Two toddlers walk into a bar…

I’m not overly prudish. I can appreciate a form-fitting skirt, a cool glass of whiskey, Everclear turned up good and loud. I’ve even been known to drop an expletive or two. But one thing I cannot abide is this trend, which took wing with Linda Blair’s exploitation in The Exorcist, of bathing children in filth and calling it entertainment.

The latest low-point: comedian David Cross employs children to do obscene monologues as warm-up acts before his own mediocre stand-up routine. As he explained to the equally mediocre Jimmy Kimmel, objections from parents are not really a problem:

“When Kimmel asked about how difficult it was to get these kids’ parents to sign off on their kids performing these filthy monologues, Cross said he was surprised at their enthusiasm. ‘There is no shortage of parents who will gleefully exploit their children.'”

It’s all so very funny and post-modern, this turning upside down of things. Having been inured to m*****f***** by its daily employment everywhere from comedy routines to subways, we only find it titillating in the mouths of children. This is part and parcel with the increasing deployment of children in movies as monsters (30 Days of Night, Legion), and of greater willingness to depict their corpses immediately after they’ve been butchered (Funny Games, Gone Baby Gone).

Curse all you want. Shake your booty. Hack people up to bits in your slasher flicks. But if we’re going to relax the norm that says the innocence of children should be protected, then maybe we should relax the norm that says I can’t smack someone upside his fat head. Because I’ve got a few people in mind.


  1. Jeff Brokaw

    I’ve no idea who this David Cross character is. Sounds like a real winner. But this is typical of the entertainment industry: it’s cool to overturn every cultural standard. Just, you know, because.

    OK, sure. Hey, guess what? You just traded audience for cool factor. Good plan!

    Terry Teachout wrote something in the WSJ the other day about popular playwrights being big stars back in the 60s and before. The media chooses who to promote, and had a sense of style and taste back then. Today, not so much.

  2. Beth

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I’m a pediatric ER nurse, and husband is a family therapist for foster kids. Trust me, there’s enough exploitation of the innocent in real life…that people choose to be entertained by it is chilling beyond words. Count us in on the head-smacking activities.

  3. Carl Holmes

    I have something a little more ruinous (thinking tatoo saying I am a big Fat Head somewhere public on their body) In mind.

    Bit I digress, smack em, because apparently mom and dad never did.

  4. David Andersen

    When I was younger I didn’t care for pre-teens sporting pierced ears. I guess that was small-time.

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