“And I really don’t care for the way your company left me in the middle of fucking nowhere with fucking keys to a fucking car that isn’t fucking there, and I really didn’t care to fucking walk down a fucking highway, and across a fucking runway, to get back here and have you smile at my fucking face.”
- Steve Martin.
Left in the hands of a professional such as Steve Martin, Fuck and all its derivatives can be wonderfully poetic words. The problem is Fuck isn’t only used by the masters. The amateurs have gotten their filthy hands all over it, and they have completely Fucked it up.
I consider myself an amateur; I’m certainly no master. And that’s why I have tried to keep my usage of Fuck to a minimum. I’ve written 30 posts, at an average of about 800 - 1000 words a post. That’s anywhere between 24,000 to 30,000 words I’ve written for We Could Go On and On and to the best of my knowledge, I’ve used the word Fuck in some form 5 times. Once about every 5000 words. Considering that on a typical work morning 7 of the first 10 words I speak are Fuck, I should be applauded for this restraint.
(And before you point it out to me, I am completely aware of the irony of this post. Restraint is going right out the window, or as Amy H. would say, restraint is being defenestrated)
Fuck is such a wonderful word, partially because of its versatility but mainly because of its notoriety. That’s why we have to be so careful not to overuse it and make it socially acceptable. A lot of people lament the censorship of television and radio, claiming that it is in infringement on our freedom of choice, and being a comedian you might assume I would agree, but to the contrary! I cherish the censorship! As long as the FCC deems Fuck inappropriate for the masses, it will retain an air of deviousness. Trust me, if the day ever comes where they can casually say fuck on How I Met Your Mother, our civilization will meet its demise
Fuck is like smoking. The more reviled cigarettes become in the mainstream, the more ridiculously lethal we discover they are, the more completely insane you have to be smoke, which only makes cigarettes more awesome. If I read on the internet tomorrow that cigarettes caused rabies, it would only make smokers seem more badass. Fuck is the same way.
But what would happen if Fuck became just another word. What would we do then? There is as of yet no suitable alternative. The C-word? No way. No versatility. Somehow, “Cunt the police” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
We need Fuck. And we need it to stay as badass as it currently is. We can’t let amateurs ruin it. Overuse some other curse word all you want. Overuse shit. No one gives a Fuck about shit. Shit may be distasteful, but it doesn’t have the power of Fuck. Shit is the PG-13 to Fuck’s R. Go ahead, say shit in school. You may get a terse look or two, but no one will really get angry. But say Fuck in school and the shit hits the fan! That’s a Fucking detention for sure! (School children read this blog all the time.)
Substitute other phrases for Fuck You. Suck it seems to be very fashionable these days. Tina Fey says it all the time. Why not try suck it on for size? Suck it has some of the versatility that Fuck has and even rhymes for limerick purposes. So next time you want to tell that infuriating hippie on 6th avenue trying to get you to pledge money for children to Fuck himself, tell him to suck it instead. Do it for GQ. If not for me, then do it for the children! They will need Fuck in the future!
It’s with this in mind that I try to keep Fucks to a minimum during my stand-up set. As far as I can tell, I have only one bit in which Fuck is essential for the punch-line. The rest of the time I say Fuck, I’m irresponsibly garnishing it on my bits, like it’s Fucking mustard.
I’m glad I got that off my chest. It had been bugging me. And if you disagree, please feel free to suck it.