Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We need a new word

There has been some discussion over the issue of whether Free Dominion is really a family friendly site.

I understand why some feel might not feel it isn't a family-friendly site.

I do not speak for all posters on Free Dominion, but I have a hunch its supporters use "family-friendly" in a way that is different than the larger society does, because there doesn't exist a better term for it.

The products of our culture have become so sexualized, vulgarized, de-christianized and have generally lost all sense of decency that it is almost expected of adults to be vulgar, open, secular and generally not very decent.

Are there exceptions? Sure. But the general trend in our culture is, well, to coin a word-- it's crapification.

Just as an example. You turn on the tv. You watch a standup routine on the Comedy Channel. It's full of swear words, It must mention sex in an overt fashion, with no respect for its intimacy and the audience is assumed to be secular and liberal, and therefore "open" and "tolerant" to all that swill.

So you switch channels. You find an episode of Baywatch-- maybe not the worse show on T.V., but the women are skimping out with their breasts half hanging out of their bikinis.

Switch. It's Montel Williams, with a guest wondering who her baby's daddy is. The audience is supposed to get off on people's pain.

Switch. The Movie Channel. The f-word is used a hundred times a minute.

Switch. CBC Documentary on an adolescent transexual. There is no question that is appropriate.

Switch. French News. They show outright nudity from some artist's avant-garde stunt.

Switch. Music Channel. Rap Video. Need I say more?

And on and on and on.

The problem is that between that and say, TreeHouse TV (the preschool channel) there isn't a whole lot out there-- reasonably clean entertainment and news from "Judeo-Christian" view-- and I'm not even talking about basing it on the Bible-- simply a respect for basic decorum and decency, all the while treating people as adults. So that vulgar words and insults are not thrown around willy-nilly; there isn't a persistent crassness and rudeness. People respect the idea that some things should be private. And if a thread must contain offensive material, posters are warned and they can decide what to read or look at.

Free Dominion, to convey that idea uses the word "family-friendly" but I don't think that the owners, Mark and Connie are seriously saying that the forum is intended for kids. Rather, I think they intend the forum to be a place where a certain sense of decency is respected, without treating the posters like little kids unable to judge for themselves regarding what they should look at or not.

Is everyone positively upright and polite in every interaction? No. But that's the standard that they're trying to achieve: that of having serious discussions from a conservative perspective that don't become a verbal free-for-all with no respect for anyone's sensitivities.

We need a new word: a word for a climate that is neither "adult", nor "pre-school" or "priggish" but rather one that respects just basic decency.

I don't know that word. Whatever it is, that's what Free Dominion is.

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