On the ESPN website I write for, we’re specifically encouraged not to use the words “fuck” and “shit,” an absolute killer for someone with my disposition. My whole writing style is predicated around a voice you would hear in everyday life, and, frankly, fuck and shit are two of my go-to’s. So that’s unfortunate.
In the last blog I wrote for, I had autonomy on whatever I said. I mean, yeah, we weren’t supposed to curse; it was supposed to be a family-oriented blog; but, after awhile, none of my editors told me anything, so I figured I’d keep doing it until someone said something. When I left they replaced me with some boob who better fit their paradigm, and that was fine with me.
Mainly, I just like to test my limits to see how far I can get without being reprimanded. I remember in high school, when I rose my hand to answer questions or pitch in my two cents, with certain teachers (whom I felt I could get away with it) I made sure to mix in a soft curse word, like “damn” or “shit,” just to see if they said anything. I wasn’t directly cussing at them, or anyone else in the class; I was just saying it to (a) help emphasize whatever nonsense I was saying, and (b) to let other students know I didn’t give a fuck.
One of my mentors — he was the varsity softball coach, as well as my english teacher — once told me people who used foul language did so because they weren’t educated enough to explain themselves otherwise; among many other things, he and I disagreed on that. In my eyes, if a person knows how to manipulate the language, they have creative license to speak however they want. It’s the same way with a good writer or musician or painter: If you are good at what you do you should have the freedom to abuse the imaginary rules others choose to abide by.
Which brings me back to my original point… I have no issue speaking like a super white guy to people, it’s just not my preference. More so than the words I’m actually using is the point, or message I’m trying to convey. It’s so much simpler to use the F-word five times in a thirty-second diatribe than play Mr. Educated. Context supersedes everything, but when I have my choice I don’t like to play around.
I work in a city dominated by hispanics, in an industry flush with asians, and for the spanish-first and mandarin-first speakers, I appreciate that they all know what fuck, shit, bitch, cunt, god damn it, et. all mean. Our level of communication is brought down to the most basic of levels, but there’s beauty in that, too. When everything is so simple there’s an understanding, and I never have to pretend.
In the words of the cult classic Camp Nowhere: Just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you can’t act stupid. I have this strange motivation to keep learning and continue getting better; I want to be the smartest, most cunning mutherfucker on the planet; I know this drive is never going to change. I’m going to be like this forever.
But I also enjoy what comes easily, what I don’t have to expend much intellectual energy on. Writing wasn’t my first love and it certainly won’t be my last, but I’m so far past the point where I feel the need to impress everybody by using words unnecessarily.
The fewer the better.