Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I fucking love profanity...


Really, I do.  I like swearing.  I'm not sure where it comes from.  Maybe it's a form of rebellion for me.  Or maybe I just think that cussing is cool.  I don't think it's because I have a limited vocabulary.  I know one thing.  Being smacked upside the head by my father when I was a kid for using "bad words" didn't curb my desire to use them.  In fact, I think that just made me want to swear even more.

How else was I supposed to respond when someone bigger and stronger than I was hit me for expressing myself in a way he didn't appreciate?  I certainly couldn't hit him back, yet I was left smarting from the indignity of being struck on the side of the head by someone who was supposed to love me.   It was okay for him to do that to me in the name of "discipline", but it's not okay for me to say "damn" in response.  He was never one to swear, but he was one to get angry and rage and occasionally lash out in anger.  I was on the receiving end of that.  Maybe he hated it when I swore, but I hated it when he took his anger and frustrations out on me.  Cussing is less destructive than physical violence is.

This topic comes up this morning because one of my cousins, a gun loving, Republican, recovering alcoholic who used to be fun and has now gone Christian, just posted a status update asking his friends not to post profanity on his wall.  I'm not guilty of cussing on my cousin's wall; I almost never interact with him.  I just happened to notice his status update and it comes on the heels of similar censorship attempts I've seen lately.  I noticed that my aunt, who probably doesn't follow me, wrote a comment praising him for his status update.  Now, it's certainly my cousin's right to ask people not to post profane language on his wall.  But I have to wonder, what the hell is the big deal?  They're just words.  Oh, he says he's alright with the word "damn", but all the other words are *out*.  Why is "damn" okay but "shit" is not?  What difference does it make?

Last week, I wrote the word "shitty" on Bill's Facebook page because he was stuck in traffic.  I was expressing empathy.  I wrote "shitty" because it really is shitty to be stuck in a stau.  Even James Taylor thinks so.  He even wrote a song about it.


It sucks to be stuck in traffic.  James knows and so do I.

My aunt's brother, a former cop and serviceman, actually chastised me for cursing on my husband's page.  He told me to "quit it".  My response?  "No." If I want to cuss on my page or my husband's page, I will.  You don't get to tell me what to do.

I honestly don't think cussing makes someone uneducated, unrefined, or a bad person.  Now, I do agree that there is a time and a place for foul language.  I just think that part of being refined means knowing when it's "wrong" to swear.  Really, what it comes down to is respect, I guess.  I mean, people don't usually like it when you swear in a place of worship, during a valedictory address, or in a job interview.   Swearing in those situations is considered uncouth and inappropriate.

If you don't believe in God, swearing in church probably doesn't matter to you that much...  Actually, I doubt it matters to God, either.  Case in point, there is a town in Austria called Fucking.  Fucking is a bad word in the English language.  It's not in German.  Am I to believe that it's "okay" for Germans to use the word "fucking" but it's not okay for English speakers?  Maybe it comes down to what the word means. But if that's true, why is it somewhat acceptable to say "poop" or even "crap", but not "shit"?  What difference does it make?  Those words all refer to the same fucking thing.  And who decides whether a word is "good" or "bad" or "inappropriate"?

I suppose the only time I am offended by off color language is when it's used to excess.  Like, for instance, I'm reading something and every other word is "fucking" or something similar.  That has much more to do with my distaste for boring, repetitive writing and poor expression than the actual words, though.


I don't know if cussing really makes someone more honest and trustworthy, but if the worst you can say about me is that I swear like a sailor, I think that's not too shabby.  And at 43 years old, if I want to use dirty language, I will, dammit.  Don't want to hang out with me?  It's your loss.  I'm actually a pretty decent person most of the time.  I have my quirks and I sin, as everyone does.  But I'm not a bad person because I swear.

There are so many other things in the world to be concerned about other than what kind of language people choose to use.  Why be outraged because someone says the word "fuck" or "shit" when you could be outraged over women being sold into slavery or men being tied to ancient pillars in Palmyra and being blown into oblivion by ISIS?  Why take someone to task for cursing when you could be upset over so many other, more important issues?  A person's choice to use profanity really is such a non-issue.

It disturbs me that some people in my family probably dislike me because they think I swear too much and I'm not much of a Christian.  It makes me sad, actually.  It's very limiting to discount people simply because you don't approve of the way they express themselves.  I'm not usually one to praise Pat Boone's family's Christian leanings, but I am reminded of something I read in his daughter Lindy's book, Heaven Hears.  Lindy grew up conditioned not to use profanity.  She doesn't swear and likely taught her children not to swear.  But then her son, Ryan, fell through a skylight and suffered a traumatic brain injury.  It's a miracle he's still living, though he is not the same man he was before his accident.

Lindy explains that since his accident, her son Ryan swears a lot.  At first, she was shocked and offended by his salty language.  But then she realized that it was a blessing that her son could speak at all, given what happened to him.  And she soon realized that her son's new penchant for off color language was a blessing... perhaps even from God.  At the very least, she realized that cussing really isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.  Maybe she'd prefer it if he didn't use profanity, but I'm sure she'd rather he curse than be forever silent... or dead.

So there, I said it.  I love to use profanity.  I'm still a good person.  But if you don't think so simply because of my choice to cuss, maybe you should examine yourself.  You may not be as wholesome and good as you think you are.


2 comments:

  1. My dad swears more than anyone else K know, and he's as educated as anyone I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People make too much of a big deal out of swearing.

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