Swearing is a funny thing nowadays. The old bromide is that "everyone does it." Take a tour around an average high school (or middle school) and you'll see (or rather hear) my point. YouTube and blogs are filled with it. TV shows are filled with it (with intermittent "bleeps" accounting for half the dialog on "edgier" shows and even fairly mild shows featuring uncensored language that would shock audiences 30 years ago). Take a walk in the park and your ears might feel the assault of one-word descriptions related to bowl movement and fornication.
Of course, like any form of language, swearing has a point - it's meant to communicate an idea, and swearing does it effectively and immediately. In the course of a single word, one can express extreme frustration, anger, disgust, and a myriad of other implied details. On YouTube, in blogs, and in general causal culture, swearing has become a part of the fabric of language - addressing the absurdity of a situation or topic. In TV shows, it expresses likewise, and delivers to the audience the mindset of the character, another window into that character's heart. In other words, swearing has its uses.
But if a thing's usefulness is ignored, what's the point? It becomes gratuitous, like using a sledge hammer to install tile. About an hour and 15 minutes ago, enjoying my late-night geekdom watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Spike, a commercial aired for a local car dealership. Nothing fancy or outstanding, just the owner standing around his showroom talking touting all his low or no credit incentives. Your typical cheesy, sleazy kind of car commercial that you'd find at this time of night. In the middle of endless pan sweeps of equally endless seas of late-model Mustangs and promises of 0% financing, a jarring blast interrupted the myopia: "Tired of driving around in a piece of @&%#?" No punch line, no lead-up, just straight up. A bleep and a red "X" covering the offending orifice.
It was an absurd, surreal moment - ironically in how normal and casual it was. Right there with nothing else attached. Yet it seemed out of the ordinary. It made me feel...uncomfortable. YouTube and even television is one thing, but in a commercial for a local car dealership, with no lead up, entirely "out of character," you're doing to declare your audience to get out of their piece of @&!#? This is the type of thing that brings an already sleazy purveyor down to the level of "no class." Dumbing down to your audience to hawk your wares is one thing, but it's a delicate art where many have been burned, and you never commit the cardinal mistake of admitting it. I don't care if you use your cutesy bleeps and and x's across your mouth, but swearing in a commercial like that is tantamount to such an admission.
In other words: grow up and show some @!%# class, Mr. Car Salesguy.