April 19, 2006


A Matter of Coarse (Quin Hillyer, 4/19/2006, American Spectator)

Anyone who takes even the most occasional peek at leftist blogs knows that this is par for the course. It's not enough to be frustrated or angry or to disagree with those of us on the Right, and certainly not enough to try to use reasoned arguments to persuade or enlighten. Instead, all that seems to matter is the intensity of the rant and the inventiveness of the calumny that can be heaped on conservatives. Aside from the puerility -- indeed, the perpetual adolescence -- of the Left's fascination with vulgarities, what's also lost is any sense that reasoned discourse is of any value whatsoever, along with any sense of responsibility for maintaining a civil society.

At the risk of paying too much attention to Ms. O'Connor -- she is hardly unique in her rantings, but is so representative of the Angry Left that she serves this column's purpose well -- she actually did write a lengthy blog post in which she explained/defended the regular use of vulgarities. Here's the "nut graph" (a journalism term meaning the paragraph that sets up and explains the rest of the story, but in this case the double-entendre is appropriate) of her argument, such as it is (complete with her original emphases):

These people aren't offended by our use of profanity -- these people are offended by our existence. They don't want us to stop using profanity -- they want us to shut up -- or, even better, to be made to shut up. Preferably with force, and maybe tortured to make sure we'll STAY shut up after they leave the room. So, pardon me if I blow a giant f***ing raspberry sound when that particular boogeyman of an argument gets plopped into the discussion about profanity....

Except, of course, that she actually spelled out the word before "raspberry."

Though one must always distrust personal experience, it's been ours that the folks whose comments have to be edited for profanity are almost exclusively those on the Left and the far Right.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 19, 2006 12:01 AM

Stuck in perpetual adolescence, moonbats don't know how to be an adult.

Posted by: erp at April 19, 2006 10:26 AM

Badwords almost never work in print, they are strictly verbal. One or two might work for emphasis but not F***, that never helps an argument.

Peeople who constantly use F*** on their blogs don't want to convince, they want to vent and shock. They think it makes them look tough when it is just the opposite.

Posted by: Bob at April 19, 2006 10:47 AM

"those on the Left and the far Right"

What category do you put President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, when they make their "major league" remarks?

Posted by: h-man at April 19, 2006 11:14 AM

They weren't speaking in public. Both are quite profane in private, like most of us.

Posted by: oj at April 19, 2006 11:18 AM

Those who use profanity the most also tend to be the ones demanding the most immediate political gratification, and who become flustered to the point of four-letter words when their demands fail to happen.

Posted by: John at April 19, 2006 11:29 AM

"profane in private"

Like in "right of privacy". Check.

Posted by: h-man at April 19, 2006 11:37 AM

You don't have a right not to be overheard and sounding childish, as they did on-stage. You have on obligation to make folks make the effort.

Posted by: oj at April 19, 2006 11:41 AM

Bob, I'd suggest they try to appear cool rather than tough in their use of the word they were told, hopefully, was a bad one by their parents.

Unfortunately, vulgarity, in the broadest sense of the word, is a consequence of democracy and in turn serves as a lubricant toward an uncivil society.

Posted by: Genecis at April 19, 2006 1:38 PM

With a few exceptions for the sake of comedy, and unless you're writing a work of fiction, there's really no excuse for using strong profanity when writing something. Profanity works because it's off-the-cuff; writing, meanwhile, is predominantly slow and deliberate. For most folks who aren't phenomenally gifted comic writers like Mark Steyn or P.J. O'Rourke, the use of profanity in a persuasive context simply looks immature.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 19, 2006 7:33 PM

The problem isn't just her potty-mouth. She's also wrong on substance. The real attempts to silence critics and pre-empt dissent come from the Left's speech codes and PC edicts. Not to mention the biased media megaphone, propagandization of students, lawsuits and Hollywood agit-prop.

Posted by: Noel at April 19, 2006 8:41 PM