Few words in English retain their potency as expressions of rage, and their violent power to offend, as much as the words “nigger” and “cunt”.
“Nigger”, unless pronounced by a black person using it in a colloquial sense, is as offensive to at least 40% of Americans as “motherfucker” a word with its roots in American slavery, the same hateful and largely undrained swamp the “n-word” derives from. In polite society everyone is expected to defer to the new convention not to utter the hateful word “nigger.” I get it, though the fucking “n-word” is just plain wrong.
Pretending to be publicly polite about this word that is in constant private circulation in our great, still largely racist nation, gets nobody one millimeter closer to discussing the underlying poison of our racist past, present and future. The young are our hope on this issue, they seem, as a group, to be less concerned about race– but they deserve our help addressing this troubling issue with its deep, ugly historic roots. Swapping in the fucking “n-word”, and pretending it’s progress of any kind, is, if you will excuse my Yiddish, bullshit.
Same deal for “cunt”, or the “c-word”, if you’re not nasty. A stand in for hundreds of years of brutal, senseless male domination of the, arguably, superior half of the species, “cunt” is the word a man might utter right before a modern woman kicks him in the “cunt.” I understand how hateful and hurtful a word “cunt” is these days.
That said, the female opera singer and the male supporter of the arts across the air-shaft who defends her right to caterwaul loudly and at length in the name of her art? A pair of cunts I could, with equal conviction, say are a pair of dicks.
While I’m on the subject of cunts, I should mention the late, great American genius Steve Jobs, who not only redefined our notions about technological elegance and its seamless integration into our aesthetic lifestyle, but clarified the modern American meaning of “genius” (the g-word) itself.
Dig– a genius is only a genius if he exerts his vision on the world. It’s a simple definition, as elegant as an iPod. The genius prevails, gets to modestly opine before vast crowds, and die with billions earned and trillions to come in his wake. A grateful world, beneficiaries of his visionary gifts, remembers him with love and respect.
I should be thankful to Steve Jobs and his ilk, for finally clarifying this always difficult issue of who is and who is not a visionary genius.
That said, this American icon was always, as the genius culture and company he founded continues to be, as the Brits say, a right cunt. Also, it is said, a dick.