The FCC has loosened up in recent years, suggesting that generational shift could be on the horizon. In 2003, U2's Bono gushed, "this is really, really f****** brilliant" while accepting a Golden Globe, which sent 234 complaints -- against TV stations that carried the awards show -- flooding into the FCC. But the FCC didn't levy sanctions. Instead, it decided the f-word is permissible on broadcast TV as long as it does "not describe sexual or excretory activities or functions."
That doesn't mean the f-word will become as ubiquitous as "b****" or "ass" on broadcast anytime soon. Certainly, there are more than 234 Americans ready to fight if the FCC embraces f*** in all its scatalogical, sexual glory. Kristen Fyfe is one of them.
"We are a less civil society now than we were 30 years ago, and a lot of that comes through language and how we speak to each other," said Fyfe, a senior writer for the Culture and Media Institute, which, on its Web site, says it aims to "preserve and help restore America's culture, character, traditional values, and morals against the assault of the liberal media elite."
"We may be in a place where culturally, people don't cover their ears when they hear [f***], but as a parent of two kids, I feel like I need to watch broadcast TV with a remote in my hand to keep some sort of boundaries in my home," Fyfe continued. "Maybe people wouldn't be shocked by the 'Seven Dirty Words' today, but I think they'd still find it tasteless."
So, for the foreseeable future, you'll have to tune to premium cable (HBO, Showtime) or select basic cable programs ("Secret Stash," a block of language-unedited hilarity that Comedy Central airs every Saturday and Sunday at 1 a.m.) to get a fix of filth. And for those who really want to be shocked, Rivers has a suggestion:
"Come and see me at the Cutting Room," she said, referring to her upcoming, raunch-filled show at the NYC nightclub. "There's still shock, believe there's plenty. I'm still shocking them."