In a recent interview, Supreme Court tough guy Antonin Scalia complains

You can’t go to a movie—or watch a television show for that matter—without hearing the constant use of the F-word—including, you know, ladies using it…. My goodness!

He's joined in his indignation by the likes of pop singer Annie Lennox, who recently complained about porn masquerading as music videos, and 72 percent of Americans who believe the country's morals are going down the drain. 

In a Time.com column, I argue:

I don’t know anyone who would seriously challenge the idea that America has become a far cruder society over the last 10, 20, or 30 years. There’s probably more sex, violence, and salty language in the opening credits of Keeping Up with the Kardashians than there was on all of prime-time TV when Scalia joined the Supreme Court in 1986.

But really, who gives an…F-word? We may well be an increasingly ill-mannered society, one that’s soaking in violent video games, instantly available online porn, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo like our mothers used to soak in Palmolive liquid. But we’re also one in which youth violence, sex, and drug use are all trending down. If that means putting up with, you know, ladies cursing and other examples of unambiguously crass behavior, it seems a terrifically small price to pay.

Read the whole thing.