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Blago's Cursing Gets An "F"

The coin of Blago's realm has become so hopelessly deflated that confused observers are even amazed about his ability to curse, as if he had any skill at it. I say it is the opposite.

The State of the Cursing Union has become so flaccid that the governor's lame excuse for blue language is given far more credit than it deserves. Ever the hack, the guv apparently wasn't raised properly.

I was. Lucky the son was taught to cuss properly by his father.

Fathers may teach many skills but the cathartic, cleansing value of expletives well-launched cannot be overstated.

Unfortunately, this is a universe populated by amateurs and ne'er-do-wells who swear too often and with no skill. I hate bleeping amateurs.

As my father taught me to bait a hook with an uncooperative and agitated night crawler, he also taught me the utility of quality cussing.

Of course, this was not a tame, sterile classroom exercise.

It was observational and hands-on.

I value this education not because I swear often but because I can, if the moment and inspiration are right, do so with a grand eloquence that clearly escapes the governor - though his wife appears to possess a more natural gift of nasty gab.

There is no way I can swear as well as my father did, for he was an artiste in the form, a Flemish Master of Foulness. When he swore, the words could hang like fluffy notes caught in the night air.

Just as the paint-by-the-numbers government hacker uses the same colors as geniuses, the palate of cussing has a standard repertoire, and I need not bore you with the specific words.

But you know what they are, or most of them.

The art, as it was taught to me, involved how you string these words together, the meter of the punctuation and which vowels get the proper exclamation. Also, my father often interspersed the standard vocabulary with other terms.

His was a contrapuntal, iambic pentameter cussing. He had an unerring ear when it came to syncopation.

He might say that an offending co-worker was an inconsequential, indifferent and thoroughly intolerable bleep-er bleep-er. And you can take that to the bleep-ing bleep-er bleep-er bank. His bank had a lot of bleeps.

We pause here to note that not everyone thinks cussing is a good thing, and that it might, indeed, be a negative social convention. One of them is Jim O'Connor of Lake Forest who has made thousands, millions maybe, teaching people how to not cuss.

His Cuss Control Academy instructs companies and groups how awful cussing is; how detrimental to commercial good and relationship amity the practice can be.

For $1,500, he'll instruct you and your co-workers how to be a generally happier member of the species. It's more if you live in Wisconsin, or Borneo. Travel expenses are high.

He's a best-selling author on the topic, and he's been on 85 TV shows, 600 radio stations and noted in 450 magazines. He's even gotten Oprah to quit cussing, for heaven's sake.

He tempers his anti-cussing theology by noting that some moments of overwhelming stress, and others where a literary turn of hostile phrase might be useful, are still acceptable. If Rhett Butler had said, "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give two hoots," it just wouldn't have been the same.

Mostly, he says, there's just too much cussing for no good reason.

To this I can offer no countervailing evidence. I suspect Jim is completely right.

O'Connor says his highest goal is to help create a more civil society, and you can't be civil by calling everyone a bleep-er bleep-er.

Of course, there's an existential trap in that logic.

Soothing, thoughtful language isn't necessarily less obscene because the words are less toxic. A lie isn't less of a lie because you tell it in less hostile terms.

And terrible harm caused by one to another can be even more devastating with calm, precise words.

So I remain resolute about the legacy of my father's cussing.

I am the curator of a sweet science. Am I proud? Fuck, yes


Posted on December 24, 2008

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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