When I was little, I mimicked a saying I overheard from my Dad about a tiger biting off somebody’s balls.  The tiger-and-balls sentence happens to rhyme in Polish, which made it hilarious to both my Dad and me (we were at about the same maturity level).  When I repeated it to my Grandpa, I expected hysterical laughter.  Instead, he was aghast, and proceeded to express his strong views about the dangers of hippie childrearing.

Maybe I’m just getting too old for this, or maybe things have really gotten worse, because I’ve been aghast myself at some recent examples of foul language being directed at kids.  First, there was the video of a swearing toddler in Omaha, Nebraska.  In the video, a child still in diapers is both getting cursed at and encouraged to repeat cursewords and obscene phrases by the “adults” in his life.  Then, Madonna got in hot water for using the n-word to refer to her son on Instagram (she claims this was a “term of endearment”).

Now, we’re definitely in apples and oranges territory here.  Madonna’s use of the n-word obviously carries different racial connotations than the same word being used by the black family in the Nebraska video.  On the other hand, the toddler in the video is younger and more vulnerable than Madonna’s teenage son.  But I still come away from both situations with one thought–can we try to restrain our use of swearing and coarse language (not to mention racial slurs!) around our kids?  Regardless of whether we’re a regular working family or a wealthy celebrity, let’s try to set a good example for our children, and raise them to be polite and classy people.

God help me–I’ve turned into my grandfather, and I’m okay with that.

Okay, I have to admit it, I was underwhelmed by Madonna’s halftime show performance (I ignored the whole football game part of the event).  Yes, I’m going to critique the Goddess of Pop, and I’m sure I’ll get struck down by lightning for it.  I’m all for living your life to the fullest at any age, but Madonna seemed slightly pathetic trying to pretend that she is still twenty.  She was having trouble with her dance moves and high kicks, looked very stiff, and a little ludicrous when trying to be provocative.

To me this underscores the problem with today’s music world.  In the old days of music, a singer Madonna’s age would probably not have come out hopping around in a short skirt and trying to do synchronized dance routines.  She would have made an entrance in an elegant dress and then knocked everyone in the audience out with…amazing singing.  I know, what a concept.  But Madonna’s voice has never been that great.  To her credit, even fewer of the singers of today’s generation seem to be able to sing at all.  (And yes, I realize I sound like a grumpy old woman writing this.  Oh well.)  I know Beyonce and Adele have genuine talent and will still be performing years from now, but what will Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj do when they’re older?  That’s the problem with relying on a superficial shell of sexiness to market yourself—once that is gone, there might be nothing left.

Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter.  The Super Bowl apparently hit one of the highest activity levels ever for tweeting about a live event, including during Madonna’s performance.  So the audience doesn’t really pay attention.  They’re too busy multitasking and commenting about what they’re watching. 

Also, I have to give Madonna kudos for her “World Peace” message at the end of the performance.  Since that’s something we all want and stuff.  If it stops the war with Iran from happening, I’ll reverse my entire negative review.

I still wish Cee-Lo would have done the halftime show, though.