11/30/2012 02:52 pm ET Updated Jan 30, 2013

Repurposing the Word 'Smut'

In grade school I learned that Satan's most fiendish weapons were communism and smut. Exposure to either would inescapably sap one's moral fiber and rot one's brain. At that age, I had no interest in Marxist dialectics, but, on the theory of know-your-enemy, I was eager to peruse some smut.

According to Father Madden, whom I avoided because he was a priest not afraid to talk to the young, smut was revealing photos of Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida or even June Cleaver if pictured without Wally and the Beaver.

Today, few warn the young about the perils of communism and smut, because communism failed while pornography triumphed. In researching this blog, I googled "Porn: Two Playmates and a Python." I was directed to hundreds of sites offering pictures, videos, DVDs, HD movies and even escort services in Spokane, Omaha and Topeka featuring two playmates and a python.

Porn's ubiquity has made the word "smut" archaic. If Father Madden preached that smut was Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, what epithet would he attach to Miss February and Miss May cavorting with a python?

I regret the loss of the word smut. It sounded so repugnant, loathsome and detestable. By itself, the word sneered. It dripped with contempt; it rhymed with slut. Smut is too good a word to lose. We must find a new meaning for it.

We could define smut as misleading and mendacious political speech. Whenever Obama said anything, Fox News could call it smut. Democrats could attack Karl Rove as a Smutmeister. Pundits could censure the effect of smut on our political discourse.

Alternatively, we could apply smut to pageants. I find all of them -- halftime pageants, Junior Miss pageants, Holiday pageants -- odious and nauseating. Let's call them smut: Miss Teen Age Idaho Smut, Superbowl Halftime Smut, Quincy MA Flag Day Smut.

However, if we want smut to remain an instrument of Satan's evil temptations, it should describe food. We can brand as smut all foods with insufficient Omega-3 fatty acids. Mayor Bloomberg can call large sodas smut. Smut could comprise everything that is not grown locally and is not organic. Restaurants and groceries could be vilified for offering smut. Parents could forbid children from eating smut, once more thwarting the devil.