books life Musing

Profane Public Squares

The Amazon Top 20 nonfiction lists includes two bestsellers, both from HarperOne, that include the f-word in their title and on their covers. A single asterisk keeps both titles from their honest spellings. My memory will not win any awards, but I simply do not recall ever seeing a trade book in Barnes and Noble with the f-word on the cover like that whilst growing up. One heard swears, of course, but one never read them on window-copy bestsellers. Maybe it’s time to ask our politicians and cultural elites, who go to great lengths to talk about “protecting children,” why they would file a restraining order against me for standing outside Target and yelling profanity at their kids, but seem to think I’ll be inclined to pay $15.99 for them to return the favor.

Meanwhile, literally as I was going to type this, I see that the Cleveland Indians are going to retire their mascot, Chief Wahoo, over concerns about racial stereotypes. I guess offensiveness can lead to change. You just have to be offensive in the right way.

By Samuel D. James

Believer, husband, father, acquisitions editor, writer.