The F-bomb and Friends
Last night the VFW and others held a concert and hot dog feed for the guys leaving for Ft. Polk Saturday. I want to post some pictures, as soon as I figure out how, and talk about that later. This morning I am too tired to do a good job.
JJ has a thread going on her site about what makes you stop reading something. For me, gratuitous, graphic violence, sex and foul language will often make me quit a book. I don’t do gore and torture at all and horror very, very infrequently.
Which prompted Conduit to say I probably wouldn’t like his book because of the language. That’s a pity because I really do enjoy his writing and he is extremely talented.
And, before I go farther, I’m going to give a statement. I don’t care what you write or how you talk. Your life, your work. It’s just something I don’t care for. If I was at a party and things got too rough, I would just quietly leave. No muss, no fuss.
That being said, I don’t enjoy it and I avoid it.
I pulled into a convenience store about ten years ago and had Will with me. He was about eleven at the time. This lowrider was parked across the drive blocking the gas pump and sitting in a no parking zone. I sat for a long time, waiting and finally got mad. Bad enough I can’t fuel up, but he left his “music” on, blaring so loud it rattled my windows.
“Gonna kill that mfing cop
Gonna blow that pig away”
I turned off the truck and stormed into the store. My gangster friend was sprawled across the counter flirting with the young clerk, who was giggling prettily.
“I need you to move so I can get to the gas pump and do you really thing everyone in the world wants to listen to that trash?”
He straightened up and pointed his finger at me, “Shut the f*** up you f***ing white c**t.”
It made me so mad I doubled up my fist and hit him. He went sailing tail over teakettle into a candy display and also knocked off quite a bit of stuff off the shelves. So here’s this little ganger floundering around in a massive pile of candy, screaming at me about what his homies are going to do to me.
In another completely spontaneous moment, and being of sound mind and body, I started praying for him.
I held out my hand and said, “The Lord bless you and keep you.” Then I quoted several scriptures about being delivered from evil spirits and prayed for his salvation. Aloud, of course. With my hand outstretched toward him.
His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of crawled/scrambled/ran to the door. I followed him calmly, continuing to pray for the terror-stricken ganger.
I laid my money on the counter and told the clerk I wanted $20 on pump one. She was standing there with her mouth hanging open and just nodded. Not even a pleasant, “thank you. Come again.”
I called a cop friend of mine later, because I was kind of worried about these punks attacking my house or kids. Ashley laughed and then calmed my fears. “Jules.” No EE isn’t my first. Many people have called me Jules. “Do you really think he’s going to tell his friends a little, old white woman knocked him on his ass and then prayed for him to be delivered? Trust me, he’s not telling this story to anyone.”
lol …good for you, julie 😀
Kudos on decking the thug, first of all.
On the issue of language – It’s all a matter of choice. And not just your own choice, but respecting the choices of others. I made this comment over at JJ’s, but it bears repeating here:
I can be pretty foul-mouthed, but only when I know the people around me won’t be upset. If I don’t know someone well enough, or know it might upset them, then my language is purely PG-13. If a person’s sensibilities are such that coarse language may upset them, I feel it is only common consideration to respect that. I believe in free speech, but as with all rights, it comes with responsibility to exercise that right with respect and consideration to others.
I once knew a guy, now sadly passed, who had no internal censor. I used to work in a guitar store and most Saturdays he stop in and say hello. He couldn’t get three words with punctuating them with a profanity, regardless of the topic. Now, that didn’t bother me in itself. What did bother me was when other people were around, from children to little old ladies, and he didn’t have the sense to tone the language down. He just didn’t have the self-awareness to do it.
I’m going to make a contentious point now: To those who assert that use of foul language betrays a lack of vocabulay or skill with words, I say bull-poop. In some cases it’s true that less articulate people will substitute ‘um’ or ‘er’ for an expletive, but in the right hands even the foulest of language can become poetic. I’m thinking of a couple of movies, but ‘Withnail & I’ in particular, whose eloquent characters pepper their dialogue with the baddest of words, often to hilarious effect, and sometimes to reveal deeper emotion. Or there’s a great novel called ‘Jack’s Return Home’ by Ted Lewis, where at first the prose is so thick and brutal you think the author lacks skill, but as the story draws you in you realise you are in the mind of a hoodlum, a thug, an killer – and he thinks accordingly. Soon, the language takes on a kind of barbaric poetry.
The point I’m trying to make is sometimes a story requires dipping into the mire, getting dirt under the nails and onto the tongue. BUT – and here’s the key thing – every reader or viewer has the choice to step aside, put the book back on the shelf, stop the DVD. And that choice should always be respected, which is exactly what your friend in the store didn’t do.
I wish Blogger had a spell and grammar check for comments! 🙁
Hey, Tony. Well, I have been “trained” to not hit a man, but that just crawled all over me. I was already mad about my child having to listen to that filth.
Stuart, I think you have it exactly right. There is a time and place for it for some people.
“I feel it is only common consideration to respect that. I believe in free speech, but as with all rights, it comes with responsibility to exercise that right with respect and consideration to others.”
I’m not doing the dating scene, but if I was, that would be an issue. If a man doesn’t respect me enough not to cuss in front of me, I am not interested in his company. Do I expect him to be a saint? Not necessarily.
It’s not that a person has the ability to cuss, it’s whether they choose to exercise a bit of respect for others.
“To those who assert that use of foul language betrays a lack of vocabulary or skill with words, I say bull-poop.”
I also agree with this. My editor at the magazine wrote an absolutely gorgeous suspense novel. It was The Godfather does horse racing. It was purely natural for those characters to use the language. This manuscript was simply delicious with description and writing.
She threw it away after she started writing inspirational stories. The story wasn’t right without the language and she couldn’t, in good conscience, publish the book and hold herself out to the inspirational market.
I’m glad you visited about this, because I think it’s an important point.
well said, both of you…
what really took me aback was the first time a young woman, college age, was so glib about saying f’ing this and f’ing that… and i can hold my own when it comes to cussing… i just never expected that coming from such a young female
what really took me aback was the first time a young woman, college age, was so glib about saying f’ing this and f’ing that… and i can hold my own when it comes to cussing… i just never expected that coming from such a young female~
Yes, but I think we are both a bit older.
Wow! I’ve never decked anyone in my life. Kudos to you for standing up to that idiot.
I myself curse a lot, but I have the good sense to keep it under wraps in polite company. Generally, anyway.
I am not normally a violent person and certainly not in the habit of hitting men. The only other time I did was over the same blasted word.
I’m also not in the habit of praying for people to be delivered like that.
It was just a very odd moment in time.
I did ask a man who was following me one night in Nashville if he was saved.
we were both first year uni students at the time… i have since gone out a bit more
later, after not seeing my kids for 7 1/2 years, being at opposite ends of the country, i was shocked to hear both my girls running off at the mouth 🙁
we were both first year uni students at the time… i have since gone out a bit more
later, after not seeing my kids for 7 1/2 years, being at opposite ends of the country, i was shocked to hear both my girls running off at the mouth :(~
Ugh. My middle son came to visit his boys and the five-year-old said a cuss word. Not horrific, but still profanity. He crawled his butt about the language and then his ex-wife. It’s just hard when you aren’t there to have an influence.
OH MY GOODNESS.
That settles it. I *knew* you were the coolest lady around ; )
Kiersten, hide your eyes, dear.
Not sure about the coolest. Strangest, maybe.
How have you been?
Fantastic. Had our first night away from the kids in four years. Had to cut it short for a funeral, but it was the happiest funeral I’ve ever been to, so that was just fine.
Well, funerals are normally not happy so glad this one was different.
If I had seen you do that I think I would have applauded. lol There were probably others who wished they had the courage.
As for the F-bomb in a book I think it depends on the character. If I was writing about the slug who was blocking the gas pumps–well, he would use that kind of language.
I’m not too into slasher stuff, but I love a good Stephen King book.
indeed so, julie… i expected my son to be lewd/crude at times, never the daughters, i thought they would be more ‘ladylike’… o tempo, o mores….
If I had seen you do that I think I would have applauded. lol There were probably others who wished they had the courage.~
Fortunately for me, the only other person in the store was the clerk. Of course, the security camera was on so witnesses don’t mean much.
I really dreaded telling my husband about it because I knew he would be furious at me. I finished telling him the story and waited, while he lit another cigarette. Finally, he said, “Did you knock him out?”
“Then you didn’t hit him hard enough.”
I left out the part about me praying for the guy.