Friday, January 14, 2011

* The F-word: Uncivilly Ubiquitous

In the 1970's the sociologist Paul Goodman, author of Growing Up Absurd, said he could have predicted the student protest movement by the chewing habits of the children who later became the teens and twenty-somethings of the Anti-war Movement.  They "swallowed" (slurped and gulped) their food he said, instead of ripping it apart with their incisors and then grinding it into bits with their molars.  

This abdication of  dental violence, was destined to manifest itself in violence of another sort in their personalities, Goodman said, since all humans need to rehearse the oral slaughter which dental ivory provides, and failure to rehearse it in the mouth, will lead to rehearsing it somewhere else: on the streets, in this case.

Another sociologist proclaimed the indispensabilty of the word "Fuck" as a taboo. Without its status as forever forbidden, no firm boundary would ever stand, the sociologist claimed, and taboos would be routinely violated.

Immediately (on cue, it seemed) Jerry Rubin, co-founder of the Yippies, countered with his book Do It !  (1970) which in addition to his famous chant "kill your parents", printed two solid pages of the forbidden word, hundred upon hundreds of times: fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

You get the point.

So what's MY point?

The F-word has become so commonly used in our society ---especially among young adults --- that it is almost a PREFIX or a SUFFIX. 

It has become so uncivilly ubiquitous that it seems almost civilized.

There are no VERBAL  boundaries ---- no VERBAL taboos ---- anymore.

And if, as Paul Goodman observed, the mouth is IMPOTENT to do violence (either dental or verbal) human violence will inevitably manifest itself somewhere else. 

In the face of such a psychological axiom, there is only one question  to be asked.: 

Where else ?

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