Friday, July 26, 2013

Craig Johnson Book Tour.
Last night I joined about 150 people at the Viridian Events Center (8030 South 1825 West, West Jordan, Utah) to listen to Craig Johnson, who authored the "Walt Longmire Mysteries". His work is the inspiration for the popular "Longmire" series on the A&E network.

I've watched the television series and enjoyed it immensely. I have not read the books, a situation in which I intend to correct, soon. He had a video introduction which was well done, but I thought ran a bit long. Nevertheless, his talk was very entertaining and earthy. I think most folks in attendance enjoyed him, but there were a few who seemed a bit taken aback by an off-color joke and the word "horseshit."

The joke was attributed to the star of the TV series who is from Australia. I won't retell it here, but it had to do with New Zealanders and sheep. I heard later from a lady in attendance that she would not be buying any of his books, largely because of his foul mouth. She would, however, continue watching the TV series which does not include profanity, but does include rape, murder, child abuse, etc.

Everyone has their standards. I respect those standards as long as they are not imposed on others. It seems a shame to me when good writing is ignored because of an impression of the author as profane. I try to adhere to the social norm, but sometimes I fail. For that, I apologize.

The world is filled with profanity. Not all of it is easily recognized as irreverent, disrespectful, or insulting. I have worked and lived in environments where profanity of the first order has dominated conversations. You learn to recognize it as a means to vent frustration, communicate humor, sadness, joy and most any other emotion you can list. It has a gut-level beauty of it's own. All you have to do is listen.

We often hear from intelligentsia how immature and uneducated such language is. In my opinion, that is nonsense--or, I could say, "horseshit." Every level of society experiences some measure of profanity. Leaders of all types have used it--or not. Followers use it, fence-sitters use it, but it's the values of those people that matter.

It seems most people who are offended by profanity tend to overlook the values of the speaker and condemn him/her as illiterate or a fool. Vice President Biden notwithstanding, such judgments are themselves foolish.


  1. I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone dismiss an author or a book because of language. Honestly, it's not the language that's the problem. Like you said, they won't read the book but they'll watch the show which is full of unsavory behaviors. Come on people - what's worse - one cuss word or making bad judgement calls?

    1. Thanks, Jodi. My 96 year old mother-in-law is a died in the wool Latter Day Saint. She does not cuss, at least not by normal standards. She and all of her 9 kids (5 boys, 4 girls) were raised in north-central Wyoming and are very familiar with the expletives used on a ranch. All of her kids cuss to one degree or another. Even she will use the word, "arse" on occasion. She and her family are some of the most charming and wonderful people you could ever meet. I'm honored to be part of that goofy, generous, imaginative group of cussers. They're all saints of the first order, as far as I'm concerned.

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