Friday, June 18, 2004


now that's a dirty mouth

Our good friend Tommy Tompkins points out on his blog that I have an inconsistent relationship with profanity on this site and he's mostly right. I have a habit, like I did with a recent post, to use asteriks to partially censor foul language, such as writing sh*t or f*** or "die you motherf***ing c***sucker."

Tommy actually has it wrong when he says that I won't swear. I swear all the goddamn fucking time (strangely, even more after watching Deadwood...connection?) as anyone outside of my parents and professors can attest to. I like swearing - I'm all with the Bono rule: i.e. saying something is fucking brilliant is an emotional expression rather than an endorsement of fornication (though frankly, what's wrong with that?)

The main thing is that I just don't like the way profanity looks on the page. Most profanity is meant to be equated with coarseness and ugliness, at least in terms of how we're socialized to treat it and for me, I can't help but cringe when I write out a word like "fuck." Maybe it's that "ck" combo but the word just looks ugly to me, as does "cunt", "cock", and a lot of other words that will make the FCC very mad at you. ("Shit" I have fewer problems with. Shit, shit, shit. See? "Bitch" I'm not crazy about and I never use "fag" or "nigger/nigga" unless I'm quoting.)

I admit, it is a little strange and I've gotten razzed by some of my friends about it (like Tommy) for self-censoring in print. I do think it says something about language and how the physical depiction of a word is still different than its acoustic properties. As it is, I like the way "fuck'" sounds - hard, guttural and to-the-point - but I hate seeing it in my own writing (though I don't have a problem reading it in other people's writing). Maybe this is grade school guilt training kicking in, like the one time I used "shit" in an assignment because we were used to write a list of words that ended in "it" I'm still mad that I got in trouble for that, those motherfucking 2nd grade teachers. (See, I don't feel better writing it like that even though I have no qualms using the same term in speech).

In any case, you might catch me slipping from time to time, but until then, you'll just have to deal with my f***ing PG-edit sh*t, ok c***suckers?