Distancing from its own past
God love the Brits! I suppose somebody has to, and it might as well be her, she being Love, apparently, in one of her guises. The resident, free-range, rogue teenagers would tell you – if they had regained the power of speech that day – that I am wont to employ the word ‘English!’ as a swear word. When I am not using more traditional swear words, that is, a habit out of which Róisín wishes I would grow (out of). She has the same misconception as my Ma and Part-Time Wife (two separate people there, but you are not getting an Oxford comma in here) regarding swear words, namely that they are a sign of a lack of vocabulary. While this can be true of bottom-feeding, unemployed-class scum, tis surely amiss when applied to the urbane sophisticate such as myself. And to other writers too. (It actually says ‘writer’ on the children’s birth certificate under father’s profession as I was unemployed at the time.) Sometimes, fuck is the most appropriate and most effective word for the situation, and sometimes knowing this is a sign of a sophisticated vocabulary. Less often, nigger is the correct word too, but you generally have to be a bit black to use it nowadays, unless you are talking about an Agatha Christie book or using an idiom such as ‘the nigger in the woodpile’.
But the Brits. What are we going to do with them come the Revolution? Like the US of Aers, they will, of course, be close to the front of the queue for the wall, but, also like the US of Aers (if you have not worked out yet why I do not use the word American to refer to inhabitants of the USA, you should go and learn Spanish), the Brits are a very mixed bunch. You have your bog standard, thick as pig’s shit Brit, but you also have the likes of the writer of this article who obviously understands a bit more than your average bear about the general opinion of Britain in what the inveterate colonialists invariably refer to as ‘the rest of the World’.
Is there any chance that now the protesting classes have learnt a drop of history (specialist subject: slavery), they will go on to complete the whole course and, consequently, hang their heads in shame for the rest of their lives? I doubt it, and, as yer man points out, part of the problem lies with the education system and, specifically but not exclusively, the history syllabus taught therein. That is quite apart from the constant churning out of bullshit propaganda about the Past by the BBC Drama Department. Stick an Irishman in charge of the history syllabus to be taught in English schools; that should solve that problem, providing you choose the right Irishman. An Irish woman would be no good; women have this skill of being able to see things from the other side’s point of view, and that is not what is required in this instance. It also, generally, stops them starting wars, which is, on the whole, a good thing. If they could stop men – or even the CIA – from starting wars, we might be on to something.
Speaking of Agatha Christie, and the re-titling of her nigger book, would youse care to take a guess as to what the next target of the virtue-signallers will be after they run our of statues to knock down? This Fawlty Towers episode was briefly censored (‘cancelled’ I think the current term is for getting rid of things that might trigger the sensitive wee souls) before, in a tremendous display of hypocrisy matched only by current pro-trans doublethink, being re-instated due to an outcry by the same great, British public that called for it to be banned in the first place. If de Gaulle actually did once remark that it was impossible to rule a country that had 246 varieties of cheese – and apparently he did – what hope has Boris the Dancing Bear got of finding consensus among a population that disagrees with itself when the wind changes direction?
Which brings me nicely to my favourite retort to Part-Time Wife when she informs me that she has come to a different opinion about some domestic matter of interior decoration that we spent my fortune on. She got a new washing machine the other day, for no discernible reason that I can work out as she still appears to have two hands and the hacienda is replete with running water of both sexes. Anyway, it gave/afforded (choose one or the other, consistent with your taste for low or high blown prose) me the opportunity to drop my bon mot once again, so I do not really mind that I cannot afford the extra expense this month.
“Dearest heart,” I opened, to put her off her guard, “see the next time you change your mind, could you get one that works?”
Shorts with wellies today, ripped T-Shirt and duncher. But I will have a shower, as Part-Time Wife has just thrown a bowl of Cornflakes over me for some reason. Downwards and sidewards; pull down a statue for me if you find yourself in an unthinking mob (there is no other type).
11 thoughts on “Day 87”
To use the f word when we were young was on a par with committing a mortal sin. Well, in our house anyway. Not only because it was a ‘bad’ word but because my grandfather always claimed that it had been brought to Ireland by the British Army. Or even worse, by Irishmen who had served in the British Army during WW1.
Just to be clear, Ann; are you the artist formerly known as Anonymous?
Yip, there are many and varied myths associated with the word fuck, which is less and less taboo in quality, edited prose. The c-word too is becoming coming currency. It is only nigger one is not allowed now, unless one is one.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
Well, to be fair, I can’t think of any situation in which the n word would be needed unless of course you were just trying to be controversial.
Have you ever hung out with black people? They use that word all the time. And we use the insult Taig in a similar fashion.
Philip Cummings email@example.com
So, should Taig be acceptable in quality, edited prose? Should the n word?
As you say black people use it among themselves the same way we might use Taig but I don’t think anyone else would use Taig to my face unless they were deliberately trying to be offensive to me. Do you honestly not think that a black person would find it offensive? Or are you just railing against all the woke blokes jumping onto a passing bandwagon?
As I said before I can’t think of any situation in which I would have call to use that word.
What about the standard idiom ’nigger in the woodpile’? What about Bod Dylan’s superb use of the word in the song Hurricaine? What about me, writing a racist character in one of my unfinished novels and wishing to be realistic about the vocabulary he uses?
My Tailor – a Prod – calls me a Taig when she feels like it and does not offend me. Beingoffended is not the worst sin in the World either.
Philip Cummings firstname.lastname@example.org
Aww, come on. ‘Nigger in the woodpile’! How standard an idiom is that? Now maybe it’s just an indictment of my lack of education but I don’t think I have every come across that phrase. I had to Google it to see exactly what it means.
Besides, you’re a writer, I’m sure you could come up with a different way of expressing such an idea.
You can use whatever words you want in real life, but just be prepared to put up the consequences. People will form an opinion of you based on your choice of language.
As regards black people using it among themselves, not to be flippant but if I’m feeling a bit moody I can say to myself or to a female friend that it must be PMS. But if my husband asks me”‘why are you so angry? Is it your time if the month?” I will go through him for a shortcut.
Listen, Ms Ominous, your female illogicality has got nothing to do with me. And I did once ask a secretary in public if it was her time of the month. The rest of the office was shocked; the woman in question confided to me later in private that my suspicion had been correct and did in fact explain her unusual behaviour, Sherlock.
And the point about idioms is that, unlike clichés (which you should avoid like the plague), when youu use an idiom you want all the history and cultural baggage that goes with it – you do not want to have to try to express all that in other words of your own.
As for people forming an opinion about me, why the Hell should I care what people think about me? Even if they are tinkers, knackers, gypsies, cunts or – worse still – English people?
Calm down dear!
Now, are you Ann Ominous, or a different Anonymous?
Yeah, it’s me.