Saturday, April 22

Don't Sugarcoat It Award for April 22


A big shout out and Don't Sugarcoat It award to Waveflux via Shakespeare's Sis. Such a lovely response to the issue of vulgarity on weblogs:

Fuck him, fuck them, and fuck you.

And have a nice weekend.

Waveflux is responding to an article by Daniel Henniger of the WSJ. This editorial is deserving of a little more nuance, but not much. Henniger thinks the blogosphere a place of weird thoughts: looks to me as if the world of blogs may be filling up with people who for the previous 200 millennia of human existence kept their weird thoughts more or less to themselves. Now, they don't have to. They've got the Web. Now they can share.

Admit it, readers, the internet is full of more than weird thoughts. It is full of smut. You have no idea just how much bad porn Blue Gal must wade through to find nice panties pictures for her dear readership. Seriously, summa these girls need a shower AND a shave. On the face. But ALL publishing revolutions, print, voice recording, film, etc. have begun with two primary subjects: the accepted religious canon (King James Version, anyone?) and pornography. I used to keep trying to remind everyone at work, and then I gave up: the internet is NEW. Desktop computers are a NEW technology. NO! We do not have the kinks, or the kinky, worked out yet. Give it time.

Henniger narrows his focus on three areas where the decline in discourse has sullied our society. First up are the teenage antics of MySpace bloggers. I feel sorry for Henniger and any other adult who take it upon themselves to "examine" MySpace for content. I also can't say whether Henniger has much experience with teenagers. Blue Gal has lots, and she knows: when it comes to the 13-17 demographic, the wholesale destruction of the polite proclivities of mature society is their job. It may be unfortunate that they now have a platform which anyone can access (and more needs to be done to wake teens up to this fact; "how dare you read my blog, Mom!" can kiss this momma's ass.)

The second area is popular culture itself: cable, music, etc., i.e. The F word on the Sopranos. Henniger feels that a massive movement of "disinhibition" is leading us down a slippery path where "crazy people" control the discourse. As Henniger asks:

...does the Internet mean that all the rest of us are being made unwitting participants in the personal and political life of, um, crazy people?

This is where Henniger crosses the line. He equates the foul language of political bloggers and commenters to a form of insanity. We are living through some amazingly, mind-bogglingly insane times. The pictures from Abu Garhib? The 2500 soldiers who thought they died because of 9/11? An administration for whom it seems each individual member is personally profiting from a war based on lies? A mainstream media which is, with few exceptions, either comatose or actually participating in a calculated public mesmerism? Notice I have not crossed the line into obscenity. Or have I?

Here's an obscene example from my own crazy mind, Mr. Henniger: if I call Michelle Malkin a quote-unquote "demented cunt," in what way have I denigrated the discourse more than she already has?

Just asking.

UPDATE: 57% of respondents in this Daily Kos poll think calling Michelle Malkin a "demented cunt" is too good for her. Noted.


  1. Anonymous7:12 PM

    "Demented cunt" ... I don't think I've seen those two words together yet, but now I have. Somehow, it fits.

  2. Here's what I think, Blue Gal.

    The internet, with its anonymity, has given us the ability to say what we really feel and really think. If that's odd, then, um...we are odd.

    Better odd than Puritanical.

    Lots of movies (American Beauty and The Ice Storm, to name two of my favorites) have discussed that there is something rotten underneath suburbia's easy-cleen linoleum.

    If we spoke our minds instead of worrying about keeping up appearances and seeming the least bit out of lock step, then we would quickly realize that human beings have a whole range of desires and opinions that may or may not be taboo.

    It is shameful, in my opinion, that in this conformist society we have to resort to the internet to feel confident enough to express our private desires.

    I rather prefer the internet and its emphasis on *coughs* liberal sharing of information. It's downright democratic, if you ask me.

    Regaring MySpace...the older generation, has yet again proven that it is out of touch and prone to knee-jerk over-reactions.

    I graduated high school a MONTH after Columbine, for God's sake, and at my graduation ceremonies I was forced to unzip my robe and spread my arms and legs for the portable metal detector.

    How long will it take us to learn that treating the effects of a problem will never work?--the only thing that works is when we bother to understand and confront THE CAUSE of the problem.

    And what's the cause? Well, the fault, Dear Brutus, lies not with our kids, but ourselves...

    The right has its own opinion and the left its, and I don't care to speculate, but suffice to say that we are products of our environment. Particularly our children, who learn from our example.

    Teenage rebellion, as you have rightly pointed out, is as old as Methusalah. The default during one's adolescence is to naturally rebel against your parents and what they believe in and what they stand for. It's called breaking away and forming one's own identity.

    Truth be told, the internet brings our own private thoughts and desires up to the forefront.

    MySpace itself isn't dangerous. What is dangerous is that it allows teenagers the ability to believe that their own private rantings (which are in the same school as spraypainting graffti and stealing street signs) cannot be traced or viewed by anyone with half a brain.

    That's a result of naivete, which are part of the package, along with pimples and insecurity.

    What is also dangerous are clueless administrators who don't really understand the situation and their students. It takes a high degree of competence and doing one's homework to be able to respond properly to today's youth.

    I recommend that (here's a concept) people TALK to teenagers without being condescending. Teens, after all, WANT to be understood. That's part of the reason so many are unhappy--they feel as though they are NOT understood and not appreciated.

  3. foul language a form of insanity? well then consider me fucking nuts! free thinking and the colorful use of language is not nuts! and as far as the crazy people finally having a platform in the blogsphere - no, no, no. it's the crazy people who have dominated the mainstream while all the sane ones silently shook their heads. now we're realizing that we aren't alone. Ooooooooh, that's a scary thought! so call us insane while you still can. start the name calling now. if history is any indicator, you just might win with this tactic.

  4. I'm coming out of my MS induced haze to comment on this one.

    The one fact that people who keep commenting on blogs seem to miss is that no one is forcing them to read the blogs.

    A blog is written for an individual's self expression, and they are free to express themselves any way they like. If you don't like it, don't read it. That's really simple for me.

    Another thing that makes my hair curl is people attaching so much importance to "foul" language. If we're expressing ourselves in a way that is natural to us, so fucking what? It doesn't pollute the oceans or damage the ozone layer or kill people a half a world away for no good reason.

    If I have to choose between being a demented cunt or accepting the sanctimonious imposition of other people's values on my ability to speak as I want to, then I'll be a demented cunt, thank you.

    I also don't mind being weird. Weird is interesting. Weird is funny. Weird helps keep us sane in an insane world. Even my cats are weird. It's not a bad life, actually.

    Blue Gal I love your blog. It makes me think. It makes me laugh when I don't feel like laughing. Please don't change a thing.


  5. language is the means we use to convey things, ideas. there is no foul language, there is hurtful, dangerous language tho. i think the words used to send other people's children into battle, to kill and main a countries people to somehow save them, to steal and cheat and gouge and set american against american for personal gain and to belittle and bully countries that we used to count as friends, words used or not used to let our own people drown or become homeless and then labeled as lazy or worse. THOSE are the bad words, or the bad usage of words. those are the obscene words.

    someone has to call the people that use THOSE words into account and since the mainstream media seems incapable or unwilling to do so, or are an active arm of a certain political party, then bloggers can and have and i hope, will continue to do so!
    if bloggers upset the mainstream, then perhaps they will (pardon my "languge")grow some BALLS and do their job. and yes,i know that some do, and they should be recognised and applauded for it!

  6. Hedgehog, stay well and get better.
    The rest of you, thanks. The Kosters were all over the C word, which kind of proves my point, and it's why I finally chose it after thinking about it three times. We all have words we don't like. For me, "Republican Party" is offensive.

  7. "Demented cunt" is too good for Malkin. I, on the other hand, am an erudite yoni.


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