Aw shucks, this malarkey showed up in my Facebook feed today. For cryin’ out loud, why did this have to show up, with all of its accusations about the amount of profanity that I use? Does this make me a bad person because I am more apt to use the phrase ‘Shut the fuck up’ than ‘Shut the Front Door?’ If I go back to the words that my mother told me, I could answer this question in the affirmative. No, that is not entirely accurate. The conversation that I had with my mother pinpointed how it was uneducated people who tended to swear more often. While that is-probably true, I have evolved on the matter of profanity, not only because I am a frequent user of some of the more colourful of these words (and none of the ones that are on this list, to be honest), but also because I know some highly educated people who swear all the fucking time.
George Carlin’s famous seven words that cannot be said on television are among my favorites. Some are profane, many relate to either sex or bathroom activities. Many of these are used as short hand by people who many not have the ability to express themselves more eloquently or poetically. This is the education piece. I do not doubt that some of the people who might be considered lower class or have less education frequently use these words in more inappropriate contexts than the more educated, which I argue is what tends to separate them from other people. Very few people can get by in their lives without using some forms of profanity. The difference is the context under which it is used.
Yes, context is key for so many things. By saying this I do not mean to imply that everyone would start taking the Lord’s name in vain, or telling people what they can do to themselves. Some will not use even the cleanest of curses, and while that seems unnatural to those of us who have partaken, there is nothing wrong with them. It is a personal choice. People are even entitled to their opinions on the subject. Some will not like cussing because it offends their sensibilities.
For people who genuinely don’t like to hear profane words, I am sorry, and I beg you to bear with me a little longer. What many of us who speak in colorful vernacular do have a problem with is the hypocrisy that often comes along with someone’s delicate ears. Saying you do not like to hear swearing because it is an affront to your religion (for example) while performing acts that are the very essence of the profane makes you a hypocrite and someone who we should stop allowing to dictate our own actions. An anecdotal example: a former neighbour of ours was ‘a Christian.’ You know the type, I am sure: the sort that partake of the religion on Sunday and are secular the rest of the week. This was a person who acted all innocent and pure and was scandalized at the idea of someone using profanity. Scandalized at the use of the words fuck, bitch, or shit, but not at all scandalized by constantly playing on people’s sympathy to get things, taking things from charities at which they were volunteering, and doing tons of other dishonest and disingenuous shit.
It it not my intention to disparage genuinely religious people, but far too often it has become a racket for the scammers, the selfish, those trying to escape trouble, and the self-righteous. They preach the Good Word and parade in front of everyone all the good deeds that they are doing, while completely ignoring the spirit of their own religion. As I wrote in another post, Jesus would be so proud.
In closing, here’s a suggestion: rather than being so fucking worried about the appearance of goodness and charity, try actually being good and charitable. Worry less about what others are doing or not doing, and more about your own house. Go about using works like malarkey, phooey or caca instead of shit. That’s fine. That’s your right. We might laugh because it sounds silly and outdated, but we would never deny you your right. Don’t deny us ours, and don’t think you’r’e better than us cussers.