Friday, February 8

What we're talking about when we talk about fuck...

No, ma hunnies, we're not talking about this, which for some odd reason is called "the Foreman Grill position". Wev:

No. I'm talking about "fuck." The word. We bloggers use it. A lot. Why?

Fuck is the word that works when writing about Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, Iraq, Fox, Chris Matthews, Chris Wallace, McCain, Rumsfeld, Lieberman, Corporations, Health Care, Congress, and the music industry. Not to mention Republican Evangelicals.

Did I leave a few out? Fuck.

We say fuck because we can, because like fucking itself it feels good when you do it right (and there's really no wrong way to do it), and most importantly, because it is the right word at the right time and we bloggers are all about the writing. As Whiskyfire points out in what I think will be one of the top five posts in the entire blogosphere for 2008,

None of this [blogospherian success] would have been possible if we weren't willing to say "fuck" a lot, though -- an important point which is often glossed over. Somebody had to say that the war was a stupid fucking idea, for instance. Because, you know, it was a stupid fucking idea (as was the bankruptcy bill and telecom immunity), and yet the media (including, shamefully, the NYT) just sort of forgot to point this out.

So we say fuck in part to distinguish ourselves from the mainstream media. Corrente's very useful glossary of liberal invective makes the point very succinctly:

Fuck - Our guarantee to you that the post containing this term is not Corporate or Government propaganda.

So sometimes fuck is just used as invective and sometimes, well, we actually are talking about fucking, the actual sexual act. Usually when we're talking about actually fucking, though, we're talking about Republicans/conservatives fucking and we're laughing at them. Because one of the really fun things about fucking is that we liberals know that conservatives are fucking and they can't talk about it like we can. It takes enlightenment to distinguish morality from humanity and decide that fucking is something humans do and that fucking is not necessarily a bad thing in and of its own self. But conservatives are all repressed about fucking so we can have a lot of fun with them. When a blogger can TAG A POST

"Gay Republican sex in a shithouse with falafels diapers and loofahs,"

and not break a writers' block sweat, have the post make total sense, AND most importantly be factually accurate, we know we're having something called fun. Notice the blogger here is talking about at least four specific conservatives and you don't need a map or guidebook to know exactly who they are. That's fucking brilliant.

Some bloggers might argue that we don't HAVE to use the word fuck, either stooping to talk about Republican fucking, or using fuck as an invective, in order to blog. That's true. But where's the fun in that? To paraphrase something I wrote (okay, stole from The Onion, but still) at The Aristocrats:

I know a lot of fuckwads, you know, "integrity bloggers," who wouldn't do fuck-all about this predicament, just fuck off for a while and wait for the whole thing to blow over. But you see, that's just not this bloggerfucker's style. What the fuck ever happened to accountability? The blogosphere can be a real fuck, sure, but we fucking finish what we start, and not just when we're blogging, if you get my fucking drift. Any fuckhead integrity blogger who thinks I should fucking walk away from the fuckface issues and ditch the potty mouth is a fucking fucktard and I'll say it to his fucking face, the fuckface.

The great thing about blogging is, we don't really give a fuck. The MSM can fuck us around, but they know not to take it too fucking far. You know why? Because you don't fuck with fuckers, that's why. And if you fuck with the fucking blogosphere, you'll end up being the fuck that gets fucked.

So I'm sitting here and fuck, how do I end this post? Fucking Matt Damon is too recent. The classic lexicon youtube on fuck everybody's seen, and if you've read to the end of this post you don't need it. Most of you have probably seen this, too, but it makes my point rather well. You see, Quentin Tarantino is a fucking good writer, and Pulp Fiction is his masterpiece, in my fucking opinion. Enjoy:


  1. Anonymous10:56 AM

    And also, because really, y'all have to use the word 'fuck' for the sake of all of us who avoid it because our fathers read our blog.

    Sticking with 'WTF' for now,
    (or is that a cop-out?)

    Thanks for the Matt Damon clip - I fucking laughed til I cried. Hadn't seen it before.
    Will have to share it with the resident fuck-buddy here.

  2. Hey BG - fucking great post!

    Hope you're feeling better.

  3. I'm a new blogger and didn't use the word 'fuck' in the beginning because I thought it sounded unprofessional. However, I use it all the time in my actual life, so I started using it when appropriate in my writing. You know what? I write better now. I sound like me and I make my best points when I sound like me.

    My mother doesn't like it when I write it, but oh well. Fuck it, right? It's not like my conservative mother is reading me anyway.

  4. If you can't use profanity when describing an obscenity, when the fuck can you use it?

  5. Anonymous2:00 PM


  6. Fuck is the word that works when writing about Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, Iraq, Fox, Chris Matthews, Chris Wallace, McCain, Rumsfeld, Lieberman, Corporations, Health Care, Congress, and the music industry.

    Hey Blue Gal, and let's not forget the environment. Here's a snippet of something I posted earlier today regarding biofuels:

    Personally, I think the planet is already fucked...

    That works! It's succinct and it certainly let's the readers know exactly where my thoughts are.


  7. I did an advanced google search on my site for the word "fuck" and was disappointed to only receive 210 results. I did notice that it didn't pick up my myriad uses of "motherfucker," though which adds 43 more.

    Sometimes it's just easier than adding the tags to bold the text.

  8. I use the word a lot on my blog (like right here), but way less than I would if I didn't self-censor a bit. I think my mom reads my blog occasionally, so I try to cut it half the time.

    I do say shit and shitload a lot.

  9. FYI, you got one fucking thing reversed: I hadn't seen the fucking YouTube lexicon video. Fucking great! The Pulp Fiction fuck piece I had seen a long while back but it was fucking refreshing to see again!

  10. Anonymous2:21 PM

    My blog prides itself on the use of the word 'fuck'.

  11. I almost never use swear words. I have nothing against other bloggers using them, but my character does not seem the kind of ape that would use swear words, and it is usually a lot funnier to say something "blue" in a roundabout euphamism or with blatently silly inuendo.

    Unless the swear word is used as a noun, the meaning of the swear word is almost invariably "very." Think about it.

    Rarely is a swear word needed to make a statement funny. If a phrase is not funny without a swear word, is it really that funny in the first place? It is not a matter of my being a prude, more a matter of brevity and trying to find the actual humor of a turn of a phrase.

    Pictures are a lot more fun than words anyways.

    A far greater sin than swearing is bloggers that use long paragraphs. It makes the process of reading far more difficult, and appears to the reader that the author did not take them time to properly display their words.

  12. Fuckin' well done!

    I liked that Thers post when I first read it, too.

    I don't use "fuck" that often in posts, but did quite, ahem, liberally, in my Day of Shame post. (I often use "bullshit" or "BS.")

    Here's my take - anyone who's more upset by someone saying "George Bush supports fucking torture!" than he or she is upset by the fact that, ya know, George Bush supports fucking torture, needs to get his or head out of his or her ass.

    I've always felt that honesty and politeness are often at odds, and when they are, being honest is more important. And do these propriety-worshipping mothafuckas really think George Bush would stop just because someone asked him nicely? It's been tried. Fuck that.

    (If you watch Robin Williams' Broadway show DVD, there's a special feature of all the profanity – it runs about 2 minutes or so, much like the Pulp Fiction one.)

    Dr. Zaius, you're talking about not swearing for aesthetic reasons. I agree, especially with comedy, that it's best to be selective. Sometimes it works, and very well, but it can be cheap and obvious and massively overdone.

  13. Coming from a newspaper and magazine background, I tend to use Fuck only when I feel it's fucking necessary.

    I did write a post I titled "Fuck Apologies" when Pete Stark said that Republicans were war-mongering fuckheads who despised children during the S-Chip deal - then apologized for it.

    But Fuck is good, I like Fuck and am proud to use whenever I need. The main issue I see is that it makes it easy for MSM types to say how "Angry" the liberal blogs are. But fuck 'em.


  14. I find myself dropping the "f" word a lot lately ... and with justification. There is so fucking much that's wrong, that no other word can express.

    I agree with Blue Girl who said: "If you can't use profanity when describing an obscenity, when the fuck can you use it?"


  15. Well, Google only reports six instances of "fuck" on my blog, and Yahoo has seven, but it looks like that's only because they leave out other forms of the word, such as "neanderfuck".

    Actually, an internal search only gives me fourteen posts. I guess I'm just far more demure than the rest of you fuckwads.

  16. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Blue, I would never stoop to using such vulgar language in any of my blog posts! It's beneath me as a man, fellow blogger and human being. It lowers the bar and cheapens everything you work so hard for...fuck that!


  17. I love it when the print world uses f**k or f--- or f-word. And then somebody really really important like Dick Cheney uses it and they have to get their ombudsman to write a piece about how they really hated to print such a thing, but fuck it, it was news.

  18. and there's really no wrong way to do it...

    that really sound like a challenge to me, missy!

  19. Anonymous4:29 PM

    Yes, BG, we can get some real good emotional mileage out of the word "fuck," and our outrage may become more manageable. But Mittens is right: We are at war; a cultural war against the likes of him— a sick-fuck bunch of asshats, twisted up, hate-spewing MOFOs who have lost sight of all that was holy, clean, and good about the United States, by binding their hatred to their own fucked-up souls. So lash out liberally my friends, we're in a war that must be fought on every cultural front and in every fucking heart that can still feel hope and desires positive global change.

    I lash out at my blog; I hope you'll join me, join others, and fight to take our country back from the mutant fucktards, and remember everyday: it's time to stand up to the repulsive freak show that is the neocon right wingnut "conservative" catastrophe. Lash out Liberally!

  20. Anonymous4:33 PM

    I find this post to be extremely insensitive, vulgar, rude and unnecessary. Shame on you all. America was founded on standards which you seem intent on eroding, and I just hope you know that it is people like you who make liberalism unacceptable to a majority of right-thinking, moral Americans.


    Captain Cocksucker

  21. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Shit. That would have been funnier if the system didn't put "Captain Cocksucker" first.

    Aw, fuck it, dude. Let's go bowling.

  22. Anonymous5:08 PM

    I don't swear (much or often) in real life, so I don't swear on my blog, either. I don't have anything against it, but it just doesn't work for me.

    And I hate it when bloggers use big words when diminutive words would do just as well.



  23. heydave said...
    and there's really no wrong way to do it...

    that really sound like a challenge to me, missy!

    Made me laugh!

  24. I try to limit my use of the invective unless absolutely necessary because I fucking overdid it quite considerably in my teenage years. :-)

    Man, I'm sure glad I didn't have a blog then!

  25. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Has anyone asked DavidFuckingBroder?

  26. I take it you're not giving up use of the word fuck for Lent...

  27. Anonymous7:37 PM

    I don't know what the fuck to even say. BG!!

  28. Anonymous7:54 PM

    I love love love Sarah Silverman. Except for her TV show, which kinda sucks. Never thought I'd say it, but I wish I were Matt Damon.

    Oh, I almost forgot.


  29. I don't use fuck a whole lot on my blog, mainly because there are others who wield it so much better than I. I go through periods of using it a lot in speech, and then I back off for a while. My mom swore a lot (though she was horribly offended by "fuck") and I am aware of how embarrassed she sometimes made me with her colorful speech. However, I agree with BG that it is a good all-purpose word for the situation we're in.

    I thought you might like the Peter & Lou Berryman song, "A Chat With Your Mom":

    "There's unsavory musicians with their filthy pinko lyrics/ Who destroy the social fabric and enjoy it when they do/ With their groupies and addictions and their poor heartbroken parents/ It's from them I would expect to hear the F-word, not from you ...

    We sit down to have a chat/ It's F-word this and F-word that/ I can't control how you young people talk to one another/ But I don't want to hear you use the F-word with your mother!"

  30. Anonymous10:35 PM

    Oh fuck me.

    I have an actual editorial constraint from the Amato man to not swear in my posts. I make up for it be having a major potty mouth in real life and not actually having a telephone conversation with Amato (we average 4-5 a day) that does not include a liberal dose of swearing. ;)

  31. you haven't lived til you've carried on over 3 or 4 days of international e-mails with 7 or 8 poets debating quite seriously if "fuck" suits the poem or not.

    we've had fucks flying all over the globe for days on end!

    i wish i had saved some of those mails.

    i use "fuck" more in poems than on my blog.

    ; )

  32. When something is just fuckin' fuck fuckery.... what the fuck else can you call it? It just is what it is. Fucked.

    I don't know if I use it very much though. As long as there's no fucking quota I should be fine. Yeah, I don't really use it all ever. :-)

  33. a pretty amazing post...( BTW I love your new wallpaper and new look here...wonderful...)

    Now back the times....these have been pretty Dark Times...I think of it as a Symptom of OUR era ....It is is the only word left when you have to face the Demons of our time daily arguing over how long to warmonger, and what they will monger next and how the best to torture, and how to Improve Gitmo?

    Evil Insanity that arrived in simple suits, cheap cufflinks and Texas Accents....

    we are lucky if we have ANY Fucking sanity left at this point....or any fucking humanity...

    Thank you for still having Humanity and Sanity...

  34. What the Fuck?!! I thought I left a comment here yesterday?

    I often use the word fuck when discussing blogger!

    Yes I have used the word on my blog, but not so much. I try to fucking save it for the most fucking impact that I can get out of it.

    However, given the fucked up nature of our country, I guess I could use it a lot more.

    I also use variations but I think your post is really about the use of the actual fucking word itself. Feck, fack, frickin etc do not count.

    I wish my fucking comment from yesterday was here, it was much more fucking cogent and meaningful.

    This was a great post!

  35. Fuckin' A. I was thinking about writing a post about how much/often I say fuck, and how if I couldn't use the word I wouldn't be able to write anything worth a fuck.

    Seems like fuckin' beat me to it.

    Thanks for the linky love Sweety.

  36. Anonymous4:30 PM

    Do I use the word fuck? Fuck yes!
    I use it to emphasize complete fucking bullshit, among other things. Its a fucking effective way to express and emphasize rage.

  37. Personally, I have a lot of respect for what good, hearty Saxon has contributed to our lexicon. The short, hard words that form English's base line - it is our rhythm section.

    Fuck from fokken, originally meaning to hit or strike, later adapted to mean hit, strike, or make love to.

    Which explains a lot about those of us from Saxon stock and the sheer versatility of the word, which I won't go in to.

    Blatant blogwhoring: this came up just over a year ago, didn't it? I'm sure you were part of the conversation...

  38. Great post.

    There is a very good reason that the word "fuck" has become so relevant. As Language Log noted:

    When Friedrich
    Nietzsche declared
    "God is dead"

    FUCK became the most
    important word in the
    English language.

    I also did a similar post some time ago, Expletive Deleted, with a video of George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words, one of my all time favorites (and another for Mother's Day, Fuck the Children).

    In the end, when faced with the various atrocities of the Bush Administration, the only rational response is:

    We're fucked!

  39. The Matt vid was absolutely funny!

    Thank you, Blue Gal...

  40. Ooops... I meant to say "The Matt vid was fucking hilarious!

  41. Wonderful question, BlueGal. Ironically (me being the notorious "sex blogger" and all) I find I use the word most often to indicate aggravation. Go figure.


  42. Fucking brilliant.

    It didn't take blog for me to fly face-first into fuck on my main blog - politics and religion lend themselves to that. However, when blogging at All Things Democrat, I've so far drawn the line at shit. Something about being a guest...


  43. Oh dear, I am SO late to this party (I mean, Monday morning for a Friday party, that's pretty late, huh?)

    Anyway, as to fuck.

    I'm married to an Italian from NYC, so it's not as though the word isn't in heavy rotation hereabouts.

    And I agree--it is irreplaceable in terms of the punch it delivers, the disgust it implies, the intensity of the anger it conveys. Nothing works as tidily as fuck or one of its many permutations.

    I like to shoehorn it into other polysyllabic words, as I did with a little goodbye toast to Willard: You underfuckingestimated us...

    But the flipside of this is that fuck, like any word, can be overused to the point of diluting its potency. And we wouldn't want that--a weak, wimpy fuck--right? It makes sense to treat the word as you would a jalapeño pepper: use sparingly, as needed for pungency and fire, since overloading a paragraph with fucks will obliterate all the other flavors.

  44. i think litbrit has hit it right!


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