Dang

Dang: (v) euphemism for the word damn 

Added into the anthology of my journey through the ridiculous and sublime is a one-hour class I was required to sit in on when I was a sophomore in high school, with the subject being, “Better Choices.”

According to the principal, there was an outbreak of bad language in the school, and he wanted to explain how frustration could be handled with much more grace, using terms that, although meaningless, were also unoffensive.

I don’t know how this man knew there was a plague of naughty talk all over the campus.

I think he was fuckin’ stupid.

But speaking of that word, three suggestions were made for when the inclination might rise up to use the word “fuck.”

  • “Fudge.”
  • “Forget it.”
  • And “feathers.”

Now, I don’t know how one was supposed to restrain the tongue from spitting the original gem, substituting the new language, but the instructor explained that if it was accomplished and sweeter sayings could be offered, then it was generally regarded among the American populous that your morality was immediately deemed honorable, and you gained at least thirty IQ points.

Shit was shoot.

Goddamn was golly.

Ass was bottom.

Bullshit was baloney.

Dick was private areas.

Pussy skipped vagina and went to lady’s parts.

And of course, damn was dang.

At the end of the session, four students were called up to do a demonstration, with the first pair using the foul words and the second pair, the more respectable lingo.

They probably could have gotten through the whole class without too much ridicule–but it was really a bad choice to do the demonstration. All the gathered students hooted and howled with the ala natural dialogue, but not nearly as much as they squalled in laughter over the dainty terms, which seemed as awkward as a Baptist family having an audience with the Pope.

Because of that forum, I have never used the word dang.

I don’t think that was the goal.

So I apologize to the educators.

Cumulative Effect

Cumulative effect: (n) the end result of repetitious actions

“Excuse me, young man! You need to love yourself.”

By the way, some people will not know how valuable you are, so you will need to learn how to shut them out of your life. “

“Don’t be critical of yourself. God doesn’t make junk.”

“There’s a wonderful plan for your life, so keep your heart open for its arrival.”

“The world is filled with nasty people. You must learn to identify them, or they will steal your inheritance. The reason they want to steal it is so they can make their portion larger.”

“So beware—people are wonderful until they’re not.”

“Don’t be so down on yourself. You don’t have to be great all the time. Cut yourself some slack. Everybody else does. It’s human.”

“If you find that the people you’re with cannot support you with unconditional love, then unconditionally get rid of them.”

“God wants you to know that He loves you just the way you are. You don’t have to change for anyone. Since you don’t have to change for anyone, you can reject those who think you are not sufficient just as you are.”

“These are your enemies. Even though we try to love our enemies, our enemies don’t go away because we love them. So watch out for yourself.”

“Be careful. Be wary.”

“Be prepared to defend yourself because you’re the only one who can do it.”

“And certainly—if you do not toot your own horn, it will never be tooted.”

“You must stand up for yourself or all the bullies will bring you down.

Bullies need a punch in the nose, or they keep sticking that nose into your business. Sometimes you gotta fight. Fight for yourself, and make sure you win. And when you win, communicate to those who might want to fight you that you’re determined to honor yourself and your own opinions.”

“Be strong and do not put up with anybody’s bullshit.”

This is a cumulative effect.

By the way, this is why we’ve learned to hate each other.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Culottes

Culottes: (n) women’s trousers, usually knee-length or calf-length, cut full to resemble a skirt.

I have seen enough things come and go, enough rules altered–opinions ransacked by reality—that I can no longer abide just accepting a set of regulations without asking why.

In my lifetime, I was informed that long hair was effeminate.

I was told that divorce was forbidden.

Masturbation was considered to be a sin.

Dating between the races was anti-Christ.

And one summer, Camp Jesus Something-Or-Other refused to allow the girls to wear culottes.

It was absolutely ridiculous.

None of the boys objected to the restriction, because girls in skirts would be running, sitting oddly and the fellows would get a great vision of their panties, which would last until the next time they were alone in their sleeping bags.

Everybody—and I mean, everybody—knew the rule was bullshit.

Even when the counselors were asked why the stipulation was in place, they parroted off some answer given to them by the founders of the camp (which they didn’t believe).

I comprehend the process. For instance, for ten years we had to whisper that we “passed gas” instead of bluntly saying we farted.

You could talk about dating and love, but you weren’t allowed to mention sex. That is, until you suddenly were permitted.

Can we shorten this agonizing delay?

Matter of fact, let us decide that if there isn’t a legitimate health, well-being or realistic moral reason for a guideline to exist, we will call it meaningless and request that it be reviewed.

Once and for all, can we come to a conclusion that sanctifying our race by trying to corral human emotions is fruitless?

Culottes look good on girls. They make girls more comfortable. And the only time a girl wears pants and looks like a man is if she decides she wants to go for the whole butch persona.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credits

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credits: (n) a listing of those who create a film

Let me give you a really quick clue on a way to identify a shitty film:

Any movie that has many, many credits rolling BEFORE the action begins—or especially before you even see the title—Is a piece of doo-doo on celluloid.

You can tell because you realize they had too many meetings discussing who would get credit, how it would be phrased, how it should be presented, and in what order it could be placed on the screen, instead of sitting around trying to make a better flick.

The greatest problem with art is that it becomes quite ugly and loses all beauty as those who are trying to push themselves forward insist on struggling to the front of the line.

If a motion picture has more than one director, more than one company, more than one producer and more than one cinematographer, generally speaking, someone is trying to bullshit someone else to gain power, instead of putting the work in on crafting something entertaining and inspirational.

That’s why when you see a great film they get you into the setting as quickly as possible instead of rolling fifty names in front of your face, which frustrates you because you have to remember what movie you’re actually watching.

I have been a part of making some independent films, and I will tell you:

The simpler, the better

  • The director should have a name.
  • The writer should have a name.
  • And the cinematographer and editor should have names.

And preferably, one name for each category, so that egos can get out of the way and the possibility for great storytelling can unfold.

Ironically, movies with lots of credits normally don’t deserve any credit.

 

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Con Man

Con man: (n) a man who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true

Every once in a while I take a stroll through the Ten Commandments to take an inventory on how many I’ve broken.

That is one of the more ridiculous aspects of that top ten list–it does not serve as a guide to our lives, but rather, a reminder of how futile ourfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
attempts often are when we pursue self-righteousness or any form of superiority that makes us feel that we’re near to the heart of God.

For instance, I’ve been a con man.

I didn’t do it for a living. That’s probably good. Otherwise, I might be writing you from Folsom Prison, with the blues, or from Sing-Sing without a song.

But I have presented claims as facts, trying to impress people around me, when in actuality the legitimate information was far less than my boast.

Here’s the only difference between me and the standard con man: I actually believed my own bullshit.

I did.

I had thoroughly saturated myself in fictitious notions that twisted my brain to such an extent that they squeezed out common sense and replaced them with Thanksgiving stuffing.

So not only was I a con man to those around me, but I did a remarkable job promoting it to myself.

This is why self-awareness is probably one of the greatest virtues that a human being can pursue–it makes you stop off every once in a while and read the Ten Commandments and realize how far you have fallen short–as you chuckle over your own inadequacy.

 

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Coarse

Coarse: (adj) rude, crude, or vulgar.

Fortunately for the human race, if for some reason they do not want to deal with your message or the impact of your words, they can either critique your style or claim that your language is coarse and profane.

I have spent the major part of my professional career trying to determine the words that best describe what I’m trying to communicate, and then attempting to slide those cherished words into the body of my work, without being shunned for foul usage.

Honestly, when describing an atrocity and the need for change, the word “darn” does not replace “damn.”

For many years I was critiqued for saying “crap”–but “bullcrap” is not as energetic as “bullshit.”

The purpose of speech is to communicate. The goal of the written word is to impact. And the mission of the visual is to enlighten.

They must be permitted to do their jobs without being censored, or even-tempered.

I happen to agree that the word f-u-c-k is rarely necessary to communicate and certainly should not be overused as an adjective or an adverb.

But even that stipulation carries a bit of fuddy-duddy, which is not necessarily applicable in the pursuit of waking up the sleepy masses.

Having survived a lifetime which has included living in a society where the word “pregnant” could not be uttered on television, to now living in an Internet generation, where temperance is disdained, I am more than happy to put guidelines on my own soul–using an economy of words to justify the heart of the story, without coarsely tainting it with unnecessary emotions which threaten to condemn it.

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Cautionary

Cautionary: (adj) serving as a warning.

The word “cautionary” usually travels with a tale but often does not have the brains to fill a head. Most of the things I have been warned about in my life have proven to be false, or at the very least, exaggerated.

When I was twelve years old, a sociologist came to our school to discuss race. Actually, her function was to explain to our dull but fertile
minds why it was important for the races not to mix.

It was a slide show.

So we observed that when a black person and a white person get together and create children, the results are uncertain and often catastrophic. She provided pictures of children with splotchy skin, tumors and obviously suffering in some sort of miserable configuration.

She was so official–so well-studied. She explained that “it was just not good for the children.”

There are two comical things about this story. First, we lived in a community where the nearest black person was 25 miles away. And secondly, everything this well-educated and maybe even well-intentioned woman told us was bullshit.

Yet if you had been there to hear the cautionary tale, you would have been totally convinced you should avoid all contact with “Negroids”. (I believe that’s the word she used.)

When is a cautionary tale really of value?

When it asks us to mind our own P’s and Q’s instead of trying to change the ABC’s of life.

 

 

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Bullshit

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Bullshit: (n) stupid or untrue talk

Not everything is bullshit.

Matter of fact, one great step toward maturity is realizing that many of the things we believe today will change in the future, and maybe even disappear.

After all, ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but rather, the refusal to accept it.

All of us are ignorant in the sense that there are things we don’t know, but we will not be deemed ignorant in the future if we’re willing to step away from piles of bullshit and find the truth that has been proven.

Whether it’s our politics, our education, our profession or our faith, each one should be able to endure the evolution of new data, which further clarifies life on Planet Earth.

If your beliefs or your convictions need to ridicule an educated revelation, you are no longer a follower of truth, but a shoveler of bullshit.

Each one of us needs to acknowledge this, or we become either dangerous or obnoxious, or an annoying blending of the pair.

Many good folk in 1491, who were well-schooled and religious, were convinced that the world was flat. Several years later, when it was proven to be round, the truly intelligent rolled with the punches and realized that science was not destroyed by the revelation, nor was God shrunk.

The ones who continued to contend that the Earth was shaped like a cracker had to promote their bullshit ad nauseam.

How can you tell if you’ve become a bullshitter?

There is a tiny little bell that rings in the human soul when we hear something that resounds with the truth.

Stop muffling the bell.

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Blank

Blank: (n) a space left to be filled in a document.

Dictionary B

Do you remember the various types of tests?

There was the true or false.

Fifty-fifty chance.

Multiple choice.

I prayed there would be at least two ridiculous answers which could easily be eliminated.

Essay question.

For people like me, who felt I could bullshit my way through the procedure.

But then there was fill in the blank.

A sentence constructed with empty spaces, where it was dependent upon the student to provide legitimate knowledge.

Terrifying.

It was nearly impossible to guess.

There were no choices provided.

And of course, there was no room for verbosity to save the day. What was needed was an answer.

Actually, I wish they had offered more tests like that, though I’m sure I would have objected.

For real life is rarely true of false, and honestly, multiple choice is not readily available.

Sometimes much speaking can eradicate a problem, but usually it merely delays the verdict.

But there are always blanks to be filled–and they require real data grounded in truth instead of speculation or the feeling that we can argue with the teacher later, and at least get some credit. 

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Arse

Arse: (n) British spelling of ass.dictionary with letter A

As a writer–and I use that occupational name humbly–I am constantly confronted with the more confounding and contradictory nature of the English language.

There are those who insist that sentence structure is what determines the quality and talent of anyone who composes an essay. Yet honestly, in everyday life, nobody is very concerned about the placement of subjects and predicates.

Other folks believe that intelligence and integrity are procured through using language which is acceptable to your grandmother and rejecting any wording that might make your sixteen-year-old son giggle.

Matter of fact, I have lived through times where using phrases like “my God,” “crap,” or “Oh, my Lord” were deemed by some to be inappropriate.

So imagine my delight when I found out that I merely have to go back to the King’s English to acquire the word “arse” if I want to refer to someone as an “arsehole.”

It frees me of objections and makes me seem quite continental at the same time! And also, while people figure out what it means, I can be the mischievous little boy who got away from the garden toting the watermelon.

Seriously, I will tell you–there are a few words which should never be considered profane because they are so on-point with real life, and describe human emotion better than their more gentle counterparts.

For instance:

  • I’m not going to write that my character was upset when I can say that he was pissed off.
  • When I’m establishing the fact that something is horribly wrong, I am not going to call it bullpoop. It shall be bullshit.
  • When I’m relating a story in which I confess my fault and let you know of my error, I will not call myself mistaken, but rather, an ass.
  • And there are simply some times when a defiant stand demands a “Butlerian” reply: Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Feel free to disagree with me, and if you do, I offer you some wonderful news. You can send me a note which reads, “You are so wrong…you arse.

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