Thursday, May 26, 2005

That effin' documentary


In response to my post about a proposed documentary on the f-word, blogger Carol had this pithy comment:

I'm surprised that someone who is so interested in language, writing and behavior would be so skeptical about a documentary like this. While I agree the letter is a bit overblown, it actually sounds like an interesting idea. It's been awfully perplexing to me that at a time when the country is at war, there's still plenty of time for our leaders to help us get our national panties in a twitch over boobs and bad words. Given that, I think a documentary exploring rhetorical hysteria is a great idea.

Touché, Carol. Why not give it documentary treatment? Are bad words just that ... bad words?

Granted, the movie isn't finished, but I'd be willing to bet that when it is, the f-word will be infused with some sort of gravitas. It'll be a mantra of liberation and enlightenment. What was profane will be sacred.

Don't laugh. Stay with me a minute.

Do you remember what the f-word means? Sexual intercourse. At its best, something special. Something sacred as in shared between two and no one else.

But fucking? That's different. Anyone can fuck. Now we fuck around, we fuck off, we tell people to fuck themselves. "Fuck" represents the lowest common denominator of the human sexual act, which is why it is/was considered an obscenity.

Now, I am not necessarily opposed to the word when used as intended. I am opposed, however, to elevating it to sacred mantra.

Same thing has happened to other vulgarities. Do a Google on the word "cunt" and see what I mean. Thanks to Eve Ensler and the Vagina Brigade, I'm being told to embrace the word "cunt." No longer a derogatory term for a woman's sexual organs, it's supposed to represent the power of my feminine sexuality and liberate me from the rigid sexual morés of the past.

In other words, I am my cunt and my cunt is me. Mmmmm, yeeeaaahhhh. Right.

That's what I find boring -- the preoccupation with the crude and the attempt to elevate the common to the divine.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Ugh, the Eve Enslers of the world...spare me. Just horrible. No one needs to "celebrate" their body. And the word cunt needs to stay gross, horrible and outrageous...those are its best characteristics.

Perhaps we have some common ground here. If the documentary seeks to elevate the word fuck and transform it's audaciousness into something precious, well I just can't have that. I LIKE obscenity. Provided it remains obscene. However, if the filmmakers sort of commit to the idea of exploring obscenity as a force for social change — and the F word is merely the defining motif of that study — that's kind of interesting.