The F-bomb

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Boston was in celebration mode over the weekend, after the capture of marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. There’s been an outpouring of relief. At Saturday’s Red Sox game, there was this memorable moment:

 

 

 

 

In short: David Ortiz, “Big Papi,” spoke before the game, saying: “This is our f***ing city, and nobody gonna dictate us!”

 

 

Naturally the usual silliness broke out:

 

 

a)     Think of the children!

b)    Think of the television audience!

c)     Think of the FCC!

 

 

The head of the FCC almost immediately tweeted that he was fine with this. (He had nothing to lose; the FCC doesn’t regulate cable broadcasts.)

 

 

As for the children: if they haven’t already heard the word, they will hear it (and much worse) in due course.

 

 

Seriously: it’s so silly that people respond so violently to profanity, especially bathroom / anatomical / sexual profanity. I know it’s largely cultural, but the whole idea that the common name of a body part or a sexual function isn’t a “nice” word is just – amazing. I mean, look at me! I can’t even write “f***ing”!

 

 

Because I’m afraid I might shock or offend my readers.

 

 

I know enough about languages, however, to know that this is the way language works. Some languages (such as Tibetan) have a whole different range of vocabulary items which are used in higher-class situations.

 

 

Religious profanity is altogether a different thing. Casual swearing in Jesus’ name is common in most Catholic countries, but is often considered blasphemous in Protestant countries.

 

 

Arabic, of all the languages with which I’m familiar, is the best for swearing. Arabic-speakers combine bathroom words, sexuality, family insults, and religion in the most refreshingly creative ways.  Here’s one of the most creative (please note that I will try to translate in the least offensive way):

 

 

“May God condemn the religion of thy mother’s private parts.”

 

 

Compared to that, Big Papi seems tame, doesn’t he?


 

The curse of the Red Sox

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Partner likes sports a lot, but I’m a little lukewarm on the subject.  I like rugby, but for non-sports-related reasons.  But I do like baseball, sort of. It’s easy to understand (although I still don’t really understand why you’re out if they catch your pop fly), and it’s very slow and restful.  And sometimes the players look pretty hot in their little baseball outfits. I remember seeing Jim Rice pacing around left field in 1983 at Fenway Park; even at a distance, wearing that stupid uniform, he looked menacing.

 

 

Naturally, living in New England, we are Red Sox fans. This is a peculiar kind of fandom. Red Sox fans are generally hopeless about their team’s chances in any given year.  This comes from many years of losing (the Curse of the Bambino, etc.).

 

 

Until 2004, and then again in 2007, when the Red Sox actually won the World Series.

 

 

But it takes more than two championships to change a lifetime’s attitudes.

 

 

This year, for example. We were barely a week into the new baseball season, and the Red Sox had lost their first six games in a row. Six! So I say to Partner: “What if this is the way the whole season goes? What if they lose every single game this season?”

 

 

“They probably will,” he said gloomily.

 

 

When you play Keno, sometimes, there’s a prize for getting none of the numbers. Why not in baseball? It’s amazing to lose six games in a row. (I think Charlie Brown’s Little League team lost every single game one season, but that was only in the comics.)

 

 

Then, of course, the Red Sox had to go and win a game against the New York Yankees. (Which really pissed the Yankees off.) So we broke our streak, but in an entertaining way, because we always enjoy seeing Yankees fans miserable.

 

 

(Go look at those rugby players again. They’re inspirational.)

 


 

 

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