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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 June 6, 2008 / 3 Sivan, 5768

The Name of the Game — Vulgarity

By Greg Crosby


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What could be nicer than sitting down to the breakfast table, turning on the morning radio and listening to a commercial about vaginal discharge? Or watching a little TV in the evening with the kids when the erectile dysfunction ad comes on. Welcome to American radio and television commercials in the year 2008, where truly, anything goes and everything is said out loud in the basest, most explicit and crudest ways.


Regular readers of this column have heard my rant on this before. I've written about the ever expanding vulgarity of our culture many times, but just when I think there's nothing more to say about it, it gets worse. It really does. The downward spiral in civility hasn't reached bottom yet — not by a long shot. We're living smack dab in the middle of the era of ugly, and things are only going to get uglier. You can't turn on a television without getting ugly pictures, ugly words, and ugly music — it's been going in that direction for a long time.


Like wild dogs rolling in their own dirt, the creative advertising geniuses are rolling in bodily function terms that not all that long ago were considered déclassé and vulgar. It seems to work like this — one company will try a word, and if no tsunami wave of moral outrage by the public is detected, then all the other companies jump right in and use the term too.


One of their current favorites is the word mucus. It started with those commercials which showed ugly animated monsters doing the cha-cha in your chest and now all the decongestant products are happily using the word in their advertising. Robitussin actually uses the word four or five times in a single 30 second spot. They really enjoy saying it.


Used to be a time, however, when advertisers went out of their way not to offend their audience. They looked for words to convey the general idea without being crude about it. For instance, you don't have to say "mucus," the word "congestion" will work nicely without conjuring up repulsive images. The only reason to use words like "mucus" and "pus" and "phlegm" is to shock.


Another word that once was avoided in commercials but is now commonplace is "diarrhea." Of course it is used all the time now, as is the word, "constipation." Remember when the common euphemism for "constipation" in ads was "irregularity?" When they told us that Ex-lax, or whatever the product happened to be, would treat our irregularity we all got the idea just fine. We didn't need the 8x10 picture in living color.


Deodorant commercials would never have used the word "sweat" years ago, preferring the kinder, gentler approach, the word of choice back then was "perspiration."


But it isn't only the words that have become more vivid, it's the images. We are shown a woman bouncing up and down, biting her lip, rolling her eyes, and crossing her legs in that all too familiar "Oooo…I gotta go, but I'm trying to hold it in" pose. Funny stuff, eh? Boy, it must have been a riot in the agency meeting room.


TV Ads not only show it all, they rub your face in it. So not only are we told a certain product will prevent "smelly feet," we actually get see the smelly feet up close and personal, right in the camera. Lucky us.


I'm not even going to get into all the feminine personal products which are advertised so descriptively on TV. Personal is the key word here. These things USED TO BE considered personal and private, but no more. Not the way they're hawked on TV. Twelve year-old kids watching TV today know more about women's internal workings than the average gynecologist knew 25 years ago.


Every now and then you get a commercial which is not only offensive, but incomprehensible. Like the following: There's an ad for a men's sexual enhancement drug that is run on TV all the time where the last scene shows a guy sitting in a claw foot bathtub with his back to the camera. Next to him is another claw foot bathtub with a woman in it, also with her back to the camera. Both of these tubs are freestanding outside overlooking the setting sun. Get it? Me either.


The only thing I can say is thank goodness TV remote controls have mute buttons. As soon as the show goes to commercial we mute it. And turn our heads away.


Oh, what I wouldn't give to go back to the time of those innocent, insipid, dumb commercials that used to drive us nuts. "Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya." "Mama mia! That's a spicy meat-a ball!" "Please don't squeeze the Charmin." "You'll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent." "Good 'til the last drop." "Helps build strong bodies twelve ways." "Sugar Pops are tops!" "Let Hertz put you in the driver's seat." "See the USA in your Chevrolet." "Betcha can't eat just one!" "I'd rather fight than switch!"


Once upon a time commercial ads were annoying. Now they're insulting, rude, vulgar, low, and repulsive. And oh yes, they're still annoying.


However, there may be a way for them to actually have a positive effect on our society …if our governmental interrogators are looking for something to replace waterboarding with. Just strap down all the Khalid Sheik Mohammeds to chairs, crank up "Viva Viagra" and they'll get more information than they'll know what to do with.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2006, Greg Crosby

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