There's been a lot of discussion of the oral argument in FCC v. Fox, the case that poses the constitutional validity of the FCC's ban on indecent words -- like f*** and s*** -- on the over-the-air broadcast media. Lyle Denniston, at SCOTUSblog, has an excellent summary of the oral argument. I don't want to go over that ground again; rather, it seems to me that the basic problem is a cultural one. We live in an increasingly coarse and vulgar age, probably the result of our willing conversion to the post-modern notion that there are no fixed standards about much of anything. So if you like to use F-bombs as oral punctuation, by all means do so. It's the inevitable result of the brain-dead slogans of the 60s -- "Let it all hang out," "If it feels good, do it." One wonders why we ever let these witless fools take control of our culture. But it has largely happened. Against that background, it's difficult to carve out a haven from this vulgarity on broadcast television, and yet tolerate it (and much worse) in virtually any other media setting. And to proscribe dirty words everywhere is plainly unacceptable; Cohen v. California shredded that idea. So, what are we to do? Law has its limits, and it has hit its limits here. We either accept censorship here (and open the door to other and more pernicious forms of censorship later), or we surrender to the pressure of our post-modern culture. The latter course can produce a short opinion, of course. "F*** it; just let it all hang out." We need cultural limits, not legal limits.