I am sure there is a special place in heaven reserved for those who have never used the F-word. I will never get near that place. Nor, apparently, will Dick Cheney.Sadly, nor will I.
(I try not use any curse words here on the blog, simply because I don’t want it Googled. I get enough unwanted Google hits as it is, including someone who surfed in today looking for “little african girls pics.” Whoever you are, I hope, for your soul’s sake that you’re looking for such for high-minded reasons. Otherwise, begone, you pervert.)
…By all accounts, he deployed the pungent verb form, in effect a suggestion as to how the good senator from Vermont might amuse himself.Just a little helpful advice.
Which makes it [f you] excellent for drive-by information conveyance. When some jerk tailgater rides my bumper in heavy traffic, honking his horn before passing and cutting me off, I do a turn-to-the-left, eyeball-to-eyeball, through-the-driver's-window two-worder -- mouthed slowly and with exaggerated lip movements. No interlocutor has yet missed my meaning.Alas, I am guilty of this horrid offense as well. It take the most self-controlled of California drivers to refrain from a little self-expression in the face of millions of no-driving $%#^$.
Nonetheless, while the two-worder has the directness of the dagger, the three-worder has the elegance of the wide-arced saber slice. It is more musical and, being more clearly spelled out, more comprehensible to the non-English speaker (a boon in major urban areas). It consists of a straightforward directive containing both a subject and an object -- charmingly, the same person. [SNIP]
Ah, but the earnest chin-pullers are not amused. Cheney's demonstration of earthy authenticity in a chamber in which authenticity of any kind is to be valued has occasioned anguished meditations on the loss of civility in American politics. Liberals in particular have expressed deep concern about this breach of decorum.
Odd. The day before first reports of Cheney's alleged indiscretion, his Democratic predecessor, Al Gore, delivered a public speech in which he spoke of the administration's establishing a "Bush gulag" around the world and using "digital brown shirts" to intimidate the media. The former vice president of the United States compared the current president to both Hitler and Stalin in the same speech -- a first not just in hyperbole but in calumny -- and nary a complaint is heard about a breach of civility.[SNIP]
… In the face of Gore's real breach of civil political discourse, which of the following is the right corrective: (a) offer a reasoned refutation of the charge that George Bush is both Stalinist and Hitlerian; (b) suggest an increase in Gore's medication; or (c) do a Cheney.Better than breaking Godwin’s Law or the laws of the land, in my view. (You will notice that I never criticized Senator John Kerry for his public use of the adjectival form of the word during an interview. So what? If that were the worst thing about him, I'd consider voting for him. Alas, it's not.)
The f-word happens. Some of us try to refrain from using it, but sometimes no other word does the job as well. Sometimes, you don’t want the object of your communication to mistake the level of your displeasure; you want to offend. I will assume that this is true of former Vice President Al Gore’s word usage as well. It worked.
And before I get the "double standard" call, check your standards first. The VP's suggestion to Senator Leahy wasn't meant for public consumption. The words of Senator Kerry and former VP Gore were.
Related addendum: S-Train has inducted the vice president into the “Playas” Club, dubbing him with an…um..interesting “pimp” handle.