MSNBC: Cussing is Good for You!

Say it ain’t fucking so, Joe!

After MSNBC scolded us yesterday for using language unfit for a vice president on the floor of the Senate, we feared that our potty mouths were a bigger threat to the Republic than war crimes carried out in our name. But thankfully, MSNBC’s online health columnist tells us we’re just doing what comes naturally when faced with the profanity of the world:

“There are a lot of elements that are out of our control right now and as a result, there’s a lot more frustration, a lot more fear and anxiety,” [L.A. psychotherapist Nancy Irwin] says. “When people feel that, many cuss. Swearing is something that gives us an instantaneous release.”

That it does. And we’re not alone in seeking the bliss of a Chaucerian outburst — Gallup finds that 74 percent of Americans frequently “encounter” profanity in public. Online, the delightful site Cursebird tracks real-time swearing on Twitter — Thursday leaders included fuck, shit, bitch, bastard and twat.

Of course, our beat includes culture and politics, so what do today’s role models have to say?

Expletives are so commonplace, there’s almost no cuss-free zone anymore. President Barack Obama’s chief of state, Rahm Emanuel, is notorious for his foul-mouthed tirades. Recent outbursts by celebrities and public figures such as Christian Bale, Rod Blagojevich and Joe Scarborough are just a few other recent examples.

Wait — Joe Scarborough? The MSNBC morning host who talked about folks “screaming ‘fuck you’ at the top of their lungs” last November 10? Well, we’re sure he was scolded, too. Because while advertisers are happy to underwrite the vilest shit on Fox News and talk radio, heaven forbid a blog should post something offensive.

Recession F-bombs: Why swearing feels great [MSNBC, March 18]

My first boss was a crusty old Scotsman who could punch holes in the wall with his speech. What amazed me was his ability to sound like a foul mouthed sailor and then turn around and sound eloquent when he had to usher VIPs around. Of course I borrowed a page from his book with the speaking real purtier than 20 dollar whore/foul mouthed sailor act.

One lesson that I also learned was I never swore before the person I just met did. Saved me when I met a boss who turned out to be a Christian Fundamentalist (of the neo lib stripe) and who later tried to convert me when he found out I was an atheist.

@ManchuCandidate: My current stint in the broom closets of power (just off the corridors, natch) shows that political appointees tend to follow the zeitgeist. I really was shocked at the amount of f-bombs dropped during staff meetings when I first arrived.

I notice that CP is still scrolling the MSNBC ad, despite the fact that “profanity” is part of the pitch for the site.

@ManchuCandidate: Last night, ah, yesternight, I saw an uncut version of Blazing Saddles, and as that scene began I was mouthing the line in anticipation, “you use your mouth purtier than a twenty dollar whore.” What a classic movie.

I noticed something I had never noticed before, or had forgotten because I probably haven’t seen an un-edited version of the movie in over 20 years. Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder are smoking a joint in almost every single scene. Really, not just occasionally, every single time a scene begins in the sherrif’s office, they are rolling, lighting, or putting out a joint. Its the biggest pothead movie ever.

We’re selling Ford Fusion Hybrids in the sidebar now. Jalopnik say it’s a better car than the Camry Hybrid. If any of you need a four-door sedan, buy one. If I did, it’s what I would buy.

In all fairness, it’s pretty clear from the clip Scarborough meant to say “you cock sucking dago bastard” instead of the word “fuck.”

My husband spent one of his college summers working in construction in Nova Scotia. (His parents had just moved there from upstate NY, to his father’s new job.) The favorite oath of one of his coworkers, Gerard Lamontagne, was “Un tabernacle avec cinq etages!” I can’t produce credible French vowels with my lazy midwestern American mouth, or I would use it myself.

@Nabisco: Five stars for “the broom closets of power.”

Ford is the only major domestic car manufacturer that did not access federal bailout funds, has a management team that (unlike GM) seems capable of facing reality and are not complete fuckwits. They are the only domestic manufacturer I’d consider now.

they should use that as an advertising banner:

“Buy Ford. Because we’re not fuckwits.”

I’m thinking about the Ford/Volvo XC70 to replace my ten year old Jeep Grand Cherokee.

It was difficult for me going from a law firm, where no one took you seriously until you said “Now look, goddammit”, to an academic library where we were supposed to be all “sensitive” and “respectful”. Sometimes swearing is the only thing keeping me from shooting up everything in sight. Well, that and the lack of an automatic weapon.

@libertarian tool: Thats why they sell half as many cars as GM.

If you choose your car based on perceived personal qualities of the employees of the manufacturer, as opposed to the attributes of the vehicle itself, thats kinda like choosing marlboros because that cowboy dude is really manly, and you want to be manly, too.

The fact is that sometimes fuckwits make better products than aspergery genius sociopaths. I have seen fuckwits who produce a better product out of ignorance, for example, because they lack the expertise to know how to really cut corners and shave tolerances, and thus increase profits. It takes great engineering to produce a vehicle in which each and every part crumbles to dust on the 4th anniversary of its manufacture.

Yup, your criteria for choosing a vehicle are pretty fuckwitted.

Also, plus, you’ll be driving a Ford. Which sucks.

@libertarian tool: Get one coming off a lease and let someone else eat the depreciation. OTOH – the sweeteners might be so good at this point that new makes sense. OTOOH – looks like their rebate offer blows right now.

@Mistress Cynica: I learned cursing in the home. I shock every human being I come into contact with. I get cautioned to tone down my lectures, because the more delicate among the womenfolk are getting the vapors, on a regular basis.

From observing my father, I learned that adult humans consumed only 2 liquids: Coffee, before noon, and beer, after noon. Noon was negotiable. Apparently, its always after noon somewhere. And I learned that every third word, at minimum, in adult conversation, had to be one of the following: “fuck,” “shit,” “asshole,” “cocksucker,” “prick,” “bastard,” “ratbastard,” or “sad sack of shit.”

As in “look at that libertarian cocksucker, the motherfucking ratbastard. He is a sad sack of shit, the rotten prick.”

@blogenfreude: The sweeteners right now make new the bargain. Trust me. And there is an above-the-line income tax deduction for the sales tax, so you get to take it even if you don’t itemize.

@Prommie: One of my prouder moments was when my foreign-born wife artfully deployed the eff-bomb in conversation during the elections last year. What is difficult is trying to be the language heavy with the kids (poop: okay, shit: timeout, young man!), all the while knowing that Carlin is perched on my shoulder reminding me they are just words.

@Nabisco: Yes, I am forced, at home, to “think of the children,” its frustrating, sometimes.

@Prommie: GM fucked up Saab in some semi-significant ways – sort of de-Saabed them. Ford, to it’s credit, left Volvo pretty much alone.
@libertarian tool: One more suggestion from the automotive portion of my brain – think about whether you could get by with a front-drive Volvo wagon. AWD adds a level of expense and complexity that could cost you down the road. Few people need AWD, and if you do, you probably shouldn’t be out in those conditions. If I had to get a wagon, I’d think Volvo V70, the R version (because I’m a gearhead). If I needed AWD I’d look at Subaru too – they’re built here at least.

@blogenfreude: Oh, yes, GM’s murder of my favorite car company, you won’t hear me defending them for that. But just drive a new Malibu. Just do it, for fun.

@Prommie: I’ll ask for one next time I have to rent a car. I believe the Malibu shares the platform now w/ a 9-3, and that platform is also used for … an Opel maybe? Not a big deal – Ford’s Taurus and the mid-size Volvos all share a platform now. To paraphrase Richard Hammond – it depends on you which box you use to haul around your airbags.

Ooh, hey, let’s see if we can get the word “poon” or “choad” up to number one on the twit parade…

I generally don’t buy new for exactly that reason. No rush. I’ll wait to see what kinds of deals are in the offing, will assess the sweeteners, and probably wait until Summer or Fall.

Wow. That is just great that GM makes more cars than Ford. OTOH Ford is a viable company and GM is a bankrupt zombie that can only pretend to be going concern for exactly as long as we continue to put billions of public funds in their hands to maintain that illusion.

One big reason for GM’s collapse is that their management continued to maintain manufacturing capacity far in excess of demand for their cars. So lets just say I’d rather buy a car from a company that sells fewer cars but has proven management that can run a company in good times and bad, as opposed to a an organization that only exists as a conduit for corporate welfare.

The more fed money, the more strings that come with it, the more the cars will be designed to meet DC perceptions of what car buyers should have as opposed to what car buyers actually want, and the more the business model will be written in Washington. Not necessarily a bad thing. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid may very well be brilliant car designers.

I haven’t used the Jeep 4WD often. Even when I’m on a fishing or abalone diving backroad adventure, it is high clearance that is far more important. But there have been a couple of episodes over the life of the jeep where I have been glad I had the 4WD, generally because conditions changed. Probably would have gotten out without it, but just feel better with it.

@libertarian tool: Or you could throw caution to the wind and get one of these. An SS (it has Brembo brakes). You’d be surprised how many kids you can shove in the backseat.

Yeah… pretty. However, Mrs. Tool has made it clear that a midlife crisis car is not in my future. However, if I was to indulge my adolescent fantasies I would still lean to the Ford Shelby GT 500, or even better – if I could afford it, the original.

This has nothing to do with the relative merit of these current incarnations of the muscle cars of my youth. More likely, my preference for the Shelby is a distant echo of those high school lunchroom debates over the Cobra vs. the Corvette Stingray. In my mind it was no contest. I wanted that Shelby – even if Motor Trend was clearly in the bag for GM.

@libertarian tool: the more the cars will be designed to meet DC perceptions of what car buyers should have as opposed to what car buyers actually want

Everyone knows what car buyers actually want. Problem is, they also want 29-cent gas to fill it.

@libertarian tool: Your right – the Mustang is pretty tempting. My problem with it is that it’s got a solid rear axle. Everyone I’ve talked to who has driven one says the handling is seriously compromised. I’d have to drive them (and the Challenger of course) before I decided how I wanted to go back to high school.

Shelby can turn a Ford into a good car, its true. But Ford can’t make a good car by putting a Shelby sticker on it. Nothing Ford makes can touch the current generation corvettes.

I am still surprised, tool, that you choose cars not on the qualities of the cars, but rather as a means of expressing your value judgment on the executives of the companies that make the cars. Almost as if you think your personal judgments on such matters are important or at least more important than they ought to be to you. Almost as if, you believe that you possess the truth and the light and the Way and all others are inferior idiots.

@Prommie: There’s actually a rational basis for Tool’s argument: Who’s gonna service the warranty five years from now?


“Almost as if, you believe that you possess the truth and the light and the Way and all others are inferior idiots.”

Don’t make me start dragging some of your comments up here to throw against this criteria.


“There’s actually a rational basis for Tool’s argument…”

You sound… surprised.

@libertarian tool: @Prommie: Now now, fellas. It’s cocktail hour somewhere, let’s light ’em up, eh wot?

@libertarian tool: Not surprised, just observant.

And bear in mind that I don’t place much stock in “rational” argument — I’ll grant anyone their logic, but let’s have a look at the presumptions. That’s where the action is.

@libertarian tool: Oh laws, no, don’t drag up my comments, anything but that, oh noes, please don’t hurt me, Mr. Tool, please don’t hurt me.

You weren’t observant, Nojo, you were inventive. You found “a logic,” which would work, as opposed to “the logic” which was actually stated. Twice.

Now I am going to go buy a handle of Boodles gin, rather than reward those knuckleheaded executives at Tanqueray who refuse to accept that logical positivism has been effectively refuted. Idiots. Probably use PCs.

@libertarian tool:

My ride is a V70 2.4T named “Swedish Magic” that’s fantastic for hauling around the fur babies (the boxy styling is a double +). It was a low mileage, lease return vehicle, and we saved about 40% off vs. buying new. We’ve had it four years with absolutely no problems, just the regular, annual maintenance.

One surprising gripe: the car is total shit on snow and ice, which we’ve learned the hard way during the last few unusually harsh winters, so you may want to go with the XC70 AWD if that’s a concern (that’s probs gonna be our next car some years down the road–the new model is suuhh-weeet. I guess the fact that a Swedish station wagon gives me a chubby means I’m a suburban daddy fag for life).

Now we just need to get those side flames painted on.


Let’s take one more crack at this, then I’m done:

“I am still surprised, tool, that you choose cars not on the qualities of the cars, but rather as a means of expressing your value judgment on the executives of the companies that make the cars.” – prom

I can buy identical products at a much lower price at Walmart than I can at other retailers. That makes shopping at Walmart a greater value based only on the product itself. Should I or should I not permit my value judgments about the management and operation of Walmart be a factor on whether I shop at Walmart?

Oh – and Boodles is my gin of choice.

@libertarian tool: Cheers. I boycotted Coors for 20 years.

@Prommie: I haven’t been in a Wal-Mart since 2000, and I’ll never go again. Sure, that’s easy when you live in Manhattan, but I travel some, and I have kept my promise to myself.

And no Starbucks. It sucks, and it drives decent coffee shops out of business.

@blogenfreude: A friend of mine has her credit card set up so that purchases at certain retailers trigger a freeze on the account, and Wal-Mart is one of the offending stores. But, speaking from experience, if you’re traveling and find yourself in God’s country without any socks and it’s the only game in town, so the fuck what?

@Prommie: It’s too bad you’re sniffing the GM vapors and loving it. Ford is far and away the best of a bad lot these days. I’ll forgive you.
I’m not so sure I can say the same about boycotting Coors for 20 years for political reasons, rather than just the bare fact that it tastes like highly salted, mildly carbonated, piss.

@Ewalda: …and yes, I have tasted both. No further elaboration is necessary, thank you.

@mellbell: There’s always someplace left besides DeathMart, even if you end up stuck buying a pair of socks in a grocery store or a bait shop. I have never set foot in a SlaveMart, and I would rather eat dirt than break my vow to never do so.

You know what? I’ve spent enough time in enough places where the extent of shopping choices were whether you bought your shitty Chinese socks from the same toothless vendor who also sold batteries and onions – or not. Period. If I need something, I buy it. I don’t ask for union cards, voter registration or whether it is a peanut-fucking-free zone with only Tickle Me Einstein products for kids and free range chickens on a solar spit. I avoid Starbucks because it is overpriced coffee that always tastes the same no matter what exotic mountaintop they claim it was roasted on. I’ll go to Walmart if there is something I need that they have and I can’t get either closer or cheaper, but they have shitty parking lots so it is rare.

@Ewalda: But how does it compare to PBR? For reasons that pass all understanding, PBR is apparently becoming the beer of choice among the callow youth of America. I have it on very good authority that PBR is actually brewed from deer piss, and they maintain several large domesticated herds in Wisconsin for that purpose. I have never been able to confirm this rumor, but a man of your experience could help settle this once and for all.

On the other end of the scale – my current favorite brew in a bottle is Red Seal Ale from North Coast Brewing. Really good. I know Prommie would like it – through is some weird unexplainable synchronicity I’ve noticed we have identical taste in booze (Laphraoig scotch, Boodles gin…).

@Ewalda: If you are going to be talking to yourself, you really should get an imaginary friend. Although – they can be annoying.

@libertarian tool: Yuengling is only available in ten states?! I can never leave the East Coast.

@mellbell: My nephew is a student at Duquesne and brought me a six-pack over the holidays. It’s very good, I enjoyed it, but I’ll put our Northern California brews up against anything East of the Mississippi.

@libertarian tool: You must try something, anything, from Dogfish Head.

My mom and dad, the ones who taught me that adults drink only two liquids, coffee in the morning and beer at all other times, drank nothing but PBR. Line it up in a blind tasting against any of the other shit beers, and its as bad, or good, as any. When I poured it in a glass and didn’t tell them what it was, my poker buddies always preferred it to budshitweiser.

@libertarian tool: It’s not that it’s great or anything, it’s just a good, reliable, cheap beer. I miss those six dollar pitchers in PA; here it’s six dollars for a pint.

@libertarian tool: how does it compare to PBR? No comparison. Kerrs is actually somewhat flat and salty. I had a “friend” who visited NoCal from Jersey years ago who, when I had him taste the finest corn chips I had ever found, told me: “They don’t taste like anything. Let’s get some Doritos”. Coors is for salt-addled swillers like that guy.
Last time I had PBR was in 1972, before (I think) they went “on hiatus” for a couple of decades. It was sour deer piss then. Rolling Rock was better than PBR at that point. Don’t know if this still is true.

@Hose Manikin: RE: Imaginary Friend: I got lots of them. They populate my otherwise solitary life. That is about to change. Very soon, I will be shaking hands and conversing with total strangers as if they were my best buddies. I have been preparing the last month or so for that day. It will be the saddest day of my life. My only hope is that it does not drive me to buy a handgun and blow my brains out.

My fucking credit card number was stolen last month and used repeatedly at a Wal-Mart in ass-fuck East Texas to buy gift cards and electronics. The credit card company which show remain anonymous but recently was bailed out and trading below $1 a share actually accused me of “lending my card” to someone and kept saying (in the thick Punjabi accent) “Are you sure you weren’t in ____, Texas?”

After I pointed out that I live in EssEff, had used the card that same day twice in EssEff, and threatened to sue them, I was finally sent the form to ask for them to pay me back.

I also asked them to put my card on super-sensitive mode and to never approve a purchase at Wal-Mart. Since I haven’t been to a Wal-Mart in 13 years due to my judgmental opinion of their management (much like my libertarian tool friend) I don’t think this is too big of a deal for me.

@Promnight: I’m no big beer fan. My old man drank Bud. It reminded him of the cheap Eastern European beers he grew up with. It reminds me of skunk cabbage.
If I have to drink a USA watery beer I’ll take MGD.
Most “premium” beers and “craft beers” and high-class ales are either expensive over-hopped messes, or chewy brown messes.
Boddington’s in that special fizz can is OK, but overpriced. Guinness gives me the shits. Pilsner Urquell is OK. There’s a Polish beer that has two dancing folks on the label, the name of which escapes me, that isn’t too bad.
Tell the truth, Steel Reserve and HG800 can be tasty, except their QC is bad, so you get some batches that are harsh crap. But at least they taste like something.
I’m not a beer guy, I guess.

@libertarian tool: I love Red Seal Ale.

@Ewalda: Can I buy some insurance from you? Please don’t joke about blowing your brains out…you have so much brilliance and snark in them.

@mellbell: $6 dollar pitchers? Oh, my, how things have changed. When I was an undergrad, $10 was my allowance for a saturday night out. The cheapest beer available, Hamms, was $1.95 a pitcher. 20 chicken wings was $2.00. You could get 3 pitchers, enough for a righteous buzz, and 20 chicken wings, thats dinner, you have your vegetable, the celery, dairy, the blue cheese, and the chicken, in college, starch was not an issue. All for $8.00 and I would leave the $2 tip. Whoo hooo. Saturday night, $10.

@SanFranLefty: As soon as our wonderful state decides to officially grant me my licenses (7 – 10 days is turning into several weeks), I would be honored to take a look at what you currently have and see if coverages/deductibles need to be changed to give you the best coverages for your dollar. Whether or not you decide to switch to me as your agent is secondary to whether your needs are met.
Guess I’m not much of a predator. My adult life has revolved around customer service, and I can’t start thinking of just me at this late date.

@Ewalda: But will you sell earthquake insurance? I can hook you up with some great topo/fault maps that will scare every old lady in Rossmore to buy EQ insurance.

@SanFranLefty: Every insurance company pulled out of selling earthquake in CA years ago, so the state set up the California Earthquake Authority to provide earthquake insurance. They made it so all insurance providers could sell it as if it was their own.
So yes, I will be able to write earthquake insurance. Of course, in Rossmoor, if the Big One hits, the resident oldsters will be better served by owning big fat life insurance policies for their grandkids, than earthquake insurance for their condos.

@libertarian tool: Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery. Any beer made west of the Allegheny is tout noveau.

@Nabisco: Allow me to provide your mocking opportunity of the day: I thought Yuengling was Chinese. Really.

@Mistress Cynica: To paraphrase a line from Flight of the Conchords, it sounds like Tsingtao, if you squint your ears.

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