What America really needs in ’08.
The tawdry glory of that most versatile of words—FUCK—has been much commented upon. Noun, verb, adjective, adverb, it’s a true linguistic hermaphrodite.
The National Evil drools over the possibility of time travel for no other reason than to be able to hop in a time canoe, step out into a busy department store circa 1955, bark the magic word, and watch as civility collapses and red shrieking chaos ensues. Which is to say, we’re aware that fuck has lost most of its power. You can pretty much say it anywhere and not get punched in the face these days.
But there is another power, that of repetition. Death by a thousand aural paper cuts rather than the old jackhammer to the skull. And the Evil was privileged enough to experience this power Friday last.
Having taken in the Radiohead concert in Atlanta on Thursday, the Evil met a buddy in Atlanta for a pint or five at a local pub. While drinking Guinness on the patio, the pub’s aged Irish proprietor joined us and commenced raining f-bombs on us with such casual abandon it grew into a veritable symphony of filth.
“You saw fucking Radiohead, eh? Brilliant fucking guys. I remember being back in Ireland, this was, fuck, 10 fucking years ago, and they came on the fucking tape deck. And I said, ‘Who are these fucking cunts?’ Those fucking pricks were fucking brilliant—their older fucking stuff, at least.”
Isn’t there something perversely soothing in the way an Irishman pronounces “fucking”? It’s not quite foo-king. It’s something like . . . let’s see . . . Foouhkean. Sounds like the name of a mythical Irish king, doesn’t it?
“Me, I like the fucking heat. In fucking Ireland you get maybe one fucking day like this a fucking year. And you’re not even fucking sure you got it, like it’s a fucking story everyone tells themselves . . . ‘Remember that one fucking sunny day? Fuck, that was nice.’ And it’s not much fucking better in fucking Boston. You get the worst of both fucking worlds up there. Cold as fuck, then fucking hot as fuck. You get fucking fall and fucking spring down here.”
. . . And, best of all, it slips like a cat burglar into the conversation. You won’t hear an Irishman belting it out like an exclamation point thrust incongruously into the middle of a sentence. There’s no challenge or insult in it. It isn’t done for effect; it’s almost not even a word . . . it’s an obscene sigh of contentment.
Not only did the fucking Irish save civilization, they’re making an effort save incivility. Just fucking beautiful.