However! There is also the school of thought that says our ancestors were just as dirty as we are--if not dirtier! And regardless of what you or I believe, there's a new show on HBO that seems determined to set sexy history on its ear. It's entitled Deadwood (Sundays, 10 pm).
Set in the prehistorically ancient time of the 1870s, Deadwood is named after South Dakota's gold rush boomtown--a lawless village built on lyin', shootin', whorin', gamblin', and most importantly, cussin'. Among the townsfolk is sharp-shootin' Wild Bill Hickok (played by Keith Carradine), Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), and the eeeevil saloon/casino/whorehouse operator Al Swearengen (Ian McShane). The show is constructed on a Lord of the Flies premise; in a place where there is no law, can morality still exist?
According to its creators, Deadwood is about as historically accurate as it gets: The town is a syphilitic mudhole overcrowded with gullible drunks looking to cash in on the gold rush, while flimflammers are looking to cash in on the aforementioned gullible drunks. Plus, they have a LOT of sex (the buck-nasty kind) and say a LOT of very, very dirty words. Now... I'll be the first to admit it--I'm no saint. However, the people in Deadwood seem to have a particular penchant for saying the word "f*ck" and "c*ck-sucker" and "motherf*cking c*ck-sucker." These are words you will never see in my column (I prefer to employ classier verbiage, such as "fawk," "pee-hole," and "diaper gravy").
But here's my point! Even though Deadwood is a terrific show, their dirty, dirty premise is still hard to believe. There's simply no way that people who lived in ancient historical times were walking around acting more buck wild and freak nasty than you and I. Need proof? Imagine this: your grandma walking down the block, suckin' on a lollipop with the word "JUICY" written across her ass.
I REST MY FAWKING CASE.