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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Swearing at Vernon Bogdanor

Regular commenter here Nick M takes a wack at Vernon Bogdanor:

Progress occurs when free people do things. It just happens Boggy. It is retarded when retards like you try and gerrymander it. In 1900 the fastest growing economy on the planet was Russia’s. Look at the plight of the place now? There is nothing “progressive” about being progressive.

I was going to put that up as a Samizdata quote of the day, but I reckon the feline enumerator has his sneer quotes around the wrong “progressive” there. Still, good stuff, albeit sweary.

Talking of which, I do wonder about this swear-blogging thing. The bad news is that respectable bloggers who might give particular (swear-)blog postings of merit lots of new readers are put off by the swearing from linking to such postings. (Telegraph Blogger Alex Singleton recently told me exactly this.) On the other hand, a lot of people are very angry just now, not just, you know, in a state of respectful disagreement with the powers that, for the time being, be. Such angry persons deserve voices around which to rally, voices which communicate their feelings rather than just their thoughts.

Swear-blogging may also mean that, by assembling all the angry ones in a cursing, seething internet mob, in a way that completely alienates our present version of Polite Society, the angry ones will achieve a far greater degree of tactical surprise come the storming of the Winter Palace, or whatever will be the equivalent event or events during the next few years. Polite Society just won’t see it coming, because it simply cannot now bear to look. It will consequently swing in far greater numbers from lamp-posts (or again, whatever will turn out to be the modern equivalent) than would otherwise have happened. Which just might be a rather fucking good thing.

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23 comments to Swearing at Vernon Bogdanor

  • Yes, I buggered-up the quotes marks. Mea culpa.

    I then couldn’t be arsed to change them.

    And yes, my wife did pull me up (oh, err Missus) on my swearing and sexual euphemism.

  • tdh

    How come there’s no swearing at the Queen for our beknighted Teddy Kennedy? Did he actually perform a service so great as to outweigh not only his deep and manifold character flaws, but also his treasonous, premature declaration that the war in Iraq was lost, thus further endangering the troops there?

    How do you swing a reputation from a lamppost, once its owner is gone?

  • George Atkisson

    In this case you append the person(s) who recommended the knighthood to the appropriate vertical fastener.

  • RAB

    What nick M does is of a factor of ten, over just plain swearing.
    He is funny and inventive with it.

    Ted Kennedy getting a Knighthood is an absolute bloody disgrace!
    Quite apart from the Chappaquiddick incident( I only learned yesterday that the poor bloody woman didnt drown, she aspyxiated trapped in an airpocket, if the drunken asshole had called for help right away, she might be a grandmother now. That’s fuckin murder in my book, but the sodding Kennedy’s are American aristocracy aint they? Fuckin fireproof no matter what they do) and his general letcherous drunken doings, his unswerving support for the IRA, and general hatred of Great Britain should have earned him a bullet in the back of the head, not a major honour from this country.

    Absolute effing shower, the whole bloody arrogant clan, all the way back to that bastard Bootlegger diplomat, big daddy Joe!

  • Laird

    Colorfully expressed, RAB, but essentially accurate.

    It says pretty much all you need to know about the electorate of Massachusetts that they have been sending this embarassment to Congress for decades. And various Kennedy spawn have been sent to Congress by the good people of New York and Rhode Island, too. The contagion has spread.

    One small problem with the knighthood: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the US Constitution states, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” Not that there would be any problem in getting it, but I hope Congress has the decency to formally consent to Kennedy’s knighthood. They should at least pretend that they know (or care) what’s in the Constitution.

  • Kevin B

    I’m not a great swearer compared to most, but in the context of a really good rant, and Nick M’s post was certainly that, it definitely has it’s place.

    My only cavil would be the overuse of the c word. If you want to call, i.e., Gordon Brown a F**king c**t feel free. In fact I’ll join you. But using the c word as an adjective or adverb is, for me at least, pushing it a bit far.

    As for the Sir Ted business, it’s a quid pro quo for something he did in Ireland I expect, mixed in with a bit of a sympathy vote for the fact that his few remaining neurons have decided they’ve had enough of trying to function in an achoholic, possibly syphilitic, brain and decide to clump together in a last desperate bid for death or glory.

    It’s just a further debasing of an already debased currency. Knighthoods, (and the rest of the numerous ‘honours’ dished out by the political aristocracy amongst themselves), are about as meaningful these days as Nobel Peace prizes.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Kevin B wins a beer for that last line about the Nobel Peace prizes.

  • RAB

    Thanks Laird,
    I try to use alliterative humour rather than flat out swearing, though there are plenty of Bloody’s and fuckin’s in my posts.
    I have to be vary careful with the C… word round the house Kevin B, cos the wife absolutely hates the word!

    If it occasionally slips out, She whacks me round the head!
    Funny the power of language innit?

    Oh and Perry. Have you been playing with your Bot?
    I havent been smited for ages 😉

  • A very attractive feature of blogs is the freedom to say whatever you want in them. That doesnt mean you should take every opportunity to drop the c-word, of course.

    I pointed a friend to my own blog, and after reading she said, ‘you are a very angry man.’ Well, no. This exposes the fact that I am projecting a stance in my blog, which isnt necessarily my normal resting state in the world of meat.

    I swear sometimes, but try to avoid overdoing it, as I suspect that the rare f-bomb dropped surgically into a topic is more effective than a blanket barrage.

  • Laird

    I agree with Darryl. Vulgarity and profanity have their place, but with overuse they lose their power. Moderation in all things . . . .

  • Kevin B

    Ah yes RAB. Takes me back to my own days of married bliss… Or even further back to when I was a youngster trying out adult things. My Mum was not very appreciative of bad language either, though I managed to avoid the soap and water mouthwash treatment by the skin of my teeth sometimes.

    And thanks for the beer Johnathan. I’ll enjoy it later tonight.

  • Kim du Toit

    As one of the earlier “swear-bloggers” (I later moderated it, unless severely provoked), I don’t really mind swearing, because in a print medium, it’s difficult to convey anger in your tone without it. (If you just use strong words, you come out sounding like Charles Krauthammer or Chris Hitchens.)

    Of course, if I were still blogging now, the posts would probably be one long string of curses, profanities and Very Bad Words.

    Kinda like the ol’ Devil.

    Finally, allow me to bring to public notice (courtesy of Rachel Lucas) the absolutely perfect term for the 44th President of the United States:

    Obama Christ Superstar

  • Eric

    Eh, “boggy”?

    I would have thought Teddy’s sympathy for the IRA would have been a knighthood killer, but as a “Yank” I don’t know about such things.

  • Obamessia is much better, IMO.

    Kevin:

    But using the c word as an adjective or adverb is, for me at least, pushing it a bit far.

    But that’s the beauty of it: it gives the c word that extra dimension it so desperately needs in order to fit in a discussion with a generic topic. It turns it into a useful metaphor, rather than a mere “dirty word”. BTW, I just don’t see how the c word is supposed to be insulting. I can think of at least one alternative from the same arsenal that is much more fitting.

    Laird: moderation should not be an aim in and of itself, it has to serve a purpose. Some times it does, and some times it doesn’t.

  • Laird

    Alisa, that’s merely the flip side of what I said. “Moderation in all things” was just a quotation (Terence).

  • Can we then agree on “moderation in all things, including moderation”?:-)

  • Pa Annoyed

    I’d have said swearing at someone was moderate, compared to throwing green custard in their face. It’s all relative, innit?

    And what’s the point in substituting a formula like ‘the c-word’ if we all know exactly which word you mean? Isn’t it equivalent? Do the Gods not notice and punish your sin if you obfuscate the forbidden words? Can they not spell?

    Oh ngtqt op gwxwmq, on op ox kwoxe ngt qoegn ngoxe, tltx ngwmeg xwxt pgfzz tltq ptt, tltq sxwj, ngwmeg on cwpn bwm tltqbngoxe fxk jox bwm xwngoxe. Cfx bwm utzotlt ngt kfqs xoegn op nqmzb tyvnb wh tbtp nw ptt, nw gwvt hwq xw koloxt qtjfqk, nw htfq xw gtzz, fxk btn gwzk nw bwmq vqoxcovztp? Yb wjx tbtp fqt ngtqt, fxk ngtb fqt pmhhocotxn. O fy yb wjx dmket.

    Can I get away with saying that sort of thing, do you think, if nobody can read it? I suppose it’s a matter of following the letter of the rules rather than their spirit. But since they’re only words, I suppose it’s the letters that matter.

    The most valuable aspect to swearing like that is that it forcefully reminds the reader of The Rules – of the tiny policeman in their own head. It reminds some that those rules are breakable. It reminds others that the rules are there to make you think before you break them. Whose rules are they? When did we choose to follow them?

  • Alsadius

    Why are the quotes wrong? This:

    There is nothing “progressive”(socialist) about being progressive(in favour of progress).

    is a perfectly valid reading. It’d scan better if the quotes were on the other one, but it’s still correct.

  • RAB

    Well of course you can get away with saying that if none can read it (or perhaps understand it would be preferable, though strangely I seem to be able to)

    No read or understand, means no offence taken, but no meaningful communication either.

  • baron

    i am not afraid to call Obama a cunt because he is. Obama is in the process of sovietising our economy and cosying up to the islamofascists – any sane person can see that this man is evil and is ready to bring America, the last hope of freedom and liberty, to its knees. God help us all

  • Pa Annoyed

    RAB,

    So it’s not writing the c-word that makes some people feel awkward about doing it, but other people being able to read it? I take your point.

  • Paul Marks

    I also use a “C word” when thinking about Comrade President Barack Obama – but it is not the word “cunt”.

    As for progress – it is very hard work.

    Some people come up with clever ideas that transform things – but most people just make things better by doing their jobs to the best of their ability and thus helping to build up the capital base.

    The capital base that has been twisted and undermined by the flood of funny money – the Alan “saves the world” Greenspan endless increases in the money supply (magnified by the fractional reserve system) and now the insane TARP and other bailouts.

    In Britain the Bank of England was at least as misguided as Mr Greenspan – and we have our own TARP. In fact as a proportion of the British economy it is bigger.

    There can be no overall progress under the conditions that now exist in Britain and the United States.

    It is not even proper Marxism.

    In the United States it is Marxist ideas mixed with Keynesian ones (Piero Sraffa style) – a vile mutation.

    And in Britain it is a man,Prime Minister Brown, who had the reputation of being antiMarxist in the Scottish Labour Party.

    Mr Brown has delusions that the state can guide private business to the common good – and can do this on a vast scale (for example he believes in interantional wage control and banking regulations by a world government).

    It is like Mussolini – a man who abandoned classical Marxism for his own collectivism notions.

    So we have an alliance of mutant Marxism in the case of Mr Obama and updated Fascism in the case of Mr Brown.

    At this point I do feel a bit like swearing.