November 10, 2014

ZHA | Eulogy for the F Word

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Dear F Word,

I remember when you just meant “loser.” You were a grade school favorite, that special time when human innocence and human cruelty came in their most unadulterated forms.

I’ll miss flinging you around amongst close friends in verbal horseplay, like a joking shove against someone’s ego. I’ll miss boldly cursing my enemies with you, the brave champion of juvenile attacks ad hominem and the secret weapon in the arsenal of childish squabbling.

With political climate change, some words are the first to melt. Unlucky F Word. People used you in too targeted a fashion instead of the universal and indiscriminate shotgun spray of offensiveness you could have served. The narrow scope of their minds limited you. They abused you, used you for some boring, hateful agenda.

Now you can’t come out of my mouth without a spider web of political strings attached, and since I want nothing more than for the Westboro Baptists to brew their special Kool Aid already, I have to be careful how I use you. Your place in civil society is now that hazy purgatory for lost words, a limbo made up of inaudible mutterings and the anonymous postings of Internet trolls.

But, I won’t deny it, I loved you because you were bad. You packed a punch that “dweeb” just never could. But your unfortunate connections to the homophobic underbelly means this has to be the end for us. I can’t be seen with you in public. It was a great run.

You see, F Word, it’s not really you. It’s not your vowels, nestled elegantly between consonants, or your fanciful opening fricative that people can furiously drag out for a few forceful seconds, like the way an engine revs before it starts. It’s not even solely your association with gay-bashing. It’s your sinister intent.

You’re just mean. You hurt. Hurtful words aren’t meant to be said! And you just happen to do it so well against a specific set of people that we need to put you away for a while. After all, it’s society’s civic duty to protect everybody from the harmful physical and mental pains of the real world. “No gain from pain” as the saying goes! You especially have no place here on a college campus, a place for young people to safely incubate, sheltered from the senseless hurt life can hurl at us. Here, we’re supposed to be safe!

Yes, F Word, it’s time you went the way of “fck,” “sht,” “btch” and “motherfcker.” (Little known to the public, the asterisk is in fact an English vowel.) In language, some words are okay and others just aren’t. That’s why they exist. To never be said. You shouldn’t even think them, or Jesus is going to wash your brain with lye before sending you on a one-way trip to the basement.

Hopefully, if we outlaw enough bad words, all those nasty thoughts we sometimes get will finally go away.

Hopefully, then, we’ll live in a world that’s fine as frick and not so gosh darned fudged up.


A Good Person