Jul 16

Nat Torkington

Nat Torkington

Why iMovie Should Be Classified as a Dual-Use Technology

I got up early with the kids this morning and made this movie while my wife slept. Caution: contains foul language and political thought.

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Nat Torkington posted a short movie last week that combines bad language and adorable kids. Yeah, it's scandalous. A little. But I take it as teaching your kids that the power of these words is in the intention and use. In my family, if we're talking a... Read More

It’s been a helluva week. Myspace got bought for over half a billion dollars. Podcasting died (but not really), and an important development in beer tapping technology was announced. Oh yeah, we spent the week at Always On and learned a lot ab... Read More LOL ... Read More

Comments: 135

  God [07.16.05 01:12 PM]

Are you kidding me? You sure are a great parent.

  Phil [07.16.05 01:23 PM]

Fucking brilliant.

Good lord, NAUGHTY LANGUAGE. He is a great parent. Teaching your children that 'bad words' simply don't exist is something everyone needs to do.

Bad intentions? Yep. Bad actions? Sure. Bad words? That's just silly.

"Humbug" was considered profane 100 years ago.

  Rich Gibson [07.16.05 01:49 PM]


That is of course stunning. The final word punchline is perfect. I feel too conventional to have the nerve to have made something like that...hats off to you.


  Cock Sucker [07.16.05 03:41 PM]

Your daughter no doubt will become one of the words she said.

  Sean Warburton [07.16.05 05:25 PM]

I'm a foul mouthed father of two and pretty liberal minded so why does your video cause me such concern? I don't know the answer but I think you did your children an injustice here, your son's facial expression showed how uncomfortable he was saying some of the words, you exploited your own childrens innocence.

A better word than cunt would have been twat, it's a word that best describes their dad.

  petros [07.16.05 05:26 PM]

If it wasn't for life forms last the last poster, it would be so easy to dismiss the importance of evolution. If you try to email him (or her) you will see how appropriate his domain is.

  bedouin [07.16.05 05:27 PM]

My father, along with his friends swore around me profusely when I was a child, and never really cared if I did either. The issue is appropriateness; if your son/daughter can't distinguish appropriate times and places to use certain words, he or she is doomed to be a failure in the future anyway -- swear words or not.

Good film.

  gnat [07.16.05 07:32 PM]

Sean, thanks for your comment. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the movie. You saw discomfort, but I have six outtakes of William trying to say "motherfucker" without cracking up laughing. I don't think they felt exploited, just amused that Dad was giving them an opportunity to say these words. (And, in Raley's case, a little grumpy that Dad wouldn't accept her first take so she could go back to playing with her dollies :-)


  Darren [07.16.05 10:31 PM]

Can I get a little back story here? I was under the impression that most American schools ought taught evolution. As such, I'm not really seeing the point. Did your kids get scolded for talking about evolution? Does your school district also (or only) teach creationism?

I'm not a regular reader of your blog, so I may have missed the back story, but I'm not seeing your point.

  gnat [07.16.05 10:44 PM]

We live in a school district that is relatively free from the fight to teach creationi---sorry, intelligent design, so this isn't an account of a personal battle. It's just a humorous riff on the endless battles in other parts of the country. I hope you found it entertaining, as it was intended to be.

  Gerard van Schip [07.17.05 12:17 AM]

Fantastic! These words are out there, they will hear them at some point and it is better to talk about tham than to pretend they are not there.

I tought my kids all those words and more, said they could use them if they chose too but also told them they would risk people thinking poorly of them. 3 years after this lesson I still get corrected by them for using any of these words...

  wakko [07.17.05 12:35 AM]

oh no his kids will surely grow up to be murderers now. you people are all completely missing the fucking point, or you are all completely ignorant to what's going on in many places around the country.

  doug Petrosky [07.17.05 12:39 AM]


I found you punch line funny but it would have been more accurate for the last word to be:


For a country where a founding principal was "FREEDOM OF RELIGION" we sure seem to try to suppress it.

Note: I personally have no faith in a creator as I can't yet find any proof to that end. But at the same time I find the idea that matter and energy have always existed (forever...infinite).

The difference between Atheists and people of faith to me is simple. I can say with confidence and proof that Atheists are closed minded idiots (there is no way that they know they are correct but yet they profess it as absolute truth) but the people of faith may be there because they know they are correct (and if there is a all powerful controlling force in the universe it could make it's self known to people).

Thus, some parting words for each side:

People in glass houses......
Judge not lest yee.............

More than enough said.

  Adam Jacob Muller [07.17.05 12:49 AM]

Fucking Brilliant

  Harald Hansen [07.17.05 01:23 AM]

Excellent! No bad words, only bad actions (and awkward social situations...)

And to the people who feel that religion is being supressed in the US: WTF are you on about!??! Visit one of the remaining communist states for a bit of perspective! Or try to imagine a presidential candidate who went our and said "I don't believe in God". He/she would not have a chance of winning.

  Adam Jacob Muller [07.17.05 01:56 AM]

It's not that people think that religion is opresssed here. Even if they do blab on about that incessently. There are just some people who can't stand the fact that religion is not at the center of everyones live here in the USA. They are also very angry because they see that stuffing relgion down other people's throats as public policy is coming to an end here in the USA. They don't like the seperation of church and state they are the kind of people that would prefer it if every single politician, nay every single person in the USA, had to pass some kind of religious litmus test. Nothing less than that would suffice. They see diversity as the harbringer of the apocalypse, they believe that their religion is meaningless if it's not universal. Since no religion is universal they are right, their religion is meaningless, it has been rendered so by themselves. They have literally been made fools of. From the religious conservatives who oppose "killing babies" but convienently forget about the "thou shall not kill" part of religion when it comes to executing children to the religious conservatives that think that two consenting adults who do what they choose behind closed doors should be shot but that their pastor who sleeps with little boys should be given a pass because a man of god, religion is and always has been about hipocrisy.
My only consolation is that the anger we are seeing here in the USA is because the religious conservatives know they are on their last leg and that their strangle-hold on this country is nearing it's end.

  Steven Frein [07.17.05 02:22 AM]

Great movie. I think kids should learn Fuck, shit and cunt early in life. Lets face it, all the right wing wackos who are christian bible thumpers are just plain old shit fucking cunts. Kids need to learn when to say that to uncle Rush or uncle rove.

Good job

  d0rk [07.17.05 03:19 AM]

oh nos, teh dirty words.

all you people that are so easily offended by these words need to keep in mind that some of these words were even in the bible. some have been edited over the years, like the word "cunt" has been changed to "jesus".

look it up.

  Chris Telford [07.17.05 03:55 AM]

In reply to doug Petrosky; Two words,

Occam's Razor.

( )

Or to put it another way, as an atheist i don't believe in the existence of god in the same way that i don't believe in the existence of a race of super intelligent pink hippopotamus's living on the far side of Pluto buried 100 miles underground in a futuristic hyper-city. Neither can be disproved absolutely (as the evidence currently stands), but Occam's razor applies in both cases.

  errrr ? [07.17.05 05:19 AM]

Is it about words ?
Or is it about general moral thinking ?

I can see a benefit to the whole of a society to be guarded in it's acceptance of the use of profanity but I can see absolutely no benefit to anyone in teaching creationism.

Evolution is far more extra-ordinary than the idea of creation in 6 days.
In response to the question:
" what caused the Big Bang "
Steven Hawkins ( leading scientist ) will tell you that:
" to know that would be to know the mind of God "

The 6 day technique the creationists love is a huge understatement compared to the single instance of all creation that science prefers. Science has a far more inspired insight into the workings of God than your average religous business, and what's more Science is prepared to share it with all and continues to marvel at it's beauty.

Now that really does sound like the will of God.

  Andrea [07.17.05 05:53 AM]

[quote] Bad intentions? Yep. Bad actions? Sure. Bad words? That's just silly. [/quote]

Now, if you were a woman and a random primary school kid said the word 'cunt' to your face for shits and giggles or, say, called you a 'dirty lesbian' while you were taking a stroll through your little hometown, would that classify as "bad actions" or "bad words"? Or, replace 'cunt' with 'cocksucker' and think about it.

I feel rather strongly about the non-separation of church and state in the US--and I'm not even American--but I fail to see the connection between offensive language (not counting 'piss' and 'shit' here, seriously) and the whole Evolution vs. God mess.

  Imajilon [07.17.05 06:33 AM]

My daddy was a Navy Sea-Bee and later, worked most of his life as a body-and-fender man. "Shit-head" was the first of lot's of joyous cursing I remember learning from my dad. We'd all laugh ('cept mom, who thought people went to hell for swearing) when he'd yell at some driver, calling him or her a "stupid shit-head!".

Taught my kids to swear early on, gave 'em lot's of good examples . . . my son went on to learn Russian and as you might expect, swearing sounds awesome in Russian.

I know several other women who share my appreciation for good cursing, too . . . think of grandmothers sitting around saying things like "that hand fucking stank!", and, "Miriam's husband is such a dick-stand".

My current favorite is "shit-stain", like, "nice work, shit-stain." It's so derogatory! It has a nice visceral punch that makes people wince.

Anyway, thanks for sharing, you're not a shit-stain dad at all, create some more controversy, and have a fuckin' gorgeous day!

  DrJohn [07.17.05 07:01 AM]

I find it hard to think of terse, Anglo-Saxon words for bodily functions (and pleasures) as "swearing." To me, "swearing" refers to "Taking the name of ... etc." "God Damn" and "Jesus H. Christ," etc. are "swearing." Of course, I am 75 yrs. old.

Asking kids to say them is harmless enough, but dragging in the dispute over evolution seems pointless. Yes, there is a dispute. No, it is impossible to prove or disprove the theory in an absolute, scientific manner. So why bother with it? Fuck it, let life go on.

  Randall McDaniel [07.17.05 08:54 AM]

Team America - World Police should be required viewing for all children. To the guy that said schools are anti freedom of religion - Take your kids to a private school if you want them to believe in ghosts. I'd rather mine believe in aliens.

  Adam [07.17.05 09:18 AM]

The fact that we have CLOSED minded people sitting on our school board in the states, that believe that ONLY creationism should be taught, and that they can not stand evolution teaching in the class room. Its amazing that this country swings from one extreme to another, people want GOD to be strickin from all governemnt documents which our governement was founded with. And now the other extreme, people want to force their religion/beliefs down you.

Separation from church and state, NO... its obvious our founding fathers let some aspects leak into our government in SYMBOLISM for what all religions OR moral beliefs stand for. BE A GOOD PERSON.

I wish people would stop sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.

  A reader [07.17.05 09:26 AM]

Leaving aside the issue of whether it's right to have your kids swear on camera, it's wrong to post them doing so on the web. 20 years from now this might still follow them around. A careful parent is very cautious about posting even still pictures of her/his children online. This is just wrong and stupid. And it's not very funny either.

  Peter Andrijeski [07.17.05 09:28 AM]

A quick note to Doug Pretrovsky:

Hi Doug. I just wanted to clarify some (fairly common) confusion about atheists. Atheists are the opposite of theists. That is, they *believe* that God does not exist, just as theists *believe* in God's existence. There isn't necessarily any claim to *knowledge* in either case. In fact, surveys show that most people who describe themselves as atheists don't entirely discount the possibility of God's existence, they just don't think it's the more likely case.

In belief, they are virtually indistinguishable from people who refer to themselves as "agnostics," in that the majority of both groups think that God's existence is unknowable, but also think the odds are very much against it. The major difference between the two groups may be simply that one would prefer to avoid the widely held inaccurate beliefs around the "atheist" term.


  kerri [07.17.05 09:37 AM]

Maybe I'm dense, but I don't get it. What does a video of children using language that is generally accepted as 'foul' have to do with creationism v. evolution?

Maybe you're trying to demonstrate a parallel here...we (as a society) thought once that some higher power created the universe, but now we know better -- with this I agree. But does this somehow go hand-in-hand with the notion that we thought once that it wasn't OK for children to use foul language, but now it is?

*I* have an idea! You know, once it was thought that we had to put covers on our electrical outlets, to prevent kids from sticking bobby pins and knives into them...fuck that! I say we leave those outlets open, and let the kids figure out physics in their own way! And chemistry is important, too, so let's leave the locks off the kitchen cupboard...bleach + ammonia = fun! And delicious, too!

No, swearing isn't going to send kids to their doom, make their hair fall out, and cause cancer. It's certainly not the end of the world if kids swear...the kids on the other side of town who live in the trailer park swear all the time, and they're getting on just fine. But words, especially words that hold such meaning in our society (and they certainly DO have their place, those doubt about it) are powerful. Words incite war and create love. Are preschoolers and kindegarteners and other little kids equipped with the tools to know when and how to use words like this? No more than they know how to use a straight razor, or understand porn.

One thing I hope we never evolve out of is allowing kids time to be kids. Innocent, naive, children who like to play with dolls and be silly.

  ozmm [07.17.05 09:42 AM]

Oh shit, I missed something! The study! The scientific study that told us all how terrible cursing is. Can someone help me find it? Surely CURSING has a long lasting effect on the curser and cursee. Surely there is some consequence, most likely harmful, from saying naughty words! These kids, they are going to be so messed up!

Err...there's no study? Oh, well don't I feel embarassed! Here I am thinking that you can't say FUCK on network television but can kill thousands because curse words are worse for kids than violence! But surely swear words have caused wars and all that, right? That kerri person just said so! No? Oh...I get it. Words don't cause anything. People cause things to happen.

So maybe if I worry less about the dirty words my kids say, and worry more about making them into good people, I won't have to worry at all?

  gnat [07.17.05 09:49 AM]

kerri: Thanks for your long and thoughtful comment. In reply to the question of what it's all about, it's just a riff on George Carlin's controversial "Seven Dirty Words" monologue, perhaps drawing its humour from the alignment of the controversy of censoring grownups with the controversy of censoring school textbooks. I think people who were already familiar with Carlin's controversy found it funny, everyone else has been bemused.

Don't worry about our kids. They not only know what's appropriate in different situations, they effectively don't swear. They rarely swear in front of us, they don't swear at school, and we haven't had complaints from their playmates that they're swearing with their friends. They're still plenty innocent and naive--as far as I know, they have no idea what a "fuck" is, nor what it has to do with "mother", and I have no intention of telling them until they ask.

  gnat [07.17.05 09:54 AM]

A reader: thanks for your concern over my children's future. I appreciate what you have to say about posting pictures--we had to password-protect our picture gallery as soon as we found that we had way too many strangers looking at pictures of our kids in and out of their clothing. That was creepy. But if a video of them as 3 and 5 year olds swearing (and nobody recognizes adults from their baby photos) is the worst impediment they have in their subsequent lives, they'll be doing well.

I'm sorry to hear you didn't find it funny, but others did and it was for their sake that I posted it. Humour, like beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. Thanks again for your comment.

  still laughing [07.17.05 09:55 AM]

I'm not sure what is more amusing - Nat's video or some of the seriously constipated, uptight responses here.

Cheers to you, Nat - you made a damn funny video and stirred up some good ol' Republican shock and awe at the same time. Let's hope none of those fine, upstanding and often spiteful 'mericans don't decide to do something stupid as a result of it.

  Rich [07.17.05 10:21 AM]

An observation and a question (not necessarily in order):

Q: You say you made this movie while your wife was asleep. What was her reaction when she saw the movie?

O: you got "cocksucker" and "motherfucker" reversed.

  Nathan [07.17.05 10:43 AM]

Yea. That's so funny. And so much for the people who think that they're open minded but call people of Faith a long littany of curse words. It seems that half the people who have posted already sound like angry 14 year olds. Though there have been a few voices of balanced reason in the thread - and not even all of them I agree with! This kind of stuff should stay off O'Reilly. I come here to read about tech. Not about how I'm somehow stupid.

  Jenine [07.17.05 12:06 PM]

I am Nat's wife, and my first reaction when I found him making the movie was, "why are you sitting and messing around when there is WORK TO BE DONE?" (We're in the midst of a large and stressful move). Then I saw the movie, thought it was fabulous, and posted to my own blog about it.

I was surprised by the negative comments about the movie, I guess because I was privy to the full context in which it was produced. I truly do not believe that my kids or SOCIETY AS A WHOLE have been done any harm by Nat's silly video exercise. I hope that those who think too much about these things can be reassured by this and instead worry about bigger issues.

  Rob [07.17.05 12:30 PM]

Erm, kids can say evolution in schools in America still? Right? Right? *gets scared*

  gnat [07.17.05 12:37 PM]

Rob: Yeah, it's not literally a word you can't say in kindergarten. The movie is, um, whatchamacallit -- a joke :-)

  hfb [07.17.05 01:21 PM]

As we passed by the backside of the US embassy while walking along the sea the other night, I looked over and saw a big angry guy carrying a gun and glaring at us and I had to resist the urge to turn and yell "America! FUCK YEAH!", but I wasn't sure if profanity had made it onto the list of acts of terrorism yet or not. We can teach them a few more fun cuss words in Finnish if you want them to expand their linguistic horizons. :)

  Norma [07.17.05 02:17 PM]

Yeah, that was great. And you are a nice dad, indeed. Good luck.

  Fred X. Quimby [07.17.05 02:22 PM]

See foul-mouthed children
Political discussions
Reminds me of home

  Rob [07.17.05 04:02 PM]

Yep, I was (mostly) joking; tho the creationism in schools thing is still a little shocking.

  Mike Perry [07.17.05 06:18 PM]

They don't like the seperation of church and state they are the kind of people that would prefer it if every single politician, nay every single person in the USA, had to pass some kind of religious litmus test.

Actually, what people dislike is that religious bigotry has replaced racial bigotry as the 'acceptable' bigotry in this country. Once a black was excluded from political office. Now groups like the People for the American Way (what a scary name) tell us that no Catholic or Evangelical need apply for many offices, particularly on the Supreme Court.

It's particularly interesting that the Democratic Party has been the chief organizer of both bigotries. My own suspicion is that, despite their words, more than a few liberal Democrats were unhappy about what the Rev. Martin Luther King did and that lies at the core of their 'no religion in politics' attitude. After all, their attitude clearly existed before the "religious right" came into existence. What else is there to react against but Rev. King and the Southern CHRISTIAN Leadership Conference?

Before the Rev. King, liberal Democrats had it easy. Seduced by racist rhetoric, the South voted Democratic no matter who the candidates were and how crooked or incompetent they were. That's why FDR didn't lift a finger to end lynching in the South. He knew why he was getting elected. Ditto liberal Democrats whose committee chairmanships rested on the party's 'do nothing' attitude toward segregation. Why, after all, didn't these liberals desert the Democratic party, tainted with racism, for the liberal wing of the Republican party, which had no such taint?

Of course now what's being defended is not a few thousand lynchings all told (including my great-great-great grandfather). What's being defended is some 4000 abortions a day. Do nothing about lynching liberals such as FDR and LBJ are as nothing in evil in comparison to the Democratic Senators who'll have Roe v. Wade as a litums test for the next Supreme Court Justice.

And it's the supporters of legalized abortion that scare me. Circa 1965 everyone, liberals included, thought that abortion was an 'evil' that killed a baby. By 1973, most liberals had flipped. If they'll do that for babies, who of us can be safe for a similar dehumanizing flip? None of us are safe from that sort of non-belief.

I'm not Catholic, but I'd rather live in a country run by the Pope than in one run by a liberal. The Pope won't kill me, even for heresy. The liberal will kill me if I simply get in the way of his 'lifestyle choices.'

--Mike Perry, Seattle, editor, Dachau Liberated

  Dahne [07.17.05 07:34 PM]

The Pope won't kill me, even for heresy. The liberal will kill me if I simply get in the way of his 'lifestyle choices.'

Crap, we will? I must be behind! Man, I hope they don't take away my flag-burning kit for this.

  jer [07.17.05 08:21 PM]

I'd like it to be known, for the record, that while playing at our house the other day, your son and mine repeatedly inserted the word "poo" into their conversation and then giggled about it!

  gnat [07.17.05 08:57 PM]

Please keep it civil, folks. The movie wasn't intended to fuel a Democrat vs Republican piss-match, and I don't want you to call each other email. Thanks.

  disgusted reader [07.17.05 11:09 PM]

Yeah they're just words. Call me old fashioned but teaching kids swear words is fucked-up. Did occur to you numb fucks that you don't consider these words aren't so bad anymore because the stigma attached to sex and the genitals has changed since the 50's? What used to be "evil and unspeakable" is now commomplace and not shocking. You want to teach your kid 7 bad words? Get them to say "nigger, kike, lazy-spic-bastard, faggot and sandnigger" Then see how cute it sounds. There are still "bad" words out there they just change with the times. You want to make a political statement to the world, fine but making your kids say words that offend people is wrong. Just because these particular words don't offend you, does that make it OK to say them to those that it does offend? Sure you'll say "cunt" to shock the evil moral majority, but will you say "nigger" to shock black people? I thought not.

  matt [07.18.05 01:36 AM]

I find it incredible the number of posts here that cannot understand the joke/ point of the video. THe Carlin reference was meaningless to me but the political point could not have been clearer, and I'm from the UK. Perhaps some of your posters proximity to the ID/Evo' argument hampers their ability to understand (here I mean understand and not nessacerily find amusing) humor. I am not alone in worrying about the intelectual health of debate in the US, I just hope that you manage to reverse the direction you seem to be going in. p.s. yes I know my spelling is poor so don't bother pointing it out and yes things in the UK are on the decline as well. I
Liked the vid.

  matt addendum [07.18.05 02:03 AM]

The post by disgusted reader is an example. DR makes a great and valid point, but in a different argument. The vid was not about getting kids to swear. I'll repeat my punchline just to make it clear, the vid was not about getting kids to swear. Neither was it particularly about offending people. It was (does this really need spelling out) juxtaposing words that have long been taboo with concepts that until now have not been. You know, -rude word/not rude word- or -rude word/thought provoking hypothesis-. I thought the gag was obvious, huh, maybe I'm just halucinating meaning

  bungskank [07.18.05 02:10 AM]

So tired.

  tunkki [07.18.05 03:02 AM]

If late,

  Peter Nixey [07.18.05 03:07 AM]

Great video.

Coming from the UK and from a sector of society which pretty much takes evolution for granted, it's harder to know which is more scary. The fact that your kids aren't allowed to say evolution in kindergarten (pretty frickin' scary) or that half the posters don't see that as the anomolous word!

I breathed easy after Footloose, knowing that most of America had finally realised that rock'n roll != damnation. There's always going to be a pastor needing a congregation though and as long as he needs it, he needs a hell to scare it with. I'm sorry that something as enlightening as the theory of evolution has to be it.

There's a tragic irony in the church (declining as it is here in the UK) fearing the theory of evolution (tres popular) so intensely. The irony is that studying evolution provides incontrovertable logic for why the core values of all the religions make sense. Turn the other cheek, don't be violent, do-unto-others - they all emerge as some of the most effective evolutionary-stable-strategies (which is why most of us do them! - see Dawkins and the Selfish Gene for a very accessible introduction).

So what does the church really strive for? A more coherent, co-operative society or simply to have control over that society. I'm certain that whilst most of the church is the former, those in power are (by definition) more inclined to the latter. Perhaps it's time for the church to open-source its ideologies?

Most of all religion's teachings are brilliant and way ahead of their time (esp. ninja monks - now there's a reason and a half to be good ;). It's taken a couple of thousand years for Science to provide a logical foundation to why they do work so well but that's what the theory of evolution now does.

You may not have had much time for Coppernicus but as Web 2.0 is discovering, the more you give others control, the more it ultimately comes back to benefit you. Web 2.0 and blogging is "Give and you shall receive"-incarnate. Science is back on side and it's handing you the baton Theists, run with it!

BTW, Chris Telford, your comment was beautiful-lol!

  Deirdre' Straughan [07.18.05 03:17 AM]

My dad has always sworn a lot around me, but he also taught me to swear appropriately, back when I was about 10 years old:

"When you drop a hammer on your toe, it's okay to swear," he said. "But you don't sit at the dinner table and say: 'Pass the fucking salt.' "

  doug Petrosky [07.18.05 03:25 AM]

I thought it was obvious and creative (if a bit off color). I just thought it would have been better if it more accurately portrayed the direction of Creation/Evolution in schools. Thus the reason I recommended you use a word like Christmas as I see God and faith being pulled out of public spaces in favor of an Atheistic View/Faith.

For those who don't understand why I ridicule those who profess to be Atheists, it is all quite simple. Atheism is the only Religion that I know has no supporting proof. And I think it is stupid to have faith in something you can't prove as it only closes possibilities. Having faith that matter and energy have always existed and a bunch of random events brought us to where we are today is pure faith with no reasonable extrapolation possible from our understanding (regardless of weather it turns out to be correct). It would be like observing the motion of the Sun with the naked eye for a single day and determining that it must revolve around the earth in the same way the moon does. Or noticing that a duck floats and that wood floats, thus ducks are made out of wood.

On the other hand, a belief that some intelligence created the universe in which we live and that intelligence has made it's self known to some people (creating religion), is not something I can prove to be false (regardless of wether or not it is true).

Because most religions profess to be the only true religion I know for a fact that many are wrong but that doesn't prove there is no God.

BTW: If I didn't make it clear earlier, I do not believe in God, nor do I disbelieve in him/her/it. I just enjoying pointing out when people are being stupid.

  sfl [07.18.05 04:14 AM]


Faith/God = Church

Public Places = State

You might be familiar with a Constitutional idea known as 'the separation of Church and State'. Removing Christian events from the schools does not put forward an Atheistic view, it stops pushing Jewish/Moslem/Hindu/etc. events down.

The place for religion is in the Church and the home. Letting the State dictate religion is a bad idea. The US Constitution says that anything related to the State has no opinion on religion. Public schools are rather closely tied to the State.

That's why the words 'God' and 'Christmas' are being confined to Religous Study classes, much as 'Buddha' and 'Shiva' were before them.

  Christof [07.18.05 04:42 AM]

I'm a good old european and i'm very surprised, that this movie - i enjoyed it very much - would make such a noise. I don't think it would here.

Either it's funny to you - or not...

And - ever been to a kindergarden? Oh boy, sometimes i think i could learn a lot there ;-)

  Annabel Blake [07.18.05 06:36 AM]

Let it be said that I am aside from the main-stream and so liberal that I could be considered obscene; so my comment is not based on any sort of religious or conservative view.

I found your piece disturbing.

The point you were trying to make is certainly drilled home, and a position I support, but the way you used your young children to do so is unsettling at best.

I don't think innocence was harmed by making the film, they probably forgot all about it relatively quickly even - that isn't my concern.

No little girl of that age would ever say cunt on film - or at all - of her own volition without being told to or hearing it first. Coercing a child into using that language just to make a statement (same for the young boy) no matter how important the statement - I believe - is wrong. The fact that you did so while your wife slept says a lot. It takes away from any power or merit your position ought to have for me, instead becoming about a dad with strong political opinions telling his young daughter to mouth the word cunt for the camera because he thought it would make a strong point and good satire.

Your daughter does not understand the word cunt, all the ways it is used, and why people sometimes find it offensive.

She does not understand what it is like to be objectified by men without a choice, and used for their purposes.

She lacked the ability to understand the language you were putting in her mouth, or to make a consensual choice in using it - even the capacity to grasp the important thing you were trying to say. She was your vessel, and the outlet you chose for your words - and in that became objectified by you for your purpose.

I agree with your point and even find the larger statement appropriate, but I do not agree with how you chose to go about making it.

  hfb [07.18.05 08:12 AM]

Annabel...don't be getting your panties in a bunch love as not everything is about sexism.

What I find curious is, like Janet's tit becoming the whole conversation point about the Super Bowl, that most people bitched about the language instead of the whole point of the video which is that what we thought had been finally buried with the Scopes trial so long ago is being resurrected by a surge in fundamentalism in the US and elsewhere in the world. It's a terribly disturbing trend, one that can only get far worse before it gets better.

  yet another atheist [07.18.05 08:17 AM]

It was funny, don't worry. ;-)

Doug, what you are saying doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Others already replied with enough arguments, so I encourage you to reread their replies.

  bitchybunny [07.18.05 08:28 AM]

No offense to anyone here, but honestly what's so great about this? I grew up in NYC and you know what we said ALL those words in kindergarten and more, or at least the kindergarten classes after us did. Big deal, little kids saying 'naughty' words.
Also, I'm sorry but the whole evolution.. that's not provocative. That's acting like wimpy 'oh I'm so persecuted' Christians who say you can't pray in school. You CAN say evolution in school and any school that does not allow such discussion is obviously giving out inferior education. And fuck the public schools anyway, why do you expect the government to give your children quality education? I am a product of the public school system and I feel that it is an inferior product, but you know what, I also had a mother who could have (but didn't really), educated me as well instead of relying on someone else. Lucky for me I spent a lot of time as a kid reading and learning on my own. Nothing in life is guaranteed, who cares what the schools do or do not do, you are a parent it is your first responsibility to educate your own children. That goes to ALL the parents out there, and seriously stop this oh woe is me I'm persecuted bullshit, take some responsibility, teach YOUR OWN children, you are the ones they ultimately listen to anyway. Public education sucks, it's not getting any better we all know this, crying about it doesn't make it better. Take matters into your own hands and make sure that your children have what they need to make it in the world.

  jaschocolate [07.18.05 08:45 AM]

The video is so cute and your kids are even more cuter.. Cheers :p

  Jens Baumeister [07.18.05 11:35 AM]


Let's stick to the data we have - there's nothing in this world that *requires* a supreme being as the creator of everything, so why should we introduce it into the picture?

Sure, it feels a lot more comfy than the thought of us just being here because of random chance, but unless we happen to observe any kind of phenomenon that cannot be explained otherwise, why should it be sensible to believe in the existence of such a being? In the same vein, I could believe that my coworker is an alien that was disguised so cleverly as a human that it's impossible to tell the difference. Sure, theoretically it could be true - but unless I see him engaged in any kind of extraterrestrial activity, it's more reasonable to assume that he's just a normal guy.

The belief in a supreme being can be a powerful psychological and emotional force, giving people hope, guidance, etc., but that doesn't make it scientifically valid.

  Erik [07.18.05 12:30 PM]

Is there anywhere in the country where evolution isn't taught in public schools? I understand that some places have more than their fair share of troubles with regards to people arguing for the inclusion of supernatural explanations for the universe being included in the science classroom, but has group succeeded in removing the teaching of evolution from the classroom in a public school district?

The whole thing leaves me scratching my head, because it seems like the kind of thing that one would produce after some specific, damaging court verdict was handed down, or if you were on the minority side of this particular debate. It seems like the message at the end is kind of saying "Those intelligent designers, man, they control the classrooms and they won't even let us mention evolution within the context of a science classroom" when for the most part, the situation is reversed.

  Sharon [07.18.05 12:49 PM]

It never fails to amaze me how incredibly stupid the majority of the population is. Okay, listen everyone - the point is that:


That's it. That's the point. If you don't get it, then step away from the computer, go to the library, pick a book, any book, and start reading. Maybe in twenty years, you'll have mastered the art of comprehension.

I do believe the average I.Q. in America is hovering somewhere around 86.

  Alice [07.18.05 12:58 PM]

Too funny! And all at the same time, too sad. It's a shame that there are people in this country who do consider "evolution" to be a "bad" word. I wish I knew what a bad word was, I reall do. Saw someone post about having the kids say nigger or spic, and how that wouldn't be funny. Well, I think it's an hilarious idea. Since when is nigger a "bad" word? Chris Rock says nigger, is it "bad" when he says it? Oh yeah, that's right, he's a nigger so that makes it ok ???? I'm a was born an raised a Jew (now an atheist), and I' call myself and my friends yids, hebes, kykes etc. Is that "bad"?? I don't think so. Words are powerless. They just lay there on the page or swirl in the head. Worry about the racist asshole that uses nigger or kyke in an angry way. Cut some slack the person that uses those words to amuse. Words don't hurt, anger and hate do.

  Jeff [07.18.05 01:15 PM]

What, they didn't have anything pithy to say about global thermonuclar war or the G8 summit?

To me, this ranks right up there with people who drag their kids out to protest at abortion clinics.

It's not about the words or the vulgarities. If you've got a statement you want to make, at least be brave enough not to pimp your kids out as Friar's Club ventriliquist dummies.

Get a fucking parrot, for crissakes.

  Deidzoeb [07.18.05 04:02 PM]

It's absurd that people fret about kids swearing. They might not know what the words mean, but unless your kids grow up in a cave, they have heard most of the worst words by the time they're 4 or 5. You're not hearing your kids swear because they've learned when it's inappropriate, not because they're innocent. And if a kid over 3 or 4 does swear a lot, it's probably not because of exposure to bad influences or because they don't understand, but precisely because they do understand it will get them attention.

It's like disciplining your cats to stay off the kitchen counter by spraying them with a squirt gun. They don't learn to stay off the counter at all times. They learn to stay off the counter when someone is around who will discipline them. Kids pick up on cues a lot quicker than cats.

  disgusted reader [07.18.05 04:48 PM]

Alice you say words are powerless and since when is nigger a bad word? You're totally missing the point. You can call yourself kyke or hebe or whatever you want and that's fine since you're Jewish and you have your "enlightened sticks-and-stones attitude" but I dare you to call a black person you don't know a nigger even jokingly and see what the response is. You're completely wrong, words are more powerful than guns; ask any kid who was tormented as a child. Bruises will heal but the words cut deep. Which brings me to my next point.
Sharon, I got the point of the video that evolution is the dirty word, as did most people I think. The point you can't seem to understand is that REAL KIDS WERE USED IN THE MAKING OF THE VIDEO. If it were an adult or a cartoon fine. Is it really so difficult to understand why making a little girl say cunt is so offensive? Then again, you Americans seem to enjoy image of the precocious bad-mannered child. I just think you should leave your kids out of your political agenda. This piece disgusts me in the same way as does the sight of kids at anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage rallies. Think about how that makes you feel and tell me what the difference is.

  Lundy [07.18.05 06:51 PM]


Hope things are well..


  too much anger in here [07.18.05 07:28 PM]

When i was 8 years old, i was walking down the stairs looking to see if my parents were around becasuse of something i was about to say. as i stopped in the middle of the stairs and looked into all the rooms i could, i did not see them. so i decided to say something i would never dare to say at any other time. i did not know the meaning of what i was about to say, nor did it matter. it was just something i was not supposed to say. i had heard these words many many times. curiously, i just wanted to know how it sounded coming from my own mouth. so, after i checked to see that my parents were not around, i calmly and quietly resumed my walking down the stairs and under my breath as quietly as i could while still being able to hear my self i said, "Fuck, fuck, fuck."

"HEY!" my mother yells out at me. she and my dad were sitting in the corner on the love seat i had failed to notice. (i dont remember even knowing it was there at that time.) i got in a spat of trouble for saying Fuck 3 times. I had never said them before. all i wanted to do is see if i could say it, and what it sounded like. i was 8 years old. saying fuck did not harm me at all. its part of growing up. you try things out. sure it was not on the internet, but back then, the internet was still being brainstormed by big Al. (joke) I dont see why people are having such a big problem with that. its just the sign of the times. things change. private life is getting less and less private. more things like this will come along. i thought it was funny when Carlin said it. i didnt neciccarily think it was funny when the kids said it, but there is no reason to call him a bad parent and all the other things that have been said. i have pictures of me when i was even younger holding a hand of cards, with aviators on and holding a beer. it is a funny picture, and no i was not drinking it. it was a joke. not a statment of a political agenda.

as far as ID/creationism... im not here to debate that. i dont want to learn about what i dont want to learn about. i shouldnt be Forced to read the bible, and i shouldnt be Forced to think that ID is the only possible answer. it is my own judgment on what i want to believe. i know where to go to read on each of these topics. church or the library. thats good enough for me.

to end this long long post.... im tired, and this is informal so grammar, spelling, punctuation and any other literary terminology have been set aside for the time being.

  Craig [07.18.05 08:40 PM]

Hey gnat, i laughed at this...and at first I thought it would actually quite a bit of fun to be one of your kids.

I am as liberal as the next guy and I don't get offended easily, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. I read through a few of the comments, a few people said the video was "exploiting" your kids but i'm not so sure you are. Its good to know what is wrong and right and what is appropriate or not, but really what is the point of videotaping this and putting it on your blog?

I wouldn't call it exploitation, but really, do you think your kids want to be seen by total strangers seeing them use these words? Maybe they do, but I don't think i would have wanted to.

Liked the last line....shouldn't have caused as much fuss as it has here.

  BC [07.18.05 08:53 PM]

I found you punch line funny but it would have been more accurate for the last word to be:


Sorry, doug, but last time I checked the pledge of allegiance still says "under God". If "under God" is removed from the pledge, you still have no right to complain. Only if the words "under NO god" are added, will you have a right to complain. That's exactly the situation you put atheists in - saying something they don't believe in. Yet, you moan and complain about "unfairness" unless there is some distinctly Christian undertones. Now that's unfair, yet you simply don't see it.

  BC [07.18.05 09:08 PM]

Is there anywhere in the country where evolution isn't taught in public schools?

Schools are supposed to teach evolution. However, a lot of places are uncomfortable with it (those areas are mostly in the South, though, there's plenty of places in the rest of the country). So what do they do? Sometimes the prinicple, the superintendent, or the teacher simply decides not to teach it (and make everyone underneath them not teach it). It's avoided by simply saying "sorry, we had too much material, we couldn't cover all of it, one of the many things we didn't cover was evolution. so sorry." That's how they get around it.

"This American Life" had an interesting segment on this a few weeks back. (Lookup "Godless America": Unfortunately, it only plays in Real Media (get the Real Media player from the BBC, it doesn't have spyware). One of the early segments is about a Georgia teacher who teaches evolution and ends up in confrontations with her principle, who is intent on stopping her.

  BC [07.18.05 09:12 PM]

Oh, one more thing, Erik, Utah doesn't teach human evolution either. Here's a link to a story about that:

  Pete [07.19.05 02:29 AM]

Brilliant little movie. Odd that some people just don't get that it's a joke. Maybe they were fuming so much by the time they got to the punchline that they never heard it.

In the UK, things haven't got to that stage yet. There is, in the great majority of schools, no debate about evolution vs creationism though we do have a small number of teachers who are uncomfortable teaching about evolution without also mentioning the 'alternative'. Not that they'd be 'banned' from mentioning creationism of course - it's just that most people would be able to see that they're really not two sides of the same scientific coin. And this is a country with an official, state sponsored religion.

I sometimes despair at where the US is going to be in 10 or 20 years time.

  Inane [07.19.05 08:32 AM]

These kids curse all the time....they're gonna grow up to be gangsta rappers.

  Erik [07.19.05 08:38 AM]

Why were a bunch of comments deleted? I mean, I didn't think it was very effective, but I did understand the political message behind the piece as it relates to the spread of creationism in the classroom, a point which was lost on many people's comments that still stand.

  martha [07.19.05 08:45 AM]

Hey there,
I LOVE the video with your kids. I have a three year old and though I try to discourage it, I honestly can't help but laugh when he swears. I think this is an excellent piece of satire exploring some of the ridiculous issues poisoning culture right now.

I am honestly shocked however by the number of responses by people who were outraged by the kids swearing, everyone swears period and by the number of people who just didn't get it.

Kudos to you!

  gnat [07.19.05 08:57 AM]

Erik: as far as I know, the only comment to be deleted was a misunderstanding where poster A thought poster B was referring to A's comment, when in fact B was referring to a completely different comment. I've let both sides have their say here, as I'm learning a lot by reading both views. I now understand why people run political blogs--it's nice to hear from people coming at something from every angle, not just the usual polarized "the left says X, the right says Y" we get in the newspapers. Real life is more complex than left-versus-right, and that's been my primary delight from the comments.

That said, I won't do any more techless-politics on this blog. As someone pointed out, they read radar for my tech opinions, not my religious/political/etc. opinions. That kind of bait and switch was unfair to the readers.


  Leo Utskot [07.19.05 09:38 AM]

I'm sure you'll get lots of flack from people trying to tell you that having your kids say these words on camera makes you a bad parent. Fuck them.

  Ted [07.19.05 09:48 AM]

Mike Perry: You DO realize that Democrats weren't always liberals, right? I mean, Abe Lincoln was a Republican, and the ideology switch wasnt truly complete until Kennedy, or perhaps Truman. E.g., my grandparents, who are conservatives, and 85-90 years of age, voted Democratic until FDR/Truman came along, and then they became Republicans. Also, you wonder why FDR didn't try to stop lynchings? Because he would have been kicked out of office and we might not have overcome the Depression. Look at Plessy v. Ferguson, which occurred in the 1890s. Granted, it was 30 years after PvF, but the social climate had not changed enough to allow desegregation. Nothing would have come of an attempt to destroy segregation in FDR's time. In fact FDR did try to purge consrvatives from the party but was unsuccessful. Another proof of the change is that African-American were Republicans but came to Democrats for civil rights. Meanwhile, Strom Thurmond, who is widely regarded as an incredibly conservative person, used to be a democrat.

  jim [07.19.05 10:32 AM]

Fucking marvelous, you are a fucking star...

..what? i swear too much? fuck off.


  Dean Ferreyra [07.19.05 10:42 AM]

Loved the video! Seems like you've got great kids, too.

  tm [07.19.05 11:00 AM]

I would like to commend doug [sic] Petrosky, who's post began with a list of compelling, alternative "punchlines." Although I had the feeling that I was about to read opinions I didn't share, I was sure they would be interesting, if not a little glib. It didn't take long, however, to learn that Doug "can say with confidence and proof that Atheists are closed minded [sic] idiots."

There it was. I was now very interested in this post that had ceased , at least in part, to be opinion. The growing dilemma I've found myself facing over the past eight years- do I have faith in a greater power?- would now be elucidated by Doug Petrosky.

A fact about me, that would probably interest Doug, is that while studying, in graduate shcool, the molecular mechanisms controlling skeletal muscle development, I discovered a certain beauty, an elegance, in the way this and other biological systems operated. Even a virus can be seen as a thing of amazing beauty and leave the most learned immunologist or geneticist to wonder at its design.

So there, essentially in a Petri dish, I thought I discovered God, for myself anyway. That, I suppose, is the rub. As part of this epiphany, it came as a matter of faith that God set forth the universe in such a way as to unravel and evolve as it does.

As with any good dilemma, however, I could not resist entertaining opposing notions, until finally, after a lifetime of at least wondering what religion and faith mean, I was ready to declare myself an atheist. That's about the time the strangest thing of all occurred.

I woke from a deep sleep, before five in the morning, with pain in my abdomen and swelling, itchy hands. In short order, I was in complete anaphylactic shock and lay unconscious. My girlfriend, quite luckily, woke in time to summon emergency services. For about the next twenty minutes, I think I straddled the border of life and death.

I've barely spoken about this, let alone written of it in a public forum. The world became to me a golden, warm place. I remember clearly the absence of colors- only warmth remained and could be seen. I was happy, and when I try hard to remember those moments, I laugh a little. Even the paramedics, three very large, very bald, and otherwise nondescript men, seemed funny. It was only when I realized that my girlfriend was there, with me, and hysterically trying to "wake" me, that I came back to the cold. I slipped back and forth maybe three more times before I finally woke in the ICU.

I later learned that my pulse was non-discernable, my core temperature a chilled 90.8°F, and my diastolic blood pressure barely measurable. So, was I dead or dying and expeiencing the world beyond what we normally experience? Or, was it simply that my occipital lobe was starved for oxygen (explaining my lack of color perception) and the severe hypotension caused me to lose consciousness and hallucinate?

Since this condition erupted last year, I have experienced dozens of similar episodes. At this time, I think of how nice it would be to have faith in God. But I don't. Besides, it doesn't matter. For me, even God existed or exists, I believe he is no longer controlling life, and I therefore have no faith in him. What I believe is still a bit of a dilemma, and I think it's supposed to be. I think my experiences have lent me an appreciation for some for some of the universe's mysteries, and from what I've seen, they cannot be easily distilled or digested.

  Jo [07.19.05 11:52 AM]

he five minutes of fame syndrome ... this is really nothing new - A New Zealander experiencing culture shock in USA- children are in the process of mastering language. And swear words are just part of that language - a good upbringing and education that is what can make the best of children not some censorship of so-called swear words - surely in Conservative Christian America and the United Kingdom - their censorship boards-comittees have always been known for over-the-top heavy censoring movies,books,whatever. Frank Zappa said the following (courtesy wiki encylopedia) staring with a little introduction what is about:

On September 19, 1985, Zappa testified before the US Senate Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, attacking the Parents Music Resource Center or PMRC, a music censorship (though others would say watchdog) organization founded by then-Senator Al Gore's wife Tipper Gore and including many other political wives, including the wives of five members of the committee. He said,

"The PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design.
(Frank Zappa said:)
"It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating dandruff by decapitation."

  Erik [07.19.05 11:54 AM]

Nat: strange. I posted something, and then came back to read 5-10 other posts after mine sometime in the afternoon yesterday. I remember something by someone named "jeff" and something by someone named "susan" (who remarked that the average intelligence of Americans must be dropping to around 86). Both of these and my earlier comment are gone. In fact, it seems as if there were no comments between July 18, 11:35 AM and July 19, 2:29 AM.

Meh, I know it's not that big a deal or anything, just thought I'd bring it to your attention.

  Jo [07.19.05 12:12 PM]

Sorry for posting twice - the is my post eccepted syndrome ...

About US - the land of contrasts - conservative republican should contrast democrats - but that is even the same. Eg In Europe where I live Gay marriage is being accepted in lots of countries but is not what I call progression - in terms of marriage that is an institution for man and wive and gay people have to just adapt to our world. In the US - even that adapting to the world of man and wive is not even considdered. (No, not gay but just pointing out the issues). Like roll patterns in gender, the media and movie business exploits so well.

Funny that children unaware what they are saying is a kind a bliss for grown ups - eg if you would swear all day with your partner when fighting you could get a depression.

  gnat [07.19.05 12:56 PM]

Aha! The Movable Type blogging software we use is having a conniption at the moment, dropping posts, trackbacks, and comments at random. It's done this before, a symptom of database corruption. I believe our sysadmins are looking into it and will repair it soon. Sorry for those whose comments disappeared--it's not censorship, just shonky programming!

  LongBoxes [07.19.05 01:00 PM]

Wow! Great Film! I'm upset I didnt think of it first. I made a 5 minute film version of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" with my daughter this spring, but man, you got me thinking there is so much more I could do with me kids! Now you've got me thinking of getting my toddlers play group together to remake "Resevoir Dogs". Damn, that would be cool! Thanks for the inspiration man!

  Jo [07.19.05 01:08 PM]

The Guardian picked it up:

  Jo [07.19.05 01:36 PM]

O'Reilly has good references to eg JavaScript, a comprehensive guide that covers all.


  Surely Serious [07.19.05 01:39 PM]

I just think that the editting is askew. The enunciation of cocksucker should proceed motherfucker. It's cute and all, but there are aesthetics to be considered here. After all, these kids have to live it down. It may as well be well-produced. (By the way, the young woman's poutiness comes across as being recalcitrant, and radiates an unfortunate element of disagreement; better to have used a less smart take, that better captures the spirit of the piece, than one that puts across displeasedness, perceived or otherwise, eh?)

In any case, keep on having fun, you Dad.

  Jo [07.19.05 01:39 PM]

Posted by: tm at July 19, 2005 11:00 AM

O'Reilly has good references to eg JavaScript, a comprehensive guide that covers all.


Posted by: Jo at July 19, 2005 01:36 PM
That is over two hours comments cut short.
The data hot flushed ..??

  Jo [07.19.05 01:48 PM]

The five minutes of fame syndrome ... First we had Karate Kid now Swear Kids. this is really nothing new - A New Zealander experiencing culture shock in USA- children are in the process of mastering language. And swear words are just part of that language - a good upbringing and education that is what can make the best of children not some censorship of so-called swear words - surely in Conservative Christian America and the United Kingdom - their censorship boards-comittees have always been known for over-the-top heavy censoring movies,books,whatever. Frank Zappa said the following (courtesy wiki encylopedia) staring with a little introduction what is about:

On September 19, 1985, Zappa testified before the US Senate Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, attacking the Parents Music Resource Center or PMRC, a music censorship (though others would say watchdog) organization founded by then-Senator Al Gore's wife Tipper Gore and including many other political wives, including the wives of five members of the committee. He said,

"The PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design.

"It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating dandruff by decapitation."

-- this was posted again but due to some server errors some added comments are gone.

  cj in toronto [07.19.05 02:02 PM]

Loved it. Don't listen to the cowardly shits that live in trailers.
You're kids are better off for knowing these words and having the faith that their mom and dad are open minded people. Two thumbs up.

  Ryan [07.19.05 03:44 PM]

Thank you for the genuine and pleasant surprise.

  Nathan [07.19.05 05:03 PM]

...ok, ok... got to make a comment.

I thought this was interesting.

Now to comment on all the comments!

Religion is not all bad. Athiest are not all good. Your kids will be fine. Telling other people how to raise thier kids is just plain rude. Words can be powerful and benign, action has a more impressive trackrecord (just ask Jesus.) Evolution is going to be just's science after all...not much them Radical Righters can do about it (unless they have God intervene or something.)

(If they get to crazy about this issue, we can just take a tip from the Radical Right; rename the theory - it's not Creationism, it's Inteligent Design - it's not Evolution, it's Biological Reproduction Methods and Choices in the Contex of Time and Environment. The BRMCCTE theory, as all us lock step liberals will no doubt begin calling it, is how we will get our Godless beliefs into schools - we are soooo devious! I can't wait until we get our How to be a good Druid handbook in every classroom in America.)


  Mike Keith [07.19.05 05:29 PM]

Why does gnat hate america?

  merde [07.19.05 08:41 PM]

"When you drop a hammer on your toe, it's okay to swear," he said. "But you don't sit at the dinner table and say: 'Pass the fucking salt.' "

why not? maybe that's the way some people like to do things.

i'm a close friend of the Atorbarkingbantonels, and i can assure Dierdre' that their kids are extraordinarily well-socialized and have a better idea what they can and can't say in polite company than most kids their age.

they also have a large and boisterous extended family, and while they may have learned a considerable number of obscenities, profanities, vulgarities, etc. from their relations, they've also received more love, caring, nurturing, and support than any other children i've met. any child would be fortunate to be part of that family.

and to those who claim their daughter appears reluctant or upset in the video, it's a safe bet she was suffering more from a cookie deficit than feminist angst. when i visited last, at least a year ago, she was hauling around a doll she had named "Gobshite Baby." and i guarantee she'll be a lot more embarrassed by that story when she's 21 than she will be by gnat's video.

also, as a woman i would like to take this opportunity to say the following: cunt. twat. cooze. gash. pussy. tits. knockers. hooters. knobs. cocksucker. slut. whore. skank. bitch.

gnat, help me out here. you kiwis have way more colorful slang than we americans do.

  Brian Meidell [07.19.05 11:38 PM]

That's brilliant :)

And to people who claim that the kids are uncomfortable doing this: Project much?

They are having the times of their lives.
Get your knickers unbunched.

  Jo [07.20.05 03:36 AM]

Simply put evolution (**) or creationism (*), neither are correct, if one would say that it would be fundamentalism. The latter is a biblical theory where the first is a scientific approach.

For those who dont understand: creationism or creationists believe that God created the world that the bible , more specific Genesis ( = Genesis begins by describing how the planet was created, in other words how it was formed, the changes which occurred as the planet aged, how plants and animals were formed, evolved and populated the planet. It describes how human beings evolved and also how the behaviour of life forms changed as human beings evolved.) In the US, Christians or call it Evangelists or other follow literally the Bible, always I made a parallel to Jehova witnesses, they used to come at our door to spread their evangelism.

About evolutionism, Charles Darwin wrote a book - On The Origin of Species, inspired by Greek Philosphers regarding - the axiom of chance evolution by random change and "survival of the fittest". Here a scientist could underline the complexity of nature or reduce it to its simple form. Actually his grand father Erasmus, wrote two-volume work titled Zoonomia (subtitled The Laws of Organic Life ) in which he speculated on the chance evolution of all life by a purely materialistic mechanism involving adaptation through natural selection.

'It should be recognized that not all of those who commented on natural selection before Darwin did so from an openly atheistic or even evolutionary point of view. Indeed, natural selection is an observable phenomenon that is entirely compatible with a literal interpretation of biblical Creation.

While many of those who anticipated Darwin's ideas on evolution were atheists, anti-Christians, and even involved in the occult (like Alfred Russel Wallace), perhaps the unkindest cut of all for Darwin was that even some Creationists wrote in great detail about natural selection prior to his publication of On The Origin of Species . Indeed, Creationists such as the British theologian William Paley and the British chemist Edward Blyth had a far more scientifically-tenable view of the biological significance of natural selection than Darwin. Like other Creationists, both Paley and Blyth saw natural selection as a mechanism for eliminating unfit individuals which differed from the created type. Thus, while Darwin preferred to believe that the elimination of unfit individuals was a mechanism for somehow evolving new and improved species, the Creationists saw elimination of unfit individuals as mechanism to preserve the stability of existing Created kinds.

Now genetics, a scientific approach will learn us more about how live, form is created or how it evolved.

To comment on the movie Nat made, openess can be seen as a benefit to an upbringing of a child.

  Jo [07.20.05 03:47 AM]

Most comments here see Nat,s movie literally - that is about something he wanted to share about his children. But the underlying texture is that he is criticising the whole creationism vs evolutionism debate in the US.

  Jo [07.20.05 04:03 AM]

The above links explains about the wholde debate whether evolution should be stated a sa theory and not a fact. In a school in Georgia, stickers where put on text books to state evolution is mere a theory not a fact. Read more:

  guest [07.20.05 04:20 AM]

A good one:

"Werner Von Braun (1912-1977), the father of space science, wrote: "...the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science."

  Guest [07.20.05 07:48 AM]

Maybe you should edit yourself into the start of the video saying something like "Look at the fun experiments I can do with my own children!"
It sure must be handy having those living props in your house. Maybe tomorrow you can think up some other ways for them to shout your views to the world.
As a parent, one of your responsibilities is to teach your kids to get along in society. They can learn about and discuss whatever axes you want to grind when they're old enough to understand the issues.

  bob cooley [07.20.05 09:09 AM]


"As a parent, one of your responsibilities is to teach your kids to get along in society."

Tranferring knowledge and helping to understand the real world is the best way to teach your children to get along in society (along with love).
Children are going to learn these words soon enough (if they haven't already), and knowing the power of words is an incredibly important lesson.

Children do not grow up racist, sexist, etc. They are socialized that way. When I was a young child growing up in the midwest, I am sure I said "nigger" at some point - because I didn't understand the word, and its unfortunate power - it was just a "forbidden" word and it was said because it shook people up. If I knew WHY it was a bad word, I probably wouldn't have used it.

My take on the video is this:

1) it is a nice homage to Carlin

2) it's a clever idea

3) it gets the idea across well

4) only a small number of mouth-breathers here don't get it

5) your children are cute

6) it blends humor with wit and controversy

7) words are given meaning by the listener(take basic comunication theory 101) which is a basic point of the Carlin routine

8) you rock for putting this up

9) your wife rocks for supporting you in her post here

10) your kids, well, they just rock and will probably have a good laugh about this when they are older (see how famous we were for swearing on internet v1.0)

As a commercial artist, one of my beliefs is that GOOD art is someting that evokes an emotional response (that can mean laughter, anger, fear, whatever) - if you have evoked that response from the majority of your viewers, then you have succeeded, and people will come to see it to share in that experience (or to add their 2 cents).

The above was my medium-length response.

The short version is "great job!"


Bob Cooley



  Guest#2 [07.20.05 11:16 AM]

To Bob: and besides what do you think on the media exploiting gender roll patterns to their benefit ? And what about the creatonism vs evolutionists battle where a school wants to interfere in the education of youngsters by putting a sticker on school books that say: Hey, evolution is just a theory and not a fact. Can you see all the Southern US school boards being afraid that creationism = God created the world , is being questioned, vs Darwinist evolution theories?

  jhevelon [07.20.05 05:53 PM]

Brilliant! For all you prudes out there, how do feel about my showing my 3 and 6 year old this film clip? Before you have a cow, realize that this made an excellent opportunity to discuss what "bad words" are and how they mean different things in different situations.

Keep having fun with your family!


  Kacey [07.20.05 08:21 PM] I'm shocked at how many people did not get the point of this; and then took the time to write paragraphs on why they thought it sucked, or it offended them, or why having a little girl say "cunt" is demeaning to women everywhere, oh noes!!!

Great statement. I loved it. Sorry it didn't get quite the response I'm sure you were hoping for.

  guest3 [07.20.05 08:45 PM]

Controversy sells. As for little children saying cunt, motherfucker etc. it's not morally horrific, it's just yucky. Cunt is my least favorite word. It's not that it's so negative for women, (I love the word Bitch) it's just ugly. It's unpleasant... like the sound of someone throwing up. And it's hard to care what the point is when you're listening to someone throwing up. If you'd chosen your words with more subtlety it would have been quite funny and maybe more pointed (your son just loved saying you used a sledge hammer where a chisel would have cut to the core). Anyway, I didn't have the time to read all the comments. If your subtext was to get some hits and put your blog on the map, you've got a start.

Now the real question is what do you do for an encore?

  2centsandpeanuts [07.20.05 09:43 PM]

i understand the point you were trying to get across with the video, yet i am more confounded why you used your kids to do the work for you. The entire point with your parady and humor gets washed over with perhaps a bigger issue - they are kids, you are the parent. They don't really know or understand what they are saying. What are you really teaching the kids you had a part in creating and raising? is it evolution or regression?

  radouL [07.21.05 09:38 AM]

Je ne comprends rien à l'anglais. Ils sont trognons !! (simultaneous traductor : i don't understand english... they are adorable !!)

  David Weinberger [07.21.05 11:59 AM]

If you think Nat was teaching his kids to swear, you probably think he's being a bad dad. If you think that he's teaching them that even bad words are still just words, you probably think that he's a great fucking dad.

I would put my money on Nat being a great fucking dad, if I were entitled to an opinion on such a personal topic, which I'm not.

  Jo [07.22.05 09:38 AM]


I still dont get it - the point you were trying to make about the education of your children - for me it seems acceptable - swear words for kids are not the same in this society as for grown ups. Shit seems to be used the foremost in the entire world or Oh fuck, i forgot my glasses ... Or shit, I forgot my cellular phone. We dont say in public: hey you fuck, this or that. We say it more to ourselves. Kids are of course innocent because the words are just funny or daring to them.

On the other hand, I understood you wanted to criticize the education policies in the US (with the evolution vs creationism debate). In the end,
school is a mayor influence on kids, but good parenting still is superior to any school. maybe except for kindergarten ...

To make funny videos is of course a trend that due to the many programs on TV - like candid camera - etc. ... surely makes you to do such a video.

  random [07.22.05 03:47 PM]

"When they call their mother that be sure to laugh!!! And someday when they refer to their spouse as that, be sure to say.... "Oh I told him/her they could say it"" -Patmos

Or more realistically: "when my children were around five years of age I allowed them to use such language in an appropriate setting to make a simple point".

It's not as if they'd have been free of ever hearing this sort of language outside this project. They will, and in far worse contexts.

And this couldn't have possibly harmed them in any way. At worst, one of them might innocently end up calling their mother a "cocksucker" (providing they hadn't already forgotten the whole thing already), making for a good laugh and a perfect opportunity to explain why that sort of thing would be wrong.

  Joey B. [07.23.05 02:06 PM]

You should also show your kids the joys of anal sex.

  Nick Douglas [07.24.05 09:23 PM]

Damn it, why can't I get comment threads like this?

  sam [07.27.05 02:30 PM]

Omg. Not another internet attention whore with a camera...

  Eileen Dover [07.28.05 12:51 AM]

Getting your kids to say those words is about like getting a parrot to say them. Clearly they have no concept of what they are saying.
You are trying to be hip, creative or cool or something like that but you just succeeded in being pathetic. Give up those Steven Spielberg dreams and keep your day job.

  cdog [07.28.05 09:51 PM]

I knew there would be people all upset about the fact that the kids were told to say these curse words. Damn righteous right wingers. Blew the point of it right past you too. It's funny too.
link to my full comments on my blog:

  anonymous [07.29.05 10:26 AM]

ummmm I dont understand what kind of mother would let they're children use such language and post it on the internet. If we are on the internet obviously we are in a higher grade than kindergarden so that information is absouloutely useless to us. Who would even teach a kid that kind of language? Who does that? what kind of parent?

  Bride of Porkins [07.30.05 12:04 AM]

Dude, you rule. George Carlin would be proud.

(I was allowed to watch Carlin as a child, and I'm not talking about his Shining Time Station work. Did me no harm at all.)

  mascan42 [07.30.05 04:06 PM]

Great stuff, man.

To those who found children swearing to be offensive, you really need to lighten up. Anyone who finds humor offensive should feel free to roll around in barbed wire with Magic Johnson.

  Confused as hell [07.31.05 07:15 PM]

Since when is Evolution NOT taught in our schools? Was there some tremendous turnaround of attitudes and beliefs; a great burning of Darwinist biology textbooks that I missed? Was I imagining things when I was taught about the "big bang?!" Dammit; I must have slept through all of my science classes, and just dreamed it all.


  Marcus [08.01.05 07:51 PM]

That takes the cake for most blatantly stupid thing I've ever seen anyone do on the Internet. Regardless of how you feel about swearing and evolution/intelligent design, you're taking children (your own no less!) and exploiting them to prove a political point, then attaching your name, your companies name and your career as a writer to it.

What were you thinking?

  me [08.04.05 01:54 PM]

I thought it was pretty funny. The evolution bit was great.

But, I have to agree with the people pointing out that putting your kids online like this is not cool.

If it was their idea, and they decided to do it on their own, I'd applaud them for it, but you exploited your own kids for either a quick laugh or your own political agenda (note: I'm not disagreeing with that part). It should have been you in front of the camera.

  wtf [09.04.05 11:04 PM]

wtf are you all doing? it's the internet. go download porn.

  Scott Marcus [10.12.05 09:40 AM]

I watched the movie and thought it was very f**king funny.

Then I came and saw the comments on the blog. "Holy sh*t!" is the only thing that comes to mind. My only quibble is that c**ks**ker and motherf**ker were reversed from their original order in the skit, and it confused the piss out of me.

And in conclusion, I'd just like to make sure my post included all the forbidden words, so I hope your wife has nice t*ts and a furry c*nt. (and a sense of humor)

  KC of the NJP [12.01.05 04:03 AM]

Hi there. I am currently working on a project and delivering a series fo workshops for video artists on short instructional videos. Two projects. one on slang and the other on cultural phenomenon. I want to use yours as an example. what do you think? is it ok if I show it around? I wanted to ask first. get in touch to talk about it.

  NICOLE [08.24.06 09:15 AM]

all of you know that you used these words when you were little....hell, i did. i was always around older cousins, so i always heard "bad" words. let me ask all of you this, when your little girl comes home and says little eric down the street called her a "cunt" and she wants to know what it means, your not going to tell her? i know if some little brat calls my little girl a cunt i want her to not only know what it is, but i want her to know how to defend herself. i guess people who have aggressive attitudes would only think that way. I LIVE IN FUCKING AMERICA! WE ALL SHOULD BE AGGRESSIVE.MY KIDS KNOW HOW TO DEFEND THEMSELVES ALL OF THEM SHOULD.

  Ronald [01.23.07 11:04 PM]

What a great site

  Todd [08.05.07 07:07 AM]

I have no idea what Make Perry is smoking when he says, "no Catholic or Evangelical need apply for many offices, particularly on the Supreme Court." This is a great example of the hysterical religious people in the United States who equate not having absolute control over everything with being persecuted.

In fact, our government is filled with Evangelicals and Catholics well out of balance with their representation in the general US population. Most of this administration's mid-to-high level political appointees come straight from evangelical colleges, and 5 out of 9 members of the current Supreme Court of the United States are Catholic ( ):

John Roberts (Chief Justice): Catholic
Stephen G. Breyer: Jewish
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Jewish
Anthony M. Kennedy: Catholic
Antonin Scalia: Catholic
David H. Souter: Episcopalian
John Paul Stevens: Protestant
Clarence Thomas: Catholic
Samuel Alito: Catholic

But hey, when did they let facts have anything to do with their feelings of persecution?

  Danny Del Rossi [12.06.07 07:02 PM]

"Ah kids...they grow up so quickly.."
Pretty damn spot on...

  Noreen White [12.12.07 09:48 PM]

I think it was a disgusting video. Yes children should know that these words exist but there is a time for it. I am sure he would not have sex in front of his kids to educate them that sex exists in the world.

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