Badassery Magazine June 2018 Issue 25 - Page 28

“We have no word in English for this act, which is not either a long abstraction or an evasive euphe- mism, and we are constantly run- ning away from it, or dissolving into dots, at a passage like that. He [the author] wanted to say, ‘This is what one does. In a simple, ordi- nary way, one fucks,’ with no snig- gering or dirt.” The testimony was said to have had a deciding influence on the trial. *Cue the Law and Order theme music* The difficulty with so called “vul- gar” words such as shit and fuck lie not in the words themselves, or indeed even in their meanings. The difficulty lies in the context in which they are so often used. Words such as these are most often applied as expressions of abuse or insult. Taken purely from that perspective, the arguments against such epithets are some- what understandable (if a little hy- per-sensitive.) Now let me throw you a “what if” scenario. What if these words be- came part of our normal lexicon, through publications, television and film, used not as tools of abuse but as simple and honest language describing near-universal and quite natural acts? I think as a re- sult we’d be healthier people for it. Imagine school teachers using such honest language to describe the mating practices of animals, or lawyers and judges making use of fuck to describe acts in which penetration is an issue. Within a generation, words such as shit and fuck would have no more myste- rious, embarrassing vulgarity or shame than words such as “bicy- cle” or “thermometer.” To put it another way, if we were to take the embarrassment and discomfiture we currently feel for these terms and shift them to words far more deserving of our acrimony and taboos, such as “kill,” or “torture,” then I think we’d a healthier society for it. Acts of a consensual, sexual na- ture and bodily functions universal to all members of Homo sapiens are neither shocking nor shameful. Cruelty and violence on the oth- er hand, are most assuredly both shocking and shameful. The query we’re left with dear reader - and one that only you can answer for yourself - is where our priorities truly lie. When expressions of passionate emphasis or terms used to de- scribe intimacy between humans is treated with more shame than words that represent suffering and death... that’s where the real vul- garity is found, n’est pas?  Mackenzie Clench is an author, creative instigator, agent provocateur and gen- eral-man-about-the-internet. He's also the CEO, Scribbler and Fuss Maker in Chief of Mackenzie Clench Creative, helping entrepreneur-shaped humans re- fine their messaging to draw a through-line from the heart of their business to the heart of the clients. Mackenzie’s current project is “Around the World in Eighty Sandwiches,” an Instagram-based culinary cavalcade of sandwiches from around the world. He is also attempting to parlay his linguistic legerde- main into a role as a food writer, since his culinary school dreams seem… un- likely at this point. Mackenzie Clench 27   