Sunday, 15 November 2009

On Politics and Swear Words

After reading Steve Michael's three latest rants and Jeremy Crow's Volume 24 here at the Itching for a Coffee blog, I found that I could not resist adding my own thoughts such as they are. In googling the words "a$$ fu3k," I found that there is indeed an internet cafe by that name which in fact does not have to do with political acts. The suggestion that parents can send their college-age kids to D.C. if they "want to be a$$ fu3ks" struck me as hysterical.

I prefer the word asswipe which is more versatile. It has 41 definitions in the Urban Dictionary. Some of those definitions actually reference the political. A Google search also yields a couple of vids, a site that has funny pictures and games on it, a forum insulting owners of a car, and references to a bad contractor in Toronto.

I myself have no inherent love for politicians as a whole nor of crooked ones specifically. Those of us who have gone to college or sought higher edumacation have to exert some effort if we are to aspire to greatness or even to employment. My dad instilled in me a hefty dose of Protestant work ethic. (In my own patchwork of careers I have certainly suffered from a lack of willingness many times to put to use the values he taught me about work but that is simply and utterly not his fault). As I matured I learned the truth of the saying attributed to Albert Einstein: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I shortened this axiom to "If I want something different, I have to do something different."

When I found that the journey to excellence, achievement, and promotions in my chosen field involved perseverance and hard work, I had to engage in battling my native laziness and inertia if I wanted to get anywhere. After my motor vehicle accident about six years ago and traumatic brain injury which profoundly altered the course of my life, once again I had to really apply myself in order to learn how to compensate for my neurological difficulties. Whining about how my bosses had better connections didn't help me get promotions. Remaining embittered about my current state of affairs hindered me from being able to make any lasting changes to my life and circumstance. And so, my dad's hard-driving work ethic continues to inform me about what it takes for me to achieve my goals even today when the cognitive fatigue prevents me from being able to work. I can sit and whine about how "everyone else" has it better, has it going on, was able to access the services that I cannot access. Or I can continue to strive to be the best spike I can be and never mind who has it better, has it going on, was able to get more help, or never got disabled in the first place.

The concerns that both of my co-team members here at Itching have expressed in regard to the R-word being hurled at anyone who dares criticizes the President I believe are justified. That anyone should have to qualify any criticism of the person or policies or actions of Obama with, "Hey I am not a racist. I have friends who are black. I don't hate blacks..." informs me that this pressure-- this willingness of some segments of society to judge others as being racist because of political views-- is very much a real presence. And yeah, that some of the world's worst are embracing Obama and congratulating him is downright scary.

I have a traumatic brain injury. I curse fluently. I always have cursed fluently. The thing is, that since my injury, I am more likely to curse openly and publicly at times and places where others would rather I did not. With some difficulty, I am able to hold back on the cursing somewhat so that my message is not lost in the flood of colorful language. I may not agree that cursing or appearance should "matter" to those who are listening to me, reading my stuff, trying to help me with my vocational or medical problems. The reality is that it does matter to the more genteel folks around me. And so I endeavor to inhibit my dis-inhibitions for the sake of getting my voice heard.

In this day and age of renewed interest in "protecting the children" it is almost risky to curse in a blog. As some of us learned on Yahoo 360 (may that stinking corpse rot forever), censorship is not something that is applied equally in all circumstances. Criticizing the corporation became inherently more dangerous than putting a picture of a penis on one's profile was. Crow got kicked from 360. Unfortunately my writing was not talented enough to enjoy that distinction. Perhaps someday. Meanwhile, there is Blogspot. The folks at Google don't seem to be as hung up about these things. Yet, I ask myself how many curse words and which ones will get the blog Itching for a Coffee put on restricted status. I don't want this blog to be forced into "by invitation only" because quite frankly we don't have enough readers to remain a viable outreach if that were to happen. So then do I censor my buddy Steven by asking him to "tone it down" or at the very least "not to say the c-word and to limit the cursing" to some arbitrary number per paragraph? Do I dash a panicked e-mail off to Crow asking him for his input? Or do I just allow the chips to fall where they may? Or something else entirely?

Up through my twenties, I did not engage in a whole lot of intercourse because quite frankly I figured that if I got pregnant before marriage my father would "kill" me. I will point out here that I was mostly self-supporting in my twenties and living away from home. Yes, computers and the internet are all over the place. True no one can watch their under-aged kids "all the time." These two realities do not divorce from parents their responsibility to monitor the activities of their children. Parents, tend to your children. It is a dangerous world. Folks curse on blogs. Predators lay waiting in chat rooms. Kids can be exposed to ideas and values different from your own. My dad never told me "Don't get pregnant before you are married or else." Because his values were conveyed to me, my actions reflected those values even when he wasn't watching. Surely you parents of today are able to deliver clear messages about what is acceptable behavior in your offspring to your offspring. And just maybe, if you do so, your kids as adults won't choose to be asswipes living in D.C. or elsewhere whining about how they got left out of the lucky lottery-- or worse-- running for public office.

sapphoq healing tbi