Well, it’s been illegal for a long time in that town but it was one of those old wacky laws nobody ever enforces like “all bathtubs must have feet” or “women are prohibited from wearing Santa suits” (actually most of those “dumb laws” you hear about are totally not true). The law was recently decriminalized, though and now cops can issue $20 fines for swearing.
“Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.” So it’s not like they’re just trying to crack down on First Amendment protected free speech… okay they are but all that swearing really makes some people uncomfortable.
Honestly, swearing is just part of the climate in Massachusetts. If you live near Orlando it’s gonna get pretty humid and if you live near Boston it’s gonna get pretty vulgar.
It’s really not a big deal. Of course it’s unconstitutional to fine people for speaking but it’s not like this is the first domino in a chain that leads to Orwellian Thought Police. Shit like this happens all the time. The ACLU will go down to Middleborough and throw a tantrum and the law will be reversed.
While I’m all for that happening, part of me wants to see what it would be like in the Massachusetts town where Massholes were fined for swearing. Tell a Masshole they can’t swear (sweah) and you might as well tell them they can’t breathe air (aeh). Guys in the street will soon be yelling at each other with TV edit swears so they don’t get arrested. Cut somebody off in Middleborough and you might hear them shout “YOU PIECE OF SHRIMP MELLON FARMER!” out their car window.
That’s only going to hold them over for so long, though. Pretty soon people will be gathering in the basements of bars for “sweareasies” so they can cut loose without fear of reprisal.
The first rule of swear club is go fuck yourself, asshole.