Wednesday, June 21

If I Can't Get A Hummer You Can Keep Your Revolution

I am not going into that, and the only reason it comes up is so I can say that this is The Thing That Makes Blogs Better Than Old Media and I didn't have to go to Vegas to find it.

No, not the free exchange of oral sex hints, although the Print Media, at least in the guise of Ruth Marcus, still seems to think that "dickhead" coupled with some tired election-year-electioneering by onetime president George W. Bush should spark a national debate. This reminds me--all aboard the tangent train--of the idyllic suburban family dinner while I was in the second grade, when my parents' demand to know what had transpired in school that day elicited my casual remarking that we had "queered" the other class in kickball. "You what?" they demanded, practically in unison. "We queered 'em. 13-nothin'." I don't know whether they had instant concerns about homosexual recruitment on the playground. I suppose it's to their credit that they didn't call the school and complain, but I'm sure it never occurred to them that we knew nothing whatever of homosexuality, with the possible exception of some of the Cub Scouts, and that in context one could see plainly that "queer" was not sexualizing students but rather the opposite, that its migration to the green fields of Recess had de-fanged it. All of which assumes the phrase wasn't borrowed from boxing, where "Queer Street" had long been the mailing address of the pugilist separated from his senses.

It's the same with "sucks", circa late 19th C. according to Partridge, which maintained its sexual connotation when it became current for us in late-60s junior high (often coupled, you should pardon the expression, with "donkeys"), but had become the all-purpose expression of distaste before I was out of high school (which sucked). Which reminds me (Incomprehensibility, next stop!) of finding my dad's dirty joke book and being a big hit with my favorite: man, walking late at night, falls in cesspool, yells, "Fire! Fire!" People run out, rescue him, ask, "Why'd you yell 'fire'?" "Who'd have come if I yelled, "Shit! Shit!" he asks.

Anyway (caution: vehicle makes sudden swerves), the Blowjob War made me think about how much better things would be for the corporate media if they'd engage in a little hair-pulling now and then [do not presume to draw conclusions about the author's choice of metaphor]. Washington Post: "Judith Miller Is A Lying Skank", or NYTimes: Is That Ken Starr's DNA on WaPo's Blue Dress?", now those would have been stories.

3 comments:

isabelita said...

As Mehitabel said in "Archie and Mehitabel", "Toujours gai! Wot the hell, wot the hell!"
Just popped into my mind.
As for talkin' dirty, why, those TV-queered kids might hear about Vice-ridden President Cheney telling a guy to go fuck himself.
Bloody fookin' 'ell.

R.Porrofatto said...

I was reared* in what Jerome P. Cavanaugh called "Bvooklyn," where "fuckin'" was the all-purpose modifier of choice from birth, and "Hey FUCK-OH!" could be sung out from half a block away as a friendly greeting of recognition, or a concise warning to get offa da car. I don't think a V-chip would have changed anything.

As to the Blowjob War, I'm with you, and reminded of the Python/Fringe bit where the singer at the audition is handed a copy of Let's Call the Whole Thing Off to read through, and is so unfamiliar with the song that he pronounces all the I say-you say pairs identically. After so many tomato-tomato, banana-banana's he has to stop midway saying, "I'm sorry but I don't quite understand the problem with this relationship."

Anonymous said...

Oh, Doghouse! You man among men, you know from Eric Partridge!

Do you, like me, occasionally read the "Dictionary of Slang & Unconventional English" in bed, and incur thereby a dented sternum?