Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beloved Aunt

All the hoopla over Jane Fonda's on-air faux pas this morning not only had me in hysterics (Offended people: come on, you have to admit it's pretty hilarious that it happened, especially on the Today Show. The only way it could have been better is if Katie Couric was conducting the interview) but got me to thinking about the use of language on TV and how certain words are off limits. Anyway, I want to say a quick word on her behalf. Ms. Fonda was not on the interview to offend anyone. In fact she was there with playwright Eve Ensler (whom some neanderthal credited as "playwrite" on the character generator) to promote the 10th anniversary of the V-Day movement; which began 2.14.98 with a benefit reading of The Vagina Monologues. Anyway, while I think the word was probably better left unsaid, I do think that people shouldn't really fly off the handle at her either. The word, as offensive as many find it, was actually being used in the context of a literary title; it so happens to be the title of the monologue she was asked to perform. It was also uttered in response to a question posed by Vieira about Fonda's initial reticence to get involved with the play. Her response to Ensler was "I don't think so. I've got enough problems." It was funny, you have to admit to see Meredith Vieira trying in vain to maintain her poise; she was pretty stunned. About ten minutes later, Vieira apologized on behalf of NBC and Fonda for the slang term usage. And while I don't suggest we all open up our windows and scream out every vaginal and penile euphemism at the top of our lungs (though the darker side of me giggles at the prospect), I hope that this slip-up today doesn't overshadow what Ensler and her initiative is trying to accomplish: bringing about an end to violence against women worldwide.

I wonder, were people more offended when Diane Keaton casually dropped the word "Fuck" on Good Morning, America or by this morning's incident? We certainly have some sassy older actresses making the talk show rounds these days. Better be ready on the censor button when Meryl Streep makes her next appearance on The View.

Anyway, I laugh because I'm reminded of a very special episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, from whence cometh the title for this post. In said episode, Larry promises to get an obituary in the paper for his wife's recently deceased aunt. Well, you can figure out the rest, I'm sure. If not, watch it, it's hilarious. There was also a pretty crazy 30 Rock episode that also dealt with this insult of insults. For those who are offended by said word, I am sorry. It is a word - and an offensive one - but there are worse things going on in the world that really should be commanding our attention at this time.

1 comment:

SarahB said...

I actually saw Diane K. say that on GMA. It was pretty funny because as soon as she said it, she realized it and apologized and Diane Sawyer thought it was pretty funny too. The bottom line that it's not the words that are offensive, it's the way they are used or who they are directed toward. Sigh. Some people never learn that there are indeed bigger issues at hand. Oh well.