Viral video demonstrates impact of swearing in media on families

Recommended by Megan Christensen, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Aug. 11, 2014, 11:55 p.m. MDT

This Poor Family Gets Shot with 3,192 Paintballs in 5.3 Seconds to Prove a Powerful Point

 A family of four gets shot with more than 3,000 paintballs in 5.3 seconds to prove a point — that profanity has an impact.

Clark Gable shocked audiences in 1939 when he spoke the first swear word in cinema history while playing his role of Rhett Butler in "Gone With The Wind."

The famous movie line was the catalyst for many more swear words to appear in Hollywood blockbusters, and in 2013, "The Wolf of Wall Street" broke the record for having the most swear words in any movie, including 528 F-words and 798 total swear words.

In a recent viral video created by VidAngel, a company that streams filtered movies and shows, a family of four gets shot with more than 3,000 paintballs in 5.3 seconds to prove a point — that profanity has an impact.

"We wanted to visually show the impact of 798 swear words," said Daniel Harmon, founder of VidAngel, in a behind the scenes video. "A family of four means we needed 798 paintballs per person, so we got 50 fully automatic paintball guns."

According to the video description on YouTube, VidAngel community members tag potentially offensive swearing, sex and violence in movies, TV shows and YouTube videos, and then viewers are able to filter what they do not wish to watch.

VidAngel is a legal business and is protected by the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, according to a statement below the company's YouTube commercial.

The video was posted to YouTube July 23 and has more than 1 million views.

Megan Marsden Christensen writes for the Faith and Family sections. She recently graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor's degree in communication.

1. Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT,
Aug. 11, 2014

That's a very creative way to highlight the increasing use of swearing in cinema.

The other day we rented a Robert Redford movie where he was the only actor and there were less than 2 dozen words spoken, and yet one of those words was a swear word. Foul language is hard to avoid without tuning out all mainstream media.

2. Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 11, 2014

Use of vulgar or profane language has multiplied because the users seek to shock and awe their audiences, not realizing that the use of such language only exposes their woefully inept command of the English language. Just like addictive drugs, the increasing use of foul language has a diminishing effect, so the dosage has to be ever increased to achieve the same level of revulsion. John Donne wisely observed: "Vice is a monster of such frightful mien, as to be hated needs but to be seen; yet seen too often, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace." And as Jesus observed, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." Joseph Smith stood up to the foul-mouthed jailers in Liberty; so should we. Yet we continue to watch and listen to the whirlwind of vulgarity all around us, which only reinforces its continued and expanded use.

[climbing down from soap-box]

3. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
Aug. 11, 2014

They're just words. We own any power they might have over us.

4. Anonyme
Orem, UT,
Aug. 11, 2014

Are racial or sexual epithets "just words"? Are slander and libel "just words"? Is verbal abuse of a child "just words"? Does the law not agree that some words have power in and of themselves?

5. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
Aug. 11, 2014

Yes, they're just words. Slander and libel almost always consist of words that are not 'swear' words. Offensive as they are, neither are racial epithets. Verbal abuse of a child can and usually does exist totally outside the realm of the dreaded swear terminology, yet it is otherwise reprehensible, and often reflects physical abuse of a child. Again, reprehensible, but religion can be used to excuse it. Terminology people find offensive is so because people find it offensive. More often, it's intent rather than simply the lexicon that is meant to, and does, offend. But those words, those seven words that George Carlin identified that can get people so atwist, well they're still just words. There are sentiments and intent that are offensive because they're meant to be. But those words, well, they're just words. If I hear one in the media I take it for what it is. A word. Slander or child abuse are slander or child abuse of their own merit. So called 'swearing', on the other hand, is just words.