I may ramble.
This could possibly be 3 posts but I’m packing it all into one super, duper post. But I’ll keep it short- promise. Just a few observations from the world wide web.
I always am slightly amused by people on the internet. People who like to tell other people how it is, how it will be, how they should be, what they should say, what they shouldn’t say. It’s like 63.7% of people on the web think they’ve figured out all the things of life and are now totally in a place to tell the other 36.3% of us how to do it.
Profanity is one of these little irks of mine. And I’m totally on the fence, over the fence, through the fence. In fact, my philosophy on profanity is neither here nor there. I am not the same girl from 20 years ago in which “no unwholesome word shall depart from my lips” but neither am I the girl who says, “FML”. So, this leaves me squarely in the middle with a few thoughts on swearing, cuss words, the profane and the vulgar. There are categories. There are levels. There are definitely lines to be drawn.
When I was a wee one in grade school we had to read aloud in class from our reader. Remember readers? I loved them. I wish my kids knew what a reader was. Anyhoooo…….it was going to be my turn and I took my reader home to prepare(so studious I was). Upon discovering that my particular section had a “swear word” , I was mortified. I was also 8 . And in my 8 year old world there were a host of choice words we were not allowed to say, think or read….ever. And I told my mom that I was going to have to think this word, read it and say it all at once and it was too much for my heart to take. My mom was no help.( sorry Mom). She told me to do what I felt was right. Good grief. The short of it is this: I read it, I hated it and I felt a lot of guilt. But it was done and gone. So now you all want to know what word was in a grade 3 reader in 1979, right? The word was…………..”Gee”. OH THE INHUMANITY!!!!!!
Now before you giggle away the rest of the day, let me clarify. In our house a “SWEAR” word was any word that took the name of God or Jesus and used it inappropriately. Words associated with damnation and Hell were also terrible and unholy. Gee is short for Geeezzz…which is short for Jesus. I think we can all agree that this is in fact truth. So for me to say “Gee” was horrible.
My looses lips now say “Jeepers” Or “Gee whiz”( I used to say Cheese Whiz to get around it). I also say darn which is only the milder form of damn. Is that swearing too? Some would say it is.
My mom thinks fart is a swear. But my kids have been saying it since they could speak.
The fact is this: our usage of slang, swear, cuss, vulgar words is often for emphasis. Saying I’m really cold doesn’t quite get the point across that I am DANG cold. Darn, Dang, Damn……they all mean the same thing but progressively stronger.
My friend posted a comment a few days ago about the “assholes” in front of Toys R Us smoking. She’s right. They’re idiots. I don’t call people assholes because I don’t. It’s actually quite gross when you think about it. However, smoking is gross so maybe she is more right than I am. One person completely missed the point of her post and said “classless”….and “unfollow”‘……..because of the word “assholes”. Really?? I mean. In your real, everyday, walking around , enjoying life world you would actually defriend, dissociate, condemn, judge and unfollow a friend whom you had previously liked, agreed with, enjoyed because of the word “assholes”?? Listen people, if that’s how you do the internet, you might be in the wrong place. Stuff gets said all the time that I don’t agree with but I don’t even challenge it with a word or thought. I say stuff that people don’t agree with . I read stuff I don’t agree with. I love the people I don’t agree with. Opinions are good . My kids say stuff every day that ticks me off. I don’t write them off.
Humanity- we’re all humans. Here’s a shocking statistic: 100% of the things you read on the internet are written by humans 100% of the time.
For some reason, there are a whole bunch of people on the internet who think they can say whatever they want to whomever they want all while sitting behind a keyboard and it doesn’t matter. Because *I* am the only one who actually has feelings, right? It’s all about *ME*. No one else could possibly feel the way I feel.
Seriously, writing a blog takes guts. And I’m not saying that because I have a blog. Because I don’t really have guts. I want to say stuff that I can’t. For a variety of reasons I am my own worst critic and #1 filter of all that is controversial or raw honesty. But I have friends who spill their guts and it is beautiful and inspiring. And then they get flippin’ yahoos inboxing or posting on their pages that ” you know that autism is a form of demonic oppression…” to the mom who has an autistic son. Really. Not even kidding.
Or , I have been the recipient of such dandies like this: “the article you posted was written by a gay man, I just thought you should know”…because of course being gay negates the possibility that you could have a brilliant mind and common sense t’boot!?
This happens all the time. Well meaning individuals think that they have all of life figured out. But they forget we’re all human, we all have feelings, we all learn and grow by being challenged to think outside of our own small, narrow view of things.
Which brings me to the war on Christmas.
There is none.
In 1979 our school pageant had the words “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings”. Was there a conspiracy then to undermine and usurp the traditions of Christmas?? *GASP*!!
In 1941 the movie, Holiday Inn was made. “Happy Holidays” was the theme song….now sung by generations. I particularly love the Williams Brothers and Osmond Brothers rendition…..have a listen….
I could ramble about this but I just want to ask you some questions:
1. Has anyone in your town, village or kabutz asked you NOT to say Merry Christmas?
2. Have you been told to take down your tree or lights or turn off the Christmas music?
3. Have you shopped in a major department store and heard one of these playing: “Silent Night”, “Joy to the World”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”?
4. Have you been publicly harassed for saying Merry Christmas?
5. Are you deeply offended by those who send you a card with “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” on it- so much so that you have to return the card with a terse note about keeping “Christ” in Christmas?
….do you want me to go on?
I have Jewish, Athiest, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and Agnostic friends. They are all very good at saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and never once have been offended or hurt that I do the same.
There is no war on Christmas. There are a few media outlets who keep reviving this and challenging us all to stand up and fight. But there is nothing to fight. There is only a war if we take up arms. And I am not. Our town has nativities and carol festivals. I see trees, lights and hear carols everywhere I go. There is no war. Please stop posting the “I hear it’s offensive to say Merry Christmas….” type of forwarded emails and photos. It isn’t offensive. It never has been. Just because one dude in Saskatoon wants it to be an issue doesn’t mean we all have to jump on the bandwagon and make it one. Don’t give in. Be the same as you always have. Spread joy and cheer and sing loud for all to hear.
I don’t swear, but I may cuss a little sometimes. I don’t always agree with everything you post but I’m not going to call you out or publicly shame you because your opinion is different than mine. And there is no war on Christmas. Happy Monday.
A few things you might want to read: The Internet is Alive with the Sound of Critics
And my own post from 2 years ago: The Profanity of Christmas