A well-meaning friend gave me a ticket to the Yuk Yuks show last weekend at the Mount Forest Sports Complex, presented to raise money for the fire fighters. (Mount Forest Fire Fighters bring the laughs to town, The Confederate, Oct. 31)
The first so-called entertainer started off by asking what Mount Forest had to offer…someone from the back shouted, ‘Nothing’. This could well be true. The guy on stage started with a low, almost imperceptible voice, with what sounded to me like a sprinkling of ‘f’ words, probably to test the audience. Then, because some people laughed, the profanities got louder and louder, with the use of a microphone, and it became clear that nearly every other word was ‘f’ or ‘f…g’. Drinks were being served, so the mood was ‘light’ even before the show started.
A supposed joke followed, in my opinion, demeaning to women. At that point, I walked out, and watched the hockey game next door. What can anyone learn from a cocky, immature person whose vocabulary appears to consist of mainly two words, ‘f’ and ‘f…g’? I am sure there other people who felt uneasy. Every time I checked to see if the show was over, the same offensive language was being used.
Ok, you say, if you don’t like it, don’t go. I speak out because ‘I care’, especially about the young people of Mount Forest who largely made up the audience. Where do you think we are headed as a society? What kind of parents will they be? I learned that Ontario is known by outsiders as having the worst language, every other word being an ‘f’ word.
The biggest surprise was observing people in positions of leadership who seem to have put their stamp of approval on the show. We need leaders, even one person, who will say, this is NOT right. There are other ways to raise money that would draw out the best in these young people, like a fashion show. In a sense, it is almost an abuse to take money from young people just because you know they will ‘fall’ for it.
Why has behaviour deteriorated to this point? One reason seems to be that people are adamant about exercising their right to freedom of speech, forgetting that others have rights too, the right to peace, and to not be assaulted with offensive language. There are consequences for young people, loss of self-respect, loss of respect for each other, damage to self-esteem and problems in relationships. It seems to be forgotten that we have a right to choose to behave in a way that respects your fellow man, to treat each other decently, and speak decently to each other. If you talk disrespectfully to your children, do not be surprised when they talk back with the same words. Some parents do not bother to correct their children; they know they have lost control. I believe if we look at the ‘larger’ picture, we need to challenge ourselves, as a society, to have a set of principles and values to ‘live up to’. Young people need direction, examples to follow, and yes, correction. At least, support the teachers who are trying to instill good values and principles in their students
Happily, I do not conclude that this is a reflection of the people of Mount Forest area, as I am sure these shows attract a ‘certain clientele’. This fellow would have been hissed and booed off stage with a broader audience from various backgrounds. Do you think someone of true talent for writing, acting, and comedy would have sat through it? Anyone with real drama skills knows that using offensive language is just smoke screen for lack of talent.
To those who think it’s ok to be mean, life will teach you, you will get what you give, truth will win, the joke will be on you.