Thursday, June 13, 2013

~Cursing: It's Fun! (And Buckeyes Are #1)

In what will come as a surprise to exactly nofuckingone, I like to curse.  Fine.  In the interest of 'keepin' it real', I love to curse!

I guess I always have. 

I can remember being a LBG (lil' brown girl) and having grownups apologize for their cursing.  Guess what?  When you're raised by Police Officers, who fraternize with other Police Officers, you're gonna hear words generally reserved for ships and truckstops.  Every time I heard, "excuse my french", which always raised my hackles as knowing bon jour and  au revoir, and being familiar with all of the words to Frere Jacques I considered myself a child authority on french  I knew cursing wasn't, in fact, french.  Yep.  Even from a young age I suffered from tooliteralism.

I knew those words weren't for me at that age, but I loved them from early on. 

By the time I approached my 13th birthday I decided as I was on the road to adulthood that I should be granted the usage of adult words. 

Evidently, I asked Mom when would I be old enough to curse?  Her very pragmatic reply was, "when you're old enough not to ask."  Serious biz, y'all, how do you not fuckin' love that?  ...And that my friends, is the day I decided it was time to incorporate hell into my vocabulary.  The next year it was damn, and so on and so on.  After the shit acquisition year I stopped announcing my new annual curse. 

I don't remember expressly being given rules on when I could use my new words, I have made it a practice to refrain from tossing four letter words when around old people, repeat-y age children, hardcore religious folks and unless the client is the curse-y kind in business.   As a general rule, this poses no difficulties for me.  For as curse-y as I am, it's exceedingly rare that I've slipped up and let one of my favorites fly.  I very infrequently curse in front of my parents.  I never curse in front of my Nana.  I'm not all fuckin' this and bullshit that when I'm visiting your mother in the hospital.  I know when to be situationally appropriate. 
However, when hanging with my peeps?  I am all about peppering the conversation with curses.  The more the better.  The longer the string, the more pleased I am.

Some folks don't like cursing.  I donno.  That's each their own territory.  I don't like the words fart or funk/funky.  Hearing them is an assault to my ears.  They set off a head-to-toe chain reaction of internal heebie-jeebs.  I suppose some anti-curse-ers have a similar irrational reason, but I get the impression that more often than not people look down on cursing because they consider such words 'bad words'.  Which allows them moral superiority over curse-ers.  ...And we all know anytime there's an opportunity to gain moral superiority over another member of the herd, people are almost always gonna take it. 

It's just a different mindset.  Notice that I haven't referred to these words as profanities.  That's 'cause when I think of profanity I think of; hate, greed, gossip, poverty, bullying, prejudice and bigotry.  Cocksucker, muther fucker and asshole?  Those are curses.  ...Sometimes those are loving terms of endearment.  One of my favorite people bears the BBG code name, Fucker.  I love him.  He's good people.  He's the kind who if I called and needed a favor, he'd have that favor completed lickidy split and would have spied something else he could do for ya and would have knocked that out too.  But I've known him since we were 14 workin' at the local Dairy Queen.  And lemme tell ya a lil' sumthin'-sumthin' 'bout 14 year old boys;  They tend to be lil' fuckers.  It still tickles me when my phone rings I hear, "hey, it's Fucker..." from the other end.  The usage of fucker is a sign of affinity and how could that be profane?
Due to my love affair with my four lettered friends, I was proud to discover that Ohio had been named the curse-y-ist of all fifty of our grand, and united states.  Suck it, michigan.  You're not even top 5.    ~ BBG (On behalf of Buckeyes everywhere)  Washington had the lowest usage.  In fact, Buckeyes curse twice as much as Washingtonians.
Attention Chicks:  You need to step it up! 
66% of cursing is accomplished by the boys.
Twice as much seems like kind of a large margin, which makes me suspect that those in the Emerald state are engaging in one of my least favorite practices; fake cursery.   I get that there are circumstances when you don't want to curse, let's say in front of your four year old, 'cause no one wants their 4 year old sayin' 'shit'.  Although I saw it happen once.  Actually, he used it in the proper context.  And it was hi-larious.  How I managed to stifle my laughter?  I'll never know.  But come the fuck on.  If you routinely say;  Fudge or son of a biscuit, or the like in front of our peers, in our social circles?  You should know that you don't seem too classy to curse, you seem too pussy to curse.  If you mean it, say it.  Nobody thinks you mean fudge, we know you mean fuck.  So nine times outta 10, it just seems like a silly word choice.  Driven by a wackadoo interpretation of propriety.  Personally, it makes me wonder what else you're likely to be ill equipped to deal with if a word not a slur causes ya a full fledged case o' consternation.
I consider the concept that classy people don't curse complete and utter bullshit.  Agiain, perhaps attributable to my weird ass brain wiring, but when I think of classy I think of people who are generous in spirit and kind in actions, people who comport their lives with a sense of integrity.  None of which is negated by a liberal smattering of swears.  Obviously, everyone is entitled to their own interpretation, but I think if hearing asshat come from someone's piehole eliminates them from being deemed classy, in your estimation, it might be time to re asses your litmus for classy.  I think it's more telling of you than it is them. 
I also refute the notion that cursing reduces the respect people have for you.  Honestly?  If being a decent, loyal, honorable human being who treats others as well as they'll let ya, isn't enough to earn your full respect?  Then is my usage of fuck, isn't reeeeally the problem, now is it?
Some assert that swearing is a sign of a lack of scope of vocabulary.  To wit I say; Ha fuckin' ha  False.  As an affirmed swear-er, it should be noted that I have scads of favorite words, which include:
  • Fiduciary
  • Languid
  • Soliloquy
  • Loquacious
  • Charcuterie
  • Pedantic
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Unctuous
...It just so happens life keeps providing me with many more opportunities to naturally slip asshole into conversation than any of those words without sounding like a pompous, prissy, bitch.  Plus, let's face it.  Cursin' is fun!  It's the linguistic salt and pepper that offers a lil' flavor to an otherwise bland story. 
Bland:  ...So, I'm mindin' my own 'bidness drivin' down the street and this guy pulls in front of me. (...yawn)
Curse-y-er, hence Better:  ...So, I'm mindin' my own 'bidness drivin' down the street when the self appointed King o' the Douchebags decides it's a fabulous idea to pull right the fuck out in front of me.  (...festive and flavorful)
(Thanks to AP who sent this my way)
Get your curse on, kidz!!    
...Of course you could always join the No Cussing Club.  No, really.  That's a real thing.  I'm certain they really know how to have fun, and will probably lead to the salvation of society, righting all wrongs brought on by words, winning Nobel Prizes 'n shit.  Congratulations in advance.  Or take these non-cursing tips which by the way are all shitty.
I will bid you adieu, wait, afuckingdieu (see how much better?) with a laugh and some learnin'...




Thursday, June 6, 2013

~Hate E O's

I wanted to be surprised when a BBGW FB resident ( --BH shout out) suggested I take a peek at the Cherrio dust up when I noticed all of the Googlerific suggestions on the story included the word 'racist'.  (Which if you haven't seen the commercial causing the stir, seriously?  Do you live under a rock? here you go - click).   Of course, then I quickly remembered that there are a whole buncha assholes who walk among us.  And then I wasn't surprised.  At.  All.

Frankly, to me the fact that Cherriogate is a thing is the news story here.  More so than anything some narrow-minded bigots who grew a set of interweb ballz said on YouTube.  A bigot of any kind is already committed to their self imposed stupidity on whatever matter they are bigoted against (gays, blacks, Hispanics, the Irish, Jewish people, Muslim people, et al.) and thrives on continuing--  regardless of the reality and facts or real world experience with/about whoever they are bigoted against, to hold on as tightly as they can to that thinking/talking/behavior-- at any cost.  Rather than assess a person/situation/concept based on actual merit.  That's what being a bigot entails, so while, yeah, finding out that bigots are bein' all bigotry-ee does irk me and make me feel pity for them, the part that catches my interest is that the story itself has garnered such attention.

Which I say is great.  For two reasons actually.  1) As I've always contended, white people need to see, notice and be aware of racism more frequently than they do.  The rest of my sentiment is that black people need to see, notice and be aware that shitty, unfair, shady things do also happen based on the (un)luck of draw that have nothing to do with racism.   ...You know how it is;  Nothing is ever a problem until you notice it's a problem.  I think many caucasian Americans, because they are never the target of it, or are fortunate enough to have surrounded themselves with like minded (-- accepting of all people regardless of differences, real and perceived), work under the assumption that racism is on the decline.  A thing of the past.  We have a 1/2 black, 1/2 white President for heavens sake!  The only racists are Bubba Backhills.  

BBG Random Fun Fact:  I once attended a wedding with three Bubba's also on the guest list.  Damn straight it was good times.

The existence of Cherriogate serves to shine a light on the fact that racism and bigotry are alive and well in America.  In fact, in a grand and despicable display of its prevalence Cherrio's had to shut down the comment section of their YouTube posted commercial due to the growing thread of vitriol filled comments.   

Racism is like Slug Bug.  When your eyes are open to it, you see it more frequently that you would have imagined before you were engaged.   Psssst...It's 2013, it's probably a good time to start playin'

If you are lighter in flesh-y hue than I am (curious? click) it may come as a surprise that since we elected our first non-exclusively white President that racism has not, by executive order, been eradicated.  #44's election(s) is not a sign that racism is over sans a few pockets of holdouts.  It's a tremendous sign that many Americans are not racists.  And it's an indication that things are changing, that we (the collective, we, not just people who look like moi) are stepping forward towards achieving real equality.  For the official record, not only has racism not been eradicated, it ain't even diminished.  In fact, racism is makin' quite the resurgence.  According to a recent AP Poll, "a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice towards blacks".   I'll give ya a minute to let that settle in.

Organized hate groups have also skyrocketed from 888 known groups in 2007 to 1,007 last year (state-by-state hate groups map).  I know, I know.  Statistics.  Abstract numbers.  I don't even know what 888 pennies might look like, how can I get a handle on 888 meetin' holdin' hatefests scattered across the country?  (...Charlie Brown's teacher voice.)  For those of you on the light end of the skin tone spectrum, take a minute and stop to think about this;   Think of the myriad of things you have to worry about, consider and watch out for in your day-to-day life.  Do a quick run down of everything you'll accomplish, everyone you'll come in contact with, and consider what your outlook might be if 51% of the people who decide if you get a promotion, if you get the same loan rate as someone else with your exact same score/income/home cost or weighs in on if you score that big new account actively express prejudice towards whatever you are-- your hair color, your height, the size of your nose, your whatthefuckever.  And now there are 200+ bright and shiny new groups devoted to you hatered.  There.  You just got a lil' insight into what it's like to be black in our country.   You're welcome.

Of course, BBGW visitors who land on the darker side of the skin-lympics than moi, and those who've been paying attention the past several years it comes as zero of a surprise to find that as a society we've regressed in our quest for racial equality.  This latest example only verifies what they've already experienced, that racism is taking a stronger foothold in our nation.   In fact, I don't wanna get all, *the BBG is a see-er* on ya, but  I predicted such events several years ago (click for full post)

"In some ways, it's kinda an odd time in America. On one hand we've managed to vote a man into the White House who like me has the benefit of being made of multiple races. He was elected based on the content of his character, and of course his promise to manage our country better. While this demonstrates a sizable shift in the state of acceptance and perceptions of minorities in our society, I almost feel odd and eerie, as if we're on the brink of seeing some awful things from some of our countrymen.

We're in the midst of hard economic times. People are afraid. Fear of change and the unknown has historically been the catalyst for fervent and more demonstrative outburst of racial biased behaviors and actions in our country. The klan didn't start when Africans were brought to our shores, it started after the Civil War when so many white Southerners were frightened by what free blacks might do, how former slaves freedom might change their way of life, and when they were left in terrible economic straights as consequence to the devastation of the war. It was the easily plyable and those with overwhelming fear who took to the klan's message. The klan positions itself as an organization rooted in Christian ideals, making it's message more palatable and "acceptable" to the target audience.

Do I anticipate a cross burning in my yard anytime soon? No. But, I'm seeing a surge in a more subtle and subversive racially based tone happening in our nation. Some talking heads are busily making up all kinds of new buzz words and catch phrases under the guise of commentating on current events, that are just veiled racist rhetoric. Some times not veiled at all. I find it scary, because it to positioned as "acceptable" and many followers don't view it as anything other than that. I fear that too many good men (and chicks) will do nothing and let evil and hate gain a larger foothold in our society."

It's an ebb and flow thing, our progress towards truly and fully achieving racial equality and harmony.  A two steps forward, one step back thing.  Unfortunately.  We take steps forward from 40 years ago when a black and white couple couldn't legally marry and not all people who looked like me could vote to electing a 1/2 black man into the White House.  Of course there's gonna be dumbass'd and fucked up backlash from those who consider such things too much evolution for their antiquated thinking.  It's human nature really.  Scary shit starts happening and people need to feel right and in control of their world to gain security, their footing in the world.  And if you're incapable to looking inwards to gain that sense of security and all-is-right-and-in-order feelin', you're gonna look outwards to have someone/thing to blame.  If your sense of security is threatened the first people rife for your bigotry are those who look different than you, (in this case, ethnicity, but in others it's religion, sexual orientation, etc.) and well, blame assigned.  Welcome to racism. 

The thing about human nature is that lots of fucked up things are human nature that collectively we've made socially unacceptable.  It's our individual responsibility to master our human nature to evolve into a better functioning society.  My human nature has told me to hit a varied and vast number of people in the head with a brick over the years.  I have not yet because it's my responsibility to master that impulse.  Like a fuckin' reasonable ass, educated adult/citizen of the world.

B)  I like that this story has grown cyber legs because, unlike what some others saw as being somehow offensive in the commercial, I saw what looked a lot like my home growing up.  In fact I neverfuckingwatch commercials--  Thank you, DVR when I saw the commercial it caught my eye because the lil' brown girl looked a lot like me at that age.  If I'd had cuter hair.  And an agent.  It was so captivating because it is so rare for me to see.  ...Which makes it equally as rare for the other 9+ million bi/multi-racial Americans

Ya see, as a little girl called 'Oreo' back in the day, by 2013 I expected the world to be different.  While, yes, I expected to be drivin' a Jetsonmobile, and have my own personal oompa loompa by now, I also expected that when I was grown that we'd reach a beige-y saturation point where racism would be rendered obsolete.   Also known as the day fuckin' strangers in the grocery store would feel free to cease asking me, "what are you?"  Certainly a time where seein' a wee brown lass on tv wouldn't set off a cue of crass comments.

I'm sure most people take it for granted that they see people who look like them reflected in day-to-day marketing and entertainment.  What I suspect most people don't note is the subliminal impact that has on their world view and self perception.  I mean, I'm a grown ass woman who with my background in advertising, is kinda advertising/media savvy and I loved seein' someone who looked like me, imagine how powerful that is to an eight year old?  It sends a very, hey the world knows you're here sense of acknowledgement.   And it serves as a point of reference to those non-brown, that those "exotic" Q: If there are 9+ million of me am I still exotic?  lookin', vaguely tawny, quasi ethnic lookin' people live exactly the same regular lives as anyone else.  Both, in my estimation being valuable images to portay to the masses in addtion to making a direct personalized pitch to a valuable market segment.

In the U.K. it's reported that 5% of ads have 'minorities' while 13% of their population is comprised of non-whites.  It's hard to imagine the U.S. is too far off that mark.   It's estimated that by 2045 'minorities' will make up the majority of America's population, it seems high time that our marketing messages are starting to be reflective of that.  It would seem that anything else is a disingenuous representation of what we are as a nation.  And who's to benefit from that?  A:  Nobody.   One of the first steps to solving a problem is to be honest about it.  How can we ever get about the business of putting this to bed if we're too busy whitewashing things?  It's no different than subscribing to the thought process that if we stop talkin' about something it'll just magically go away.  As much as I like that theory it just doesn't work.  Trust me.  I've tried it.  Several times.  Times it's worked out?  Zero.  Change and evolution takes work and effort.  Gettin' on board with it, or resisting it.  Hopefully the fact that something as insanely innocuous as a cereal commercial creating such an outcry is the tipping point that gets more people noticing the climate we're in and playing an active role in shaping a more tolerant, respectful and dare I say, loving society for ourselves.

Clearly, neither of these (or any others) were intended consequences of Cherrio's advertising, who's goal was simply slingin' some O's.  But it has generated conversations about race across the country.  Congratulations, you've just engaged in one.  And reminded us that we all still have a lot of work to do to create a country where we all are free from the shackles of bigotry that even in 2013 still bind us and hold us back from being a better nation than we are. 

As always, feel free to put your $0.02 in via the comment section below or on the Big Brown Girl World Facebook page.

Peace out my peeps.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Weird Always Welcome

I'm not sure what it says about me, but my, the weirder the better streak is strong in this one. 

When people say, "do you wanna hear sumthin' weird?"  My answer is always an immediate, 'hellz yeah' do you not know me at all?.  I have a deep appreciation for weird, wackadoo and bat shit crazy like others have for fine wine, gourmet food and objects d'art.  I treasure odd. 

And lemme tell ya, I know from weird, kids.  My friends who are unfairly subjected to entertained by all of my BBG tales have a code name for me.  It is Queen 'O Freaks which I wish came with a scepter, cloak and crown.  Seriously.  Can someone pleeeease get on that?  I like the title, because it's both royal and true.  I don't have a ton of, what you call-- talent or skills, but what I do have is the innate ability to draw characters and situations that I'm pretty sure on any given day are not being experienced by anyone else I know.

Now I don't want to gloat but a few examples...
  • Random happy hour with co-workers-  Nondescript, family run, beer servin' pizza joint.  I'm hob-knobin' with my peeps at a table.  A few people are walking by leaving, they look like family and one is an elderly lady who says hello as she passes by.  I, not being raised by wolves said hellooooo back.  The next thing I know she has stopped to say sumthin' innocuous to me.  I reply.  It was all very cross generational, isn't it nice when strangers are friendly.  Um.  Until she, quicker than one would expect an ol' broad to be able to move bent the fuck down and kissed me.  I would say on the lips, however my cat-like BBG reflexes had juuuuuuust enough time to squish my lips together so that they would be facing the inside. 
  • I once had to dance with a man named Huckleberry.  It was a blues joint in Chicago.  He had overalls on.  One strap unbuckled.  And no shirt.  All he was missin' was:
    hangin' off his thumb.  ...Oh, and when I say 'had to dance with a man named Huckleberry', I don't mean;  'desired to'.
  • A stranger man once high five'd me in the grocery store.  I still have no idea why.
  • On a long ago St. Patrick's Day a fellow reveler, upon hearing that I'd never tried corned beef offered me some.  From a ziplock.  Which he was carrying in his front pants pocket.  ...Um.  No thanks.
  • I've seen a woman with no foot dance on a peg leg.  Not a prosthetic foot.  A.  Peg.
  • I used to be friendly with a guy who wore snakes laced in his high tops.  (Unsolicited BBG Tip:  Listen.  You know a guy with snakes in his laces is eventually gonna snap and go on some sorta spree.  When he does it behooves you to be the one he associates as being the nice person he likes.)
So when I say my level for assessing weird is high, I know from whence I speak.  From my experience, both with weirdness and in knowing what happens in the lives of the people I know, my weird tends to run weird-er than most.  Now normally a voicemail/email/text exchange with a friend wouldn't rise to the level to qualify for the Well, That's Weird: BBG The Official Record.  With that said, most exchanges wouldn't have gone like this...

I jingle my friend Fucker (A pic of Fucker et moi & a wee bit of how we know each other) and his outgoing says he's away until later this week.  I surfuckingprise am calling for no real reason and tell him that I'll shoot him an email, but that it's nuthin' that requires his attention.  I send him an email with the details on something I'd spied that I thought he'd like to know about and P.S.'d him with a terse reminder that he hadn't touched base about the me coming over with my shotguns/rifle for a cleaning and visiting session that we had discussed the last time we talked six or so weeks ago.    And a sign-off that; "This is only one of the reasons your codename is still Fucker. True story."  As always, yes, it is a wonder I have any fuckin' friends.  At.  All.  Because his outgoing vm was crystal clear that he wouldn't be returning until next week I didn't expect to hear a response from him until then.  Alas twenty minutes later I received:

Fucker (via text):  Just woke up!  I'm in Alaska killing things!
Fucker (via text):  See! 
(TWO THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PICTURE THAT I'M NOT SHOWING YOU:  1)  You're welcome.  B)  Fucker verrrry much looks like he is engaged in some sorta beastiality/necrophilia fetishist wet dream in the photo.  ...I'm hoping to be the first to tell him he looks like he's fuckin' a bear. [BBG fingers crossed])

Fucker (via text):  271 yards.  Hit it twice!  At that range!
Fucker (via text):  Monday evening at my house to get to gun cleanin', be there 6pm

I could always be wrong, but I'm guessing you don't have a shotgun/rifle cleaning party planned.  Didn't receive a dead black bear pic.  Won't have the glee of alerting a life long friend that when the rumor that he's into animal fuckin' makes it's way back to him that you know who started it. 

And for that, you have my sympathies.

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