Blogs by Joel Arnold
Zen & the Art of Swearing
6/10/2011 8:25:04 AM
Okay, this really has nothing to do with Zen, but it is about swearing.
I seem to have a split personality when it comes to swearing. I swear in my writing a lot. I swear in my head a lot. But whenever Iím in front of people, I donít swear unless itís the necessary part of a joke Iím telling, and even then, when I utter the curse word, it comes out with a bit of a childish, embarrassed emphasis on it, sort of whispering the word as if Iím somehow disappointing my parents, even though theyíre far out of earshot.
A certain brother-in-law of mine however (love ya, Mitch!) swears so much, I donít think he even realizes it. He canít get a sentence out without at least a couple f-bombs sprinkled in. Doesnít matter if kids or the elderly are present. And if youíve been around him enough, you hardly even hear the swearing. In fact, if he didnít swear for a couple sentences in a row, youíd be like, ďDude, are you okay? Whatís wrong?Ē And heíd most likely answer, ďNothinís f***iní wrong. Why the f*** do you f***iní ask?Ē His swearing isnít mean-spirited in any way, either - itís just part of his essence. Mitch without peppering his language with variations of the word f*** would be like Jesse Ventura neglecting to mention he was a Navy Seal. Something would just seem...off.
I was fortunate to have had a great childhood, wonderful parents and siblings, but one memory that Iíll sometimes look back upon with fondness and amusement is from when I was a preschooler over at a friendís house, and we were out swinging on his swing-set, and we just started swearing. With each swing forward, weíd take turns shouting out a swear word. Damn! Shit! Pee! Hell! I donít think we used Ďf***í but we might have. Aw, heck, why not Ė letís say we shouted out Ďf***í too. Makes for a more colorful memory.
Anyway, there was something freeing and joyous about that, about swinging on the swing-set and yelling out swear words at the top of our lungs. It was energizing, invigorating Ė we were in the moment, one with the universe. Hey, there you are, Zen!
Eventually his mom heard us, and Iím guessing he got in trouble (he was called into his house with a stern voice, at the very least.)
But if youíre ever feeling down and out, I recommend going somewhere safe Ė preferably where no one else can hear you Ė and just start yelling out swear words at the top of your lungs. An abandoned quarry works well (great echo effect!) as does the inside of your car. Just make sure itís done with joy Ė not anger Ė and I bet youíll feel better after awhile. And if for some reason youíre arrested for disorderly conduct or causing a public nuisance Ė you didnít hear it from me, f***os!
Post a Comment new!
More Blogs by Joel Arnold
The Sucking Suckathon of Suckiness - Monday, May 21, 2012
Mississippi Pearls and a Car Biding Its Time on the Ice 'til Spring - Thursday, December 29, 2011
One Decade, One Story - or how One Thing Leads to Another - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Racing Minnesota-style! - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
This Here Minnesota Horror Author was a Big Old Scaredy-Cat - Thursday, December 22, 2011
Jack the Blob Killer - Monday, December 19, 2011
Death Rhythm - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
More Writing What You Know - Monday, September 19, 2011
How I Interpret 'Write What You Know' - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Blessings - or - What I write after having one too many... - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
120 Miles in a Canoe - Monday, June 27, 2011
On Stephen King - Thursday, June 23, 2011
Why Horror? - Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Zen & the Art of Swearing - Friday, June 10, 2011
If Coffee Shops were Run by Airlines - Thursday, May 12, 2011
Trying to Figure Out What Scares Me - Monday, March 21, 2011
My Confession - Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Going Indie with my novel Northwoods Deep - Friday, March 04, 2011
How I Envision Conflict When Writing - Thursday, March 03, 2011
Wall Drug - why it's one of my favorite places - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Jonesing for a Road Trip - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Snowmapocalyptopalooza - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
How Do You Remember? - Thursday, January 20, 2011
When your parents are librarians... - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The genesis of a novel - the first 6 days - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Searching for Truth - Characterization - Thursday, December 16, 2010
Control - and a little more about Northwoods Deep - Monday, December 13, 2010
Bukowski - Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Flies, Flies, Spam, and Flies - Friday, December 03, 2010
Naivete and the Young Writer - Thursday, December 02, 2010
For Writers looking for some Adventure - Wednesday, December 01, 2010
My usual rider for family/friend appearances - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Writing and Me - a dramatization - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Writing Tip o' the Day (now with vitamin C!) - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Power of Music - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
To All the Bookstores I've Loved Before - Monday, November 15, 2010
The Care and Feeding of Writers - Sunday, November 14, 2010
Rudiments - Thursday, November 11, 2010
Writing Tip o' the Day - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tragedy - now with 50% more pathos! - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Perspective - Monday, November 08, 2010
The Daunting Dauntiness of Tweeting on Twitter - Saturday, November 06, 2010