In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 3, 2007 / 21 Tishrei, 5768

New strategy in culture war against profanity

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This is why we are losing the culture war: I'm working the apparel concession stand at a college football game as part of a fundraiser for my daughter's high school. I spot a college student wearing a shirt emblazoned with a profane suggestion for his team's rival — a suggestion that includes a word variously employed as a noun, an adjective and an adverb, but in this case strenuously invoked as a verb.

I point out the shirt to my co-worker behind the apparel counter, lamenting the lack of manners and general civility in society that makes it possible for a person to exercise his right to free speech so offensively.

The next thing I know, my volunteer co-worker has engaged the profanely attired college guy in a verbal assault.

"That shirt makes you look ignorant," he says.

Huh?" the college boy replies.

"Stupid. Ignorant and stupid. That's how you look wearing a shirt like that."

I don't disagree, but it's clear this approach isn't going to get us anywhere, culturally speaking.

I try to defuse the situation with a softer angle. "Dude," I say, "there are kids and old people all over this place. A lot of them will be really offended by your shirt. Maybe you could turn it inside out."

The college guy considers this suggestion for a nanosecond and then remembers that someone else just called him ignorant and stupid. He walks away.

If you're keeping score, that's another point for barbarism; civility, 0.

We've all been in a situation like this at one time or another. You're at a ballgame, and the man in front of you shouts a suggestion to the referee that's both painful to contemplate and physically impossible.

Or you're waiting in line at the grocery checkout while the woman in front of you dresses down her child with a stream of four-letter words.

You're annoyed — incredulous even. But you're oddly paralyzed, caught between a confrontation you would like to have and the knowledge that you'll only elevate your blood pressure while creating a useless and unpleasant scene.

How many of us have delivered eloquent lectures in our heads to admonish the uncouth idiots tailgating at the next parking space or camped out near our spot on the beach?

How often have we ranted — articulately but unheard — while driving behind a car whose vulgar bumper stickers betray a serious anger-management problem?

We would like to say the very thing my volunteer co-worker said to the college guy — or just yell, "Hey fella, you're a buffoon" — but instead, we stand silent, seething, thinking of pithy put-downs and great comebacks.

On occasion, we might try speaking up, as a friend of mine did recently at a ballgame. When the woman next to him started tossing the f-bomb, he nudged her and said, "There are kids all around us. How about you watch what you say?"

He must have struck a nerve because she responded by turning around and apologizing to the man behind her, who was watching the game with his two children.

The father's response? "Don't worry about it, honey — they hear that word all the time."


The sad fact is we mostly have become desensitized to public profanity and coarse conversation. We shrug our shoulders, mutter something like, "That's what's wrong with the world today," and move on.

But maybe that's what's wrong with the world today.

Maybe it's time for us to regain a sense of righteous indignation when we're confronted with behavior that chips away at social convention.

I'm not sure my fellow volunteer made any headway with the college guy by letting him know his T-shirt advertised his diminished intellectual capacity. You have to figure someone who thinks it's all right to wear a shirt with the f-word on it enjoys the attention he gets by shocking people more than the recognition he might get by learning a few multisyllabic words.

I think, instead, it's time to try an alternative approach — a tactic that falls somewhere between the brilliant but undelivered lecture and the full-scale self-righteous rant.

Next time it happens, I'm going to try to uplift civilization as we know it simply by asking nicely for more polite public behavior.

Obviously, there's a good chance this won't work. In fact, it's likely that nicely asking someone to stop using profanity in public will elicit a response in keeping with the very problem I'm trying to address.

I suppose in that case I might learn some new phrases — or at least I can continue to mull over the many parts of speech covered by specific four-letter words in the English language.

Then again, it might work, and if it does, there's a chance I could advance the score for civilized society. I may not win the culture war, but at least I'll be in it.

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"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2007, Marybeth Hicks