So one of my comments for Blogtor Who Commentaries was bleeped on the podcast. The bleeped word was “wank”. This caused me some disquiet. I’m not upset at Sandy and Cameron, not at all. I’m a little upset at me. Maybe.
I don’t mind being a bit rude, but I do mind being more than just a teensy bit offensive. I don’t really want to cross the bleep barrier. And it’s really weird when you belong to a language/culture group that goes around appropriating other people’s words and using them willy-nilly, as my language/culture group does.
When I was homeschooling my boys once upon a time, one exercise we did was giant post-its on the walls of the dining room whereupon we categorized types of offensive speech. Blasphemy was there. Profanity was there. Racial slurs, rude words, and other expressions that will get your ass kicked.
I don’t think “wank” or “wanker” were on any of the lists, but I still think in these categories. On my mental post-its, these words are slightly higher than “crap” and “ass” but a bit below “douchebag” on the “rude words” list. I have to now wonder if they belong on the “profanity” list, along with the f-bomb. By the way the f-bomb is one of my favorite words in the universe, but you’re not likely to catch it here, because of what list it’s on and what other lists I’d like this site to be on.
In context, this word was originally chosen by another person to convey the idea that some emotional content in Doctor Who is there simply to gratify the parts of the human brain that want it, not to necessarily further the plot or theme or whatever aspect of a TV show one would describe as its value. The idea is that some emotional content is gratuitous. The “monsters and wank” rating is supposed to serve as a warning for people who hold similar opinions or otherwise are allergic to too much touchy-feely.
Is “wank” rude or is it profane? Should this rating be called something else? If so, what? I thought about calling it “monsters and crap” but while that maintains the worthlessness concept, it loses the desirable gratuitous stimulation aspect, and that’s sort of key.