Middleborough, MA has concocted a law that would fine people $20 for using obscene language in public. Use of such language had once been a criminal offense in the town, but obviously the hassle and expense of giving someone a trial over swearing made it a law that was never enforced. Now police can simply issue someone a $20 ticket for swearing in public.
This is fucking bullshit. And there are no other words to describe it. In this country, you're free to say whatever you want in public. Even if it makes people uncomfortable.
Personally, I try to watch my mouth in public. And I never swear at work, or when children are present. But the idea that I might be fined $20 if I say something like "Kobe Bryant is a fucking scumbag," really pisses me off. What also pisses me off is that cops in Middleboro will have discretion over what is considered obscene and what isn't. So I might not even be able to say "What pisses me off..." I think giving police more power over citizen's day-to-day lives is a terrific idea. And so did the British in 1775.
I think people who swear loudly in public are jerks. But it's their right to say what they want. So long as they're not threatening people, they should be left alone. Making someone uncomfortable is not a threat. I'd rather make it legal to slap teenagers for being punks than for it to be illegal to swear.
The town of Middleborough (who still haven't figured out how to spell their town's name in 343 years) believes this law will put a stop to young people swearing in public. That's apparently become an epidemic in this town. And these kids might stop swearing because of this law. And I'm sure none of them engage in more seriously harmful practices like doing drugs, binge drinking, having unprotected sex, or playing lacrosse. I'm sure swearing is the darkest vice these Middleboro kids are involved in.
But hey, if Middleborough wants to try to be Pleasantville, go right ahead, fuckers. I've never stopped in your town before, I've only driven by it on 495. And now I'll never stop there for fear of getting a bullshit ticket because I said H-E-double hockey sticks.
Jiminy Cricket, way to tell our Founding Fathers to go darn themselves, you gosh darn scalawags!