“(Blank) this, (blank) that and (blankety, blank, blank),” was what the young man said, apparently trying to earn points in some rather odd style contest.

I’ve no idea what he was concerned about despite his rather public insistence that he should not be ignored and had a point to make.

About 27 more blanks (also known as words we don’t put in nice family newspapers), and I was more than a little concerned about his apparent inability to use more than one syllable words. What happened to the modern education system? Or, was he a drop-out?

Sadder still, I don’t believe the young man even knew his language shouldn’t have been used in a public setting. Most people’s mommas would have washed their mouths out with soap about 20 or so words earlier.

I come from a world where the language can be more than a little colorful, especially among men in a casual setting. The middle of a store or other public setting, however, isn’t the time or the place.

When did we forget that?

Or, perhaps I should say, when did we stop teaching that? And, who’s responsible?

It got me to thinkin’.

A few years before I was born, a rather sensational band for the time released the hit single “I want to hold your hand” which met with more than a little concern from parents. The Beatles’ 1964 hit had such concerning lyrics as “oh please, say to me you’ll let me be your man and please, say to me you’ll let me hold your hand.”


But the world changed and by 1987 a fellow by the name of George Michael was all the rage with his hit single “I want your sex.”

In it, he sings, “I don’t need no bible just look in my eyes. I’ve waited so long baby. Now that we’re friends. Every man’s got his patience and here’s where mine ends. I want your sex.”

By 1994, Nine Inch Nails (yep that was name of an extremely popular band at the time), put out a hit single that you couldn’t even say the title of in polite places.

The shortened title .... “like an animal” included lovely lyrics like “You let me violate you. You let me desecrate you” and it just goes from there.

I’m afraid to guess what the controversial song of 2019 or what the average 12 to 22 year old thinks is just another song on the radio.

Does that make me old?

If so, I apologize for a fuddy-duddy tirade.

It seems to me that it’s perhaps time to say, “Hey, there, wait a minute.” Young man, we just don’t say things like that ‘round here.”

But whose responsibility is it to do so?

We dump so much on the schools now, but is it really their responsibility to teach manners and general citizenship?

So many parents are out of touch. Do they have any idea what their children do or even what’s in their rooms? Or are we so worried about those little darlins’ privacy that we don’t dare look? Or, are we too scared?

It sounds so cliche, and I suppose it is.

But it’s a scary thought that one day little mister blankety, blank, blank may be in charge.

Are you okay with that?

That’s something to consider one child at a time.




– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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