Sunday, October 3, 2010

On profanity

WARNING: This week’s issue of ‘The Glass Dagger’ contains vulgar and offensive language. Filthy wankers with no balls should refrain from reading.

A friend recently told me that we were all living in a ‘Godless world’. I couldn’t disagree more to this statement. Society has plenty of Gods to go around. Money, sex, violence, Edward Cullen… it’s truly hard to pick these days. So with all this sanctity about, it’s almost too easy to defile something. Something which is ‘profane’ is something outside holiness, and perhaps even blasphemous. And certainly one of the most popular ways to ‘make unholy’ is to verbally curse. It’s probably so popular because it’s so easy. For example take a few of the words I just mentioned before; like Money, and Edward Cullen. Now add ‘fuck’ in front each one (treating Edward Cullen as one word, of course. Although adding a second ‘fuck’ before Cullen works too, the fuckwit…) and you’ve rather successfully cursed each of the subjects. Yes, it’s that easy. No cutting yourself. No burning things. It is a purely mental and verbal process. Feel free to try this experiment with other words, or the names of your friends and family. I honestly have no problem with swearing. Seriously. It’s a device which has a very important role to play in many people’s lives, and makes us feel a tiny bit more in control in situations where we seemingly have none. It’s a very human way of taking the power back, even if it’s only for a second. Why would I want to take that away from anybody? What I DO have a problem with is that almost everybody does it wrong.
There seems to be two extremes in the cussing world. The first one is the most annoying to me. They’re those delightful people who will never utter an offensive word in everyday speech, and then when they do something to arouse anger, like spill a drink or stub a toe, they’ll yell words like “Shivers!” or “Fruitcake!”. These people make me want to yell words like “Liar!” and “Coward!”. If you truly think that you’re intelligent enough to express yourself in sentences rather than to use swear words, you can’t simply substitute already existing swear words. If you’re yelling ‘fruitcake’ to the world, you’re still cursing what’s happened, still cursing your Gods, and you’re just as ineloquent as the rest of us peasants. Besides, if you keep using surrogate swear words, they’re bound to officially become what they’re substituting. Then we’ll all be shitting when we’re cold and eating Christmas fucks.
Then there are those that sit on the other end of the spectrum who use swear words to punctuate their sentences. “I was down at the fuckin’ post office the other fuckin’ day. And who do I bump into but the fuckin’ Smiths!” The biggest damage this does is that it seriously cheapens these important words. Why swear if all the punch has been taken away from the cussing? Swearing constantly does no good for anybody. Especially for yourself. It’s like going to work every day wearing a strap-on. Sure, it’ll get you attention for a while (assuming it’s a casual dress job), but eventually the shock value will wear off, and everyone will see you for the attention-sapping arsehole you truly are.
Before I leave you all, I would like to touch on one last thing. With all these people dissing religion, people don’t realise just how sexist the secular world is. With all our efforts to keep profanity alive, we only really have one real taboo left. Which is, of course, human genitals. And not even male genitals! Think about it. If you say ‘dick’, ‘pecker’, ‘wang’, ‘dong’, ‘Johnson’ or ‘pink oboe’ to people, most will find you socially acceptable, and might even laugh. However, mentioning ‘slit’, ‘snatch’, ‘poon’, ‘hatchet wound’, ‘gash’ or ‘cunt’ will invite eviction from society. So what should you take away from all of this?
Well, come up with some more light hearted words for female genitals, or more offensive male ones. If you stub your toe or you’re filling out a tax return form, swear. If you’re ordering a pizza, or talking about people you like, don’t.
Now seriously fuck off, before I get really angry.

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