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Joel Arnold

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Member Since: May, 2010

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Blogs by Joel Arnold

Zen & the Art of Swearing
6/10/2011 8:25:04 AM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

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!


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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


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