weigh in on the topic of “Language in the Digital Age.” Look for further contributions on this topic (like this one and this one) on Acculturated. Let me lay out my theory for why the term asshole is derogatory. Doing so will explain why … Continued

Books, Language in the Digital Age

The New Age of Advertising: Where Vulgarity Is Bland

Editor’s note: This piece is part of a symposium in which a variety of writers and thinkers weigh in on the topic of “Language in the Digital Age.” Look for further contributions on this topic (like this one and this one) throughout the week on Acculturated. As America’s favorite cookie for nearly 100 years, there’s little reason to suspect Nabisco suddenly … Continued

Language in the Digital Age