So yesterday I was thinking about profanity.
This rose out of a discussion at the blog Pharyngula, in reference to an article where somebody had trotted out the tired old canard about there being no atheists in foxholes. (Not only are there plenty, there’s at least one statue to them. But I digress.) The article was generalized schlock, and not really worth a good shredding, but the basic premise was that merely because one says “Oh, Jesus,” when a missile is coming at your head does not mean that one is having a foxhole conversion, unless an equal number of people have put their faith in the great god “Oh, Fuck.”
This is all true, but generally neither here nor there. But it occurs to me that I swear like a Catholic. (A foulmouthed Catholic, I grant you.) It’s a legacy of living with a Catholic grandmother. “Holy Mary, Mother of God!” “Jesusmaryandjoseph!” (You have to run that one together pretty rapidly.) And under rare circumstances, when I’m out of every other profanity I can think of, “Saint Francis!” although I’ve never gotten the delivery down on that one. My grandmother could whip off a “Saint Francis!” laden with such nuance that you knew her buttons had been pushed until only divine intervention could hope to avert disaster. I just don’t have that gift.
I am not Catholic, nor even Christian, of course. But obscenities are cultural relics. You pick them up from your surroundings. Which is probably why I say “uff da!” after ten years in Minnesota, even if they never quite sold me on “ish.”*
In my pagan days, like many a wild-eyed young Wiccan before and since, I attempted to excise my vocabulary of Judeo-Christian verbage. Also like many before and since, my cursing sounded contrived, and lacked spontenatity. I was reduced to the basics, like “fuck.” We can argue that this is indeed a useful word, an excellent word, a word capable of great subtlety and multiple applications, a word that can be verb and noun and adjective and adverb and probably a few other things I don’t know the names of, since my sixth grade teacher was somewhat reluctant to diagram this particular term. But nevertheless, it’s nice to have other options. A pair of pliers is an unbelievably useful tool, but it’s nice to have a screwdriver and a hammer, too. The toolkit of obscenity requires variety, or it gets stale. Well, staler.
My gradual slide into skeptical agnosticism was accompanied, somewhat ironically, by a return to my Catholic obscenities. As Terry Pratchett once said, it takes a special kind of atheist to yell “Nonexistant relic of an outmoded belief system!” when you stub your toe. It lacks a certain zing.
That was supposed to be just a quick and simple mermaid drawing, but then I did a background. What’s gotten into me?!
UNUSUAL HOARD commission for iamshurlocked for dragon with a sweet tooth almost as large as they are
an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind
please full view! It looks much better if you do. Oh Anders, I’m so angry at what you did but I can’t seem to hate you
it’s 4am and apparently that means it’s time to look through tags and be emotionally compromised by dxhr again.
adam, you beautiful fucking tragedy.
hello potion seller. I’m going into battle, and I need only your strongest potions
I finally have the whole set of the pretty discworld collection!
Let’s hope the other publisher decides to finish the collection
I kind of love that in amongst all the innocuous back-to-school spam I get around this time of year advertising ports and stationary and shoes, I am also getting emails from an adult toy company advertising their back-to-school offers… which are decidedly less innocent and presumably for college students. But, uh. Maybe not the most well thought-out campaign.
Currently the funniest thing to me is Rob, the Baby Eating Leader of a Baby Selling Cannibal Ring, because I did not expect my DnD group to be so fucking creeped out by him, like. Rob’s firm belief that no one was going to murder a two year old was really my belief that they would probably not murder a two year old, at least not before rolling diplomacy.
I was so wrong and I should really type up the recap of the whole Whistling City Arc because it began with our soft-spoken furry ranger going on a murder spree and ended with our widower, comedic-relief drunken bard smashing in the skull of a two-year-old.
Like the more I think about it the funnier it is because it sounds like we went grimdark really fast but circumstances were all kind of hilarious. Or at least they were to me.
I think I’m going to hang on to Rob though, I’m going to repurpose him. Repurpose the 37-year-old-man in a two-year-old-body who deals in black-market babies and hosts youth-granting cannibalistic soup parties.
adamnhippie replied to your post: “twdg s2 is fucking me up I can’t deal with this I’m so fucked up”:RIGHT??? AAAAAAAAAAGH
These waters are greedy. They will never give back what they have taken.