There’s the obvious. Like education, health care, democracy, civil rights, women’s rights, immigration, free press, our country, the earth. Then there’s the not-so-obvious sucking the joy out of the little things that aren’t so little.
Like language. More specifically, colorful language–cursing, cussing, profanity, swearing, plain old dirty words. It’s funny, I was thinking about this the other day, mentioned the blog to a friend and gave my usual warning that it can be considered offensive. Then the New Yorker piece came out and oy. Not just the article itself, but the fact that it was in the damned New Yorker. The holy grail of culture. A magazine read worldwide, almost 100 years old, a veritable institution known for ethics, fact checking, and intelligence. I hope they gain 50,000 new subscribers because of that article, and I trusted every word because of where it was coming from, but I can’t help but think it would have been more appropriate for the mooch to call the National Enquirer.
I don’t curse as much in real life as I do as on the blog. Maybe when I’m very angry. Or very drunk. Or very comfortable. *Ahem* I know not everyone feels as comfortable as I do with the word fuck but well, it’s an excellent word. How many others can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, article, conjunction, preposition, and an interjection? Some curses don’t make sense to me, even though they’ve become part of the vernacular. I seem to remember it being a really big deal to call someone a douchebag when I was in high school. Now I hear “douche” coming from the tv. I still don’t get it. Ooh, you’re a hygiene product, what a slur. Isn’t soap supposed to be the cure for a dirty mouth?
There are some words I don’t care for, they make me feel squicky. Not sure why, but they do. So hey, the official Communications Director can feel free to keep the term cocksucker.
Could I write my blog posts without the curses? Sure I could, but I don’t want to. They’re part of the fictionalized version of me that is Mrs Fringe, and to scrub them would feel like those occasional pieces of fiction I come across where the (usually newer) writer has heard all forms of “to be” are passive writing and should be omitted. The passages that result are often needlessly contorted–anything but fun to read. The other side is that I generally spend a fair amount of time on each post. Thinking about the subject, drafting, redrafting, editing, choosing photos and songs. Each swear used is consciously chosen for impact or stylistic choice. Over the five years I’ve been doing this there’ve probably been about 50 posts that I wrote, rewrote, thought about, played with, and then deleted. Not because every post is a pearl, but because some things shouldn’t be said. Or maybe just not said out loud. The transcript of words-ya-can’t-say-on-tv we read about the other day wasn’t about specific, careful thought. It was a tantrum filled with verbal tics. Beyond all of it, in this political climate, I don’t think we can afford to be out of fucks.
That fudging Commander in Chief just doesn’t have the right ring, does it? However, I can still appreciate the brilliant words of Johnny Carson and wish the fleas of a thousand camels infest the armpits of those down in DC being excused as “just how New Yorkers are.” They are not my New York, and I refuse to let them co-opt my words.
I don’t swear very often, neither does my parents, so when our children here us swear they know we are well and truly pissed off. My daughters swear a lot and have taught their children that it is not nice for a child to swear but if they do when they are really pissed off they do not get into a lot of trouble
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I never made a big deal of it with my kids, just taught them there are times and places where it’s inappropriate, and let them know there are people who find it offensive, and it’s important to respect that.