I have some sympathy for Justin Trudeau and his use of profanity. The young man’s expletive at a charity boxing match was uttered in a moment of excitement at an entertainment event. Unfortunately as the leader of the federal Liberals, some will use the folly to try and diminish his political stature by holding him to a higher standard than mere mortals.
TV camera operators are extremely good at capturing the mouthed verbal ruffage at poignant moments when an official misses a call or a foul is perpetrated by an opposing player. If you watch sports, it’s pretty darn easy to read lips and figure out what the players or the coaches are saying, even if you can’t hear.
Psychologists suggest the behaviours children observe in their parents has a big influence in how they themselves will behave. I have been chastised for spitting out a car window. I wasn’t aware I was being observed. What was common for a small town boy, isn’t acceptable to mothers with sons in the city.
After tapping an imaginary tobacco pipe stem against my lip, contemplating the young Trudeau’s transgression, I recalled an incident during the 70’s of a certain political leader’s vernacular. The Conservative MP John Lundrigan accused then prime minister Pierre Trudeau of mouthing a four letter obscenity in parliament.
When the 70’s a profanity scandal in parliament took centre stage, a new toy had shown up on school playgrounds. The senior parliamentarian Trudeau, downplayed the incident with the uttering of fuddle-duddle to the press. At this same time, kids were playing with clackers or Ker-Bangers toys as Wikipedia calls them. The kids on my island home Newfoundland, called the toy fuddle-duddle balls.
Many moons ago, our family received a notice from daycare that a specific word our daughter used either as a noun, an adjective or an adverb was unacceptable. I explained to our eight-year-old she couldn’t use the word even though she had heard it from her father’s mouth. It wasn’t bad but if she used the word it would upset people and we would have to talk again. No further reports came from daycare.
Justin, no doubt saw a few mouthed words or frank utterances that Margret wished dear old dad Pierre wouldn’t have used in front of the kids. This is not Justin’s first time in the dog house for a choice of words. He has apologized in parliament for other slips of the tongue.
The clacking of obscene language is rare for public officials but it does happen. I accept the human frailty that causes such utterances. I also live by the adage of not casting stones if I am not without blame.