Do I use too many goddamn cuss words?

It has been suggested to me that for a blog devoted to a reasoned discussion of politics and media criticism, I have occasionally gone over the top. Okay… a few people have actually accused me of being offensive.

For example, I have received a couple negative comments about my joyful, half-joking Canadian bashing. One reader wrote that he enjoyed my deconstruction of Collin Levey’s opinions, but that my “savage critique of her writing skills” was personal and uncalled for. And of course, there are those who squirm uncomfortably at my occasional — yet always prudent — use of profanity… like “ass“, “shit“, “bastard“, “fuck“, “prick“, and the semantically nuanced political epithet: fucking prick“.

Personally, I have long believed that one of the strongest ways to express genuine outrage is to say something genuinely outrageous. Plus, swearing just plain makes me feel good. For example, take FuckTheSouth.com, one of the few pieces of post-election analysis that has actually made me laugh. Downright offensive? I guess so. Thought provoking, informative, political analysis? Yeah, it’s that too… and it’s also damn amusing.

I would hope that my regular readers understand the difference between seriousness and solemnity, and thus do not discount the content of this blog due to the literary style in which it is expressed. But I understand if not everyone shares my predilection for the profane. My goal has always been to entertain as well as inform — but I am doing neither if I’m turning off repeat visitors due to a few cuss words.

And so I ask you, gentle reader, for your input. Am I doing myself and my causes a disservice by expressing my opinions so, well… expressively? Or do you appreciate that, unlike the mainstream pundits, my word choice is as honest as my opinions?

I look forward to your comments and suggestions on how to make this a better blog.

Comments

  1. 1

    matt spews:

    i actualy like your blog,(don’t always agree with it)but i agree agree with you, if done right swearing can be affective.but if you go over the top like fuck the south did it can lose it punch.

  2. 2

    Diana spews:

    Keep it honest! There’s damn little of the ‘stuff’ out there and it’s getting harder and harder to find!!! Honesty that is!
    Fuck the South is right on. After moving from NY I lived in TN for 8yrs. There are some good people down there. But some of the nastiest, vicious, vulgar and dishonest people I have ever met are down there too!

  3. 3

    Thomas in Houston, TX spews:

    I hadn’t seen fuck the south.com. That was hilarious.
    I just found your website today, so I don’t know how much you cuss. But, as far as I am concerned, feel free to cuss as much as you like.

  4. 4

    Jackie in Mill Creek, WA spews:

    I, too, just discovered your website today and plan to continue reading it. As for your choice of language, I say “Fuck ‘em it they can’t take a joke”!

  5. 5

    J. Archer spews:

    In answer to your question, yes, you are doing yourself and your cause a disservice with the endless profanities, which are irritating, juvenile and detract from what you’re trying to say. Lose the “f” word. You don’t need it.

  6. 7

    chris spews:

    Sometimes course, crass language is more poignant, pointed and
    effective than the more nuanced and erudite. But, it can also be distracting.
    A reader with a clear, open mind, however should have no trouble separating
    style and content, and appreciating both.

    I’d bet however that those vehemently opposed to your vernacular, the morally
    indignant, self-righteous assholes out there don’t possess such an open mind,
    and can only react, with reptile brain to the presentation instead of with reason to the substance.

    I say cuss when you decide it’s needed.

  7. 8

    Bennington spews:

    Well, I’m from a different generation–one where the “f” word (see I can’t even bring myself to type it) was not used in polite society or in mixed company. But, you youngsters use the word as if it were as common as “you know,” “uh,” and “so I said,” etc. I’m trying to get use to reading and hearing this word–but I can’t watch some movies where every other word is “f” this and “f” that. On other blogs I’ve visited, they will type the cuss words with several letters missing, letting the reader skip saying the word in their mind, but still get the jest of what the writer is saying. I’ll keep coming here, but I’ll skip over the offensive words I see. BTW I’ve only used the “f” word once in an e-mail–and believe you me my son knew I was REALLY ANGRY–but he probably thinks a little less of his dear ‘ole mom too.

  8. 9

    Grandpa spews:

    Don’t ask us, ask yourself. From the AP piece that I read it was very easy to track down the sound politics blog. Not so easy for yours (googling David Goldstein and hitting “i’m feeling lucky” is a non-starter).

    Did AP leave off your web site name because it’s just too much trouble these days to say Horses Ass in a wire report? Do they really want to have to put a language disclaimer?

    Also there’s the issue of getting downgraded by search engines and outright rejected by lame-o content filters.

    Yes we all wish it were different but the reality is that if you want some mainstream attention you need to temper it a bit.

    But I just showed up so feel free to ignore me, cause I’m just a filthy goddamed fuck faced cock sucker.

  9. 10

    Eliterate spews:

    My English teacher always said that only those with limited vocabulary needed to use profanity in their writings.

  10. 11

    Grandpa spews:

    Well your English teacher (lemme guess, 10th grade) is a fucking moron. Did he also say getting in his hot tub on the weekend was OK?

    MY English teacher said that only foolish high school English teachers use pathetic cliches.

  11. 12

    Goldy spews:

    My English teacher always said that only those with limited vocabulary needed to use profanity in their writings.

    And my English teacher always said never start a sentence with a conjunction.

  12. 14

    DamnageD spews:

    Goldy,

    Why worry? If its okay for the Vice Prez, it’s okay for you…and me, he’s stiil VP for fucks sake!

  13. 15

    Thomas in Houston, TX spews:

    I found your website when I read an AP article. There were 3 links at the end of the article. Yours was the only one I looked at. The only reason I did was because the name of the website looked interesting.
    Most people who would be offended by your cussing would probably not even take a look at your site because of its name. So, unless you are going to change the site’s name, you probably don’t have to fret about giving up cussing.
    I usually don’t view blogs because there are so many blogs, news sites, and think tanks on the web, and life is short. But, your website’s name is interesting and has some non-Washington material on it. After all, we’re from the same human family. We’re cuss-ins. (See my letter-to-the-editor, Waste Not, Want Not, at houstonpress.com in the November 4, 2004 issue in the Archives section. Click on the link in the letter before you read the letter. The letter will make more sense if you read the article at the link first.

  14. 16

    Steve spews:

    For the sake of precision, “profanity” is using God’s name in a curse, while “obscenity” refers to using crude terms for sexual and scatological matters. Therefore, “fuck” is obscenity, whle “goddamnit” is profanity. Maybe they are both “cussing”