The Corner

Bleeped and Not-Bleeped

Thought I’d give you a sampling of mail on this “teabagger” piece — three very different letters:



Somehow, “balls to the wall” and “balls out,” which aren’t obscene, are now considered to be so. “Balls to the wall” comes from WW2 bomber pilots and their throttle levers; “balls out” has to do with governors on steam engines. Anyway, whenever someone uses either expression on TV, it’s bleeped out. ESPN did it yesterday when a football player said “balls to the wall.”


Yet “teabagger” is okay?

All right, Letter No. 2:

I hope that we can run the term “teabagger” out of town on a rail. More than that, I hope that conservatives will embrace the Tea Party concept in every possible way. Everything about the term Tea Party has a positive connotation. Tea is good. Parties are good. Tea Parties are good, and the Boston Tea Party is part of our shared history as Americans. Before you know it, Democrats will be declaring that they’re the ones with the real Tea Party spirit.

Well, that would be interesting. And No. 3:


You speak of the “N-word” as the worst word in American English. And I have two questions for you. First, is a word that cannot be spoken or even spelled out (“the N-word”) even a word any longer? For instance, in another 20 years, won’t there be a fair number of people who won’t know what “N-word” means?

I doubt it.


second, if some people are allowed to use a word, and use it with abandon, how can it really be the worst of all words? Wouldn’t the worst of all words be one that no one, anywhere, should use?

Culture, like life, is strange.