Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: language

Our Genitalia are our Friends

cactus

I kvetched about my current man cold on Facebook, and how I was stuck in bed sick, and then felt embarrassed about it. What kind of wimpy image am I presenting to others? So, I updated my status and said that I wasn’t going to be a “pussy” anymore. I was going to get out of bed, go to the Chinese restaurant, and get myself some soup. I didn’t need NO WOMAN to take care of me when I have a cold.

The comments were supportive, but one online friend, Maddie, had this to say —

While not offended I often wonder why being weak is associated with the word “pussy”… which of course is slang for female genitalia… I mean if anything that word should be a sign of strength… not many things can push out a 8-11 pound little human and be ready for use again a couple of days/weeks later!”

He comment blew me away. She was right! I immediately apologized and said I would never use the word “pussy” as a synonym for weakness again. After all, it is woman, not the man, who pushes past the cold and doesn’t cry over a few sniffles. It is the woman who is usually the stronger sex, juggling work and family. Besides, what man in his right mind wants to associate the word “pussy” with a negative trait? Is there anything more gorgeous than a woman’s Holy Grail? Men bow before a woman’s pussy. Men have launched a thousand ships for a woman’s pussy. The most ardent atheist has yelled “Thank you, God Almighty,” when his dreams of a woman’s pussy come true.

Pussies are beautiful and strong. Pussies are LIFE.

When someone holds the door for me when I walk into a supermarket and gives me a smile that warms the very center of my soul, I should be able to say “You, kind soul, are a Pussy,” and both of us understand it as the ultimate compliment of gratitude.

Pussies rock, and we should stop using this word as an expression of weakness or incompetence.

flower

But let’s turn to a more controversial subject — and his name is Dick. We all agree that pussy represents goodness and Life. So why do we continue to continue to associate “dick” with the most vilest of human beings. If a guy is arrogant, he is a dick. If he a cheat, a two-timer, a philanderer, obnoxious, a back-stabber, or just plain unpleasant — we think of him as a dick. Javet in Les Miserable is a dick. That crazy anti-gay pastor is a dick. Lance Armstrong was a dick. Why such hatred for the poor Dick? Isn’t he important too? Why not off-Broadway shows for him on Valentine’s Day?

Much like the female genitalia, the male version is an amazing work of heavenly architecture. It grows. It moves. It does tricks. It impregnates. There are a million dildos and sex toys on the market, but most women would still prefer the human dick. Just like the pussy, the dick SHOULD represent love and affection and procreation — everything that makes life worthwhile.

If we want our boys to grow up to be respectful and loving, especially when it comes to their relationships with women, why continue to see their sex organs as aggressive and hateful jerks rather than George Clooney-types — fun-loving, happy-go-lucky and extremely handsome gifts from Mother Nature?

Let’s embrace our genitalia and see them as friends. Let’s turn our pussies and dicks from insults into expressions of joy and love!

“Thank you, for holding the door for me. You are a real pussy.”

“Oh, no problem. I love that shirt you wearing. It makes you look like a total dick.”

“Really, I’m glad you like it. I bought it at Nordstrom’s, you asshole.”

“Oh, really. They have such nice stuff. Have a nice day, you fucker.”

Now imagine that as beautiful. That is the world I want to live in.

Violent Language

Even if Sarah Palin’s website didn’t cause Jared Loughner to go out and shoot Representative Gabrielle Gifford in this weekend’s horrific incident, few of us think Palin’s bulls-eye map was a very civilized way of making a political point.

But she has a right to do it.

As a writer, I lean towards freedom of speech and expression.  I don’t know how many times in my lifetime I have seen movies, books, or rock and rap music blamed for every ill in society.  Sarah Palin didn’t cause the killer to plan an assassination.  I don’t respect her use of gun imagery for political gain, but she has legal right, much in the same way that I believe a cartoonist can draw a cartoon of Mohammed without fear of being murdered.  It only becomes illegal when the person really cries fire — or calls for a jihad — or murder.

We are all vying for attention with our words and ideas, both in the old and new media.   Sadly, most of us have become just like Sarah Palin.   We use controversial metaphors in order to gain attention.  It is what sells.  It is what makes us watch and listen.  No one hears you clearly if you debate in a reasoned manner.  I thought this type of journalism might change with the election of the intellectual Obama, but, instead, he is called a wimp if he isn’t fighting like an angry dog.

But if we are going to honestly talk about violence in language and every day discourse, I say we also look at ourselves.  We live in a violent and unstable society, and there is a legitmate need for many of us to express our anger — at our government, our families, and even ourselves.  But are we getting too comfortable employing violent imagery in our writing to grab attention, much like Sarah Palin?

As a little experiment, I did Twitter searches on common phrases I read all the time online:

“I want to shoot someone.”

“I want to punch someone in the face.”

“I want to stab someone.”

And you’d be surprised at how many statements like this are made every MINUTE.  More surprising are the positive responses these statements get in return, usually a lot of laughter and agreement.   Clearly, we understand the context of the statements.  We assume the nice college kid writing “I wants to shoot the guy in the supermarket for talking loudly on his cellphone” isn’t REALLY going to shoot him.   The contrast of the statement and the reality is what makes the statement amusing.

We all enjoy writing “I want to punch that guy in the nose” every once in a while.  I know I do.  It is cathartic.  But I’m afraid that violent-aggressive language has become more of the norm rather than the exception, especially online.  I’m sure we don’t do it consciously.  It is the trickle down effect of a society obsessed with violence.   We find violence more “real” — and cooler — than sense and sensibility.   Hey, we can talk like inner city rappers  (even from our safe suburban homes!)  I would hate to think that this type of writing becomes as common in our society as it is for unstable twenty year olds to walk around with Glock pistols in their pockets.

Goats Around the World

goat2.jpg 

I have no idea whether anyone is interested in this other than me, but I found it fascinating that different cultures “hear” animal sounds in completely different ways. 

And it’s my blog, so I’ll post about it anyway.

This is how goats sound around the world:

    Afrikaans: mê-mê
    Albanian: me-e me-e
    Arabic (Algeria): maa maa
    Arabic (Morocco): maaaazz
    Catalan: bée
    Croatian: meee-heee
    Danish: mæh
    Dutch: mèèh
    English: baaah
    French: bêêê
    German: mähh, mähh
    Hebrew: meeee meeee
    Hindi: me:-me:
    Indonesian: mbek
    Korean: um-meeeee
    Norwegian: mæ
    Polish: meee, meee
    Russian: mee
    Spanish (Spain): bee bee
    Swedish: bää
    Thai: bae bae (with high tone)
    Turkish: be-e-e-eh be-e-e-eh
    Ukrainian: me-me

I found the information at this terrific site.

Did you know that Hebrew speakers hear dogs go “Hav Hav?”