It was actually a great gig for a college student, aside from the embarrassing orange and powder-blue uniforms. I was constantly on the move and the scenery always changed -- and at the end of the day, I brought home a giant wad of tip cash (which my Dad, an inspector general with Treasury, diligently made me claim on my tax return). There was a simplicity about it that was extremely satisfying to me at the time, especially given the rest of my year which was occupied by the stresses of college.
My enthusiasm must've showed. One night while closing up shop, the store manager pulled me aside and blurted out, "Bob, you'd make a great manager."
"Oh," I said, "Thanks, I --"
He quickly cut me off, "But you say the word 'fuck' too much."
And that was that. My potty mouth would prevent me from hypothetically managing a Domino's franchise. Years later, I learned that one of the reasons the f-word would keep me from my nonexistent career aspirations with Domino's was due to the fact that the company's founder, Tom Monaghan, is a devout Republican Catholic whose faith was "born again" in the late 1980s.
As satisfying as the job was, though, employing the f-bomb has always been equally as satisfying. And it still is. I've used it semi-regularly in my blog here, and I consider it to be one of the great iconic words in the English language. Few words carry as many meanings and forms, and even fewer words can convey the same concise punch as the time honored fuck and all its variations. Especially now, here in the blogosphere during the Bush 43 years, it seems that the adjectives "fucked" and FUBAR apply to almost every political move the administration has made and, consequently, the present condition of America. Find me a better word to describe the last seven years and perhaps I'll consider replacing it. But for now, we're fucked.
And that brings us to this week when both TIME magazine's Joe Klein (a Democrat) and the conservative blogger Gateway Pundit have all but condemned certain progressive bloggers for using vulgar language and George Carlin's seven deadly words.
In other words, liberals could be great bloggers, but we use the word "fuck" too much.
According to Gateway's chart, The Huffington Post boasts the second highest concentration of profanity among the top progressive blogs. And I'm proud to have contributed to that honorable achievement, though I hasten to mention that I've only used four of the seven in my articles (numbers 1, 2, 3 and 6). Meanwhile, Gateway found that the top conservative blogs used so-called vulgar language far less often.
Nothing like pointing out the obvious. Generally, and by definition, liberals are, yeah, more liberal with their lives, language and politics, while conservatives are, doy, more conservative with their lives, language and politics. (There are exceptions, of course. I'm looking at you, R. Lee Ermey.) I assume Gateway Pundit's next study will conclude that monkeys fling poo more often than sharks.
I don't know whether this is liberal or not, but I personally don't believe the f-word is vulgar. Words in and of themselves are not inherently obscene. It's the intention of the word's usage which defines it as obscene or not. I do, however, recognize that some people find these words to be offensive no matter what.
When Ann Coulter called John Edwards a "faggot" last week, the meaning and how she intended its usage was absolutely vulgar and offensive. Coulter, who isn't (intentionally) a comedian or satirist, meant to imply that Edwards is gay and, by using "faggot" as an insult, she implied that gay people (a minority) are inferior. It wasn't mentioned in a way that satirizes anti-gay bigotry, as many comedians and satirical writers sometimes do, it was intended to harm Edwards' reputation. This particular f-word is mostly used with the intention of being offensive towards gay people as well as the object of the insult, as if to say, "Gay men talk funny. They're girly and they like anal sex. Just like you, John Edwards."
A defining tenet of bigotry is that it's used by people in a position of strength (in this case, white male Ann Coulter) against a minority (the gay community). A distinction Sean Hannity predictably failed to understand last week when interviewing Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, a pastor from Senator Obama's church.
Leading conservatives on FNC and elsewhere are remarkably honest about their bigotry. An entire platform position of the Republican Party is to suppress the rights of a segment of the American population. John Gibson and Bill O'Reilly and the rest don't hide their racism and routinely use their words as a means to endorse the suppression of everyone from blacks, to gays, to women and to latinos in lieu of the continued social and political dominance of white males.
But liberal bloggers say "fuck" too much, which is clearly a means of suppressing the rights of... who? Fuckers? I wonder if Gateway Pundit will expand his research and document whose language is truly offensive.
As for Joe Klein's "left-wing extremist" blog article and his online war with Atrios, it called to mind the voice of my old Domino's manager. You say the word "fuck" too much (and therefore you'll never be as awesome as me). Klein wrote:
"A left-wing extremist... regularly uses harsh, vulgar, intolerant language to attack moderates or conservatives."
If it's not about underscoring his self-appointed superiority (which I believe it is), and Mr. Klein is simply offended by the stated vulgar language of "extremist" liberal bloggers, then the response is simple. Stop visiting those blogs. Delete the bookmarks for The Huffington Post and Eschaton and Daily Kos and the other sites on Gateway Pundit's list. There are literally thousands of sources for political news and commentary, so it's not like there aren't any alternatives.
Hell, there's always Joe Klein's f-word-free blog. Even if it doesn't have the snap of other political blogs, it's still fascinating to observe a traditional media old-schooler greenhorn his way through the jagged and idiosyncratic blogging gauntlet.
So perhaps because I use the word "fuck" too much, I'll never rise to the clearly superior stature of Joe Klein and I'll never possess the brand of verbal decency as defined by Gateway Pundit. But much like that Domino's management position, if rising to such levels of supposed excellence means denying my own instincts and personality, I'm not fucking interested.