What the fuck is wrong with cursing?

I’ve wanted to write a post about this for a while to address some issues that have been brought up on the blog recently. Curiously enough, there’s been an external event that, I believe has made this a bit more relevant. And the issues basically relate to…well, my penchant for using fucking curse words and nasty bullshit terms.

Let’s come right out and say it. Everybody likes to use the curse word now and again. Anyone that tells you differently is full of shit. We may use them with differing regularity, but believe me, we all drop a bomb every now and again. And in my mind, there’s nothing wrong with that, so long as it’s not used in a threatening manner (and I seriously doubt that anything on our site has even approached that line).

We use them because sometimes “socially acceptable” words just don’t cut it – besides, they’re just so fucking versatile, ask this guy. Sometimes something is so outrageous, ridiculous, or beyond explanation, the first reaction is to simply use a curse word to describe your thoughts about it.

When we called positions that Bush took “full of shit”, it’s because saying they’re “factually incorrect”, or “lacking in substance”, really doesn’t explain just how ridiculous they were. Or, when I referred to CNBC commentator Rick Santelli as a “douchebag” because he went on a pre-planned “spontaneous” rant about the evils of the housing bailout and how everyday Americans ought to revolt, while standing in front of a bunch of stock traders, then cancelled on Jon Stewart at the last minute, refused to reschedule, and eventually forced a co-worker to take his beating for him...I didn’t think that “terribly disappointing” would be an effective way to describe his behavior.

So, if the cursing really bothers you, fine. Avert your eyes past the word in question and continue reading. Where I take offense with this line of thinking is when those that are bothered by my cursing take the attitude that it puts anything I say out of bounds of acceptable discourse.
Really? Because as I see it, there are a lot of well known writers, commentators, and media pundits who say thing that should be well outside the bounds of acceptable discourse, yet no one ever seems to call them out on it.

Take, for instance, the murder of Dr. George Tiller last week. This is a guy that Bill O’Reilly has referred to in the past as “Tiller the Killer”, compared to a Nazi, and didn’t really say anything that made you feel like he thought it was a bad thing (save for the obligatory “sorry he died, but I didn’t do it, so fuck you”).

Even Megan McArdle, one of the “sensible Atlantic pseudo-centrists”, after taking a few shots over some questionable comments she made about the murder, said “I am accused of loving violence and terror. Well, call me a terrorist sympathizer, but I believe that most terrorists do what they do because they, at least, genuinely believe that there is no other way to seek justice. Indeed, they are usually right, for all that I radically dissent from both their idea of justice, and their right to seek it through violence.” Maybe it’s just me, but I consider it to be pretty unacceptable to say that a murderer of a doctor that performed abortions could be in the right because they didn’t see any other option.

But it’s not just them. There’s plenty more examples of things right-wing commentators say that should disqualify them from being taken seriously. Bill Kristol, who has been wrong on virtually every prediction he made about the Iraq war, still goes on TV and bloviates about how we should just shoot a few missiles at North Korea because they tested a rocket, with no sort of regard for the idea that it would set off a full-scale regional war if we did that. NYT’s Charles Krauthammer justifies torture by saying that it’s ok if we believe that it’s ok. Instapundit Glenn Reynolds states that we should kill Iranian atomic scientists, in the oft chance we decide that we should eventually bomb them. The NRO’s Michael Krikorian goes off about how “I’ll pronounce Sonia Sotomayor’s name however I damn please”, while Kathryn Jean Lopez wonders why Rosa Parks can only be considered a liberal icon. Aspiring 2012 presidential nominee Newt Gingrich accuses Sotomayor of having racist views, based on, well nothing really. Jonah Goldberg advocates invading a country every couple years just to show we mean business, and publishes a book called Liberal Fascism, with a picture of a smiley face with a Hitler mustache on the cover. Lou Dobbs spews jingoistic vitriol on a nightly basis on that liberal rag network CNN. And Michelle Malkin…anything she says is pretty much thisshort of crazy. We won’t even get into Rush Limbaugh and his despicable nature, which would easily triple the length of this post.

Things like this are far more dangerous to the state of polite discourse in America, yet somehow these are overlooked because they don’t contain any “offensive” words. Because all of these statements are part of the manly, macho, militaristic attitude that so many in the media find absolutely breathtaking, and thus must be taken seriously. And maybe some of this can be blamed on the republican’s moving of the goalposts to ridiculous lengths, so that crazy is now considered part of a relevant discussion.

So before you accuse someone that curses a little here and there of being the problem, maybe you should take a look around before you decide that’s the case. Or, maybe you can chill the fuck out and understand why we’re cursing in the first place.

UPDATE: I added in a link which I should have had in there in the first place. My bad. Others links coming as needed.

LATER UPDATE: Apparently this post has gotten some riled up that don't care for cursing in general. If cursing in and of itself is offensive to you, then this probably isn't the blog for you, and you can decide not to patronize our site.

The greater point I tried to make with this post, is that I don't see how cursing should be any more of a disqualifying factor from being a part of the townhall discussion that is the internet than saying something that is just completely insane. It's a forest through the trees thing, try to see that.


Chris Flowers said...

I concur with this blog post!


dpjbro said...

Murder okay but cursing not? Hmmm, situation ethics has triumphed with the fundy/anti-female crowd. We never saw that coming.

Rev. Ritchie Blackmore said...

Right on, AB... I mean, fuck yeah! Couldn't agree more.