Go Feck Yourself

“Feckless” is one of those words you may have heard, maybe even used, but haven’t much thought about. If one can be feckless, what is it to have feck?

The part you know reads as expected: useless, incompetent, good for nothing. The part you don’t know is what’s lacking: effect. As for how you get from effect to feck — and thus the absence of effect — well, ask the Scots. We hear they’re good cussers.

As is Samantha Bee.

“Feckless” would be a good word to describe a couple of Donald Trump’s close advisers, one related by blood, the other by marriage, both toiling in the White House to little known effect. Back in April, Ivanka Trump announced an initiative to promote women’s economic empowerment, but the only fruits we’ve seen of her hard work are trademarks granted by China for her branded products.

Plenty of feck in that, granted, at least on China’s part. Those threatened tariffs are still up in the air, and palms must be greased. What a story that would make! Top White House adviser caught accepting favors from antagonist foreign government! Surely we’d be hearing about that for days until the media hounds forced her to resign in disgrace! Surely every talking head inside the Beltway would have material for a week!

Ha-ha, we’re just adorable, aren’t we?

Instead, everyone’s been rushing to defend the virtue of a self-dealing airhead because a cable comedian called her a naughty word.

And as the word happens to be #4 in George Carlin’s list, of course we’re interested, too.

As a cord-cutter, we enjoy watching Full Frontal via YouTube every week, where the show’s segments are posted the day after broadcast. But it’s not there this week — the entire episode was removed Thursday — so we’re stuck with a brief clip someone else posted.

The segment itself is about the new U.S. policy of stealing babies from their mothers at the border, which is deserving of all the invective one can muster. Over the weekend, as the story was raging to the front of everyone’s rage queue, Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump tweeted a heartwarming photo of herself embracing her two-year-old son.

The contrast did not pass unnoticed. By Tuesday, Ivanka was professing stoicism about it, aptly quoting fellow emperor Marcus Aurelius. At the same time, someone else was neglecting the racist side effects of Ambien, and the stage was set for Wednesday night’s broadcast:

“Do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless cunt!” said Bee. “He listens to you!”

Here’s where we feel obligated to observe that as a white male, certain words and expressions are unavailable for our use, a prohibition we happily accept in return for all the benefits our status bestows in Our Exceptional Republic. As such, we recuse ourself from any discussion of what is appropriate to say between members of a given second class, although we’re happy to chortle with glee upon hearing it.

And it disheartens us to report that Samantha Bee chose to disown the remark on Thursday:

“I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.”

We don’t know Sam Bee, aside from watching her for fifteen years, and if this statement strikes us as out of character, that it might have been made under network duress, well, that’s just us. We’re sure she was sincere.

Which is a shitload more than we can say about the shitstorm that followed. After ABC fired Roseanne Barr for flagrantly being Roseanne Barr, the Racist Right was hunting for a trophy, hilariously suggesting that HBO should fire Bill Maher to own the libs who hate Bill Maher, until settling on that basic-cable comedian they had been ignoring to satisfy their bloodlust.

Of course, you expect that from the Bot Squad. Sadly, you must also expect that from the pearl-clutching denizens of our faded Fourth Estate, still clinging to the notion that if we were only polite to one another, we could have a civil discussion about how our government is stealing babies from their mothers at the border.

Please, let us not bring personalities into it. We may disagree with how the Trumps and their minions are selling out our country to Russia, how they’re using their government positions to enrich themselves, how they’re ruining lives with the actions they take, but to call them cunts, dicks and assholes violates what it means to be an American who is safe from the effects of those actions and will surely get along fine when fellow citizens suffer the consequences.

What’s happening today in America is obscene. But at least we have the language to describe it.

22 comments:

10:01 am • Saturday • June 2, 2018

Whatever we do, let’s just not mention the fact that twice as many Americans died in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria than on 9/11.

4:20 pm • Monday • June 4, 2018

/Stinque signal alert/

@Manchu: How in the holy hell is it possible that Doug Ford may be the next Premier of Ontario, I mean, WTeverlastingF??

Did Canuckistani voters look south to all the fun we’re having with our loudmouth, idiot, fascist moron and say “gee, let’s have our Tdumbp in charge, too eh?”

4:50 pm • Monday • June 4, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Not sure what the Stinque Signal would be, but I’m thinking a poo emoji projected on the clouds above Gotham.

8:21 pm • Monday • June 4, 2018

Good linguistic research. Clever title. It is disheartening that the insult provides a cloud over the actual tragedy of this new extraordinarily cruel policy.

11:21 am • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@Burr Deming: Yes. While not shared by all, my visceral reaction to the C word also inhibits my ability to remember the real, fucking important and disgusting, depressing, painful issue of these stolen and displaced babies. They have been irreparably harmed (assaulted?) by our gov’t much like the children who live with and survive gun violence.

The C word thing distracts me: I’m like, what was the underlying thing? Oh, right – the stolen generation. That’s kind of fucked up that I forget bc I’m all “C WORD OMG – WHY DO I CARE? I DON’T KNOW!” It might be a personal failing. I don’t know.

11:27 am • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@nojo: Re: blurb – Boehner crying again? (Not kidding – super tired. First world problems, blah blah)

1:12 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@JNOV: I saw a quote from an Aussie who brilliantly stated: “Americans are offended by the c-word. We’re offended by the mass slaughter of children.”

2:38 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@JNOV: Trump and Iggles.

3:47 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Yeah. I dunno. Maybe my age is showing (I’m not angry with Sam Bee). I was called one in middle school. Didn’t know what it meant. Found out later.

@nojo: Ah :-)

4:32 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@JNOV: The whole C -word thing is interesting to me. I find Sam Bee using it sort of like Blacks using the N-word. I kind felt that they had the right to but it has sort of fallen out of favor. When VC Janie used the C-word and got shamed for it there was an interesting story about how the word is used in other English Speaking cultures, usually in an affectionate way. It seems it is only negatively used here in the olde US of A.

5:55 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@DElurker: I’d say the Scots and the Aussies have a slam dunk on best use of the c-word.

Especially the Scots.

10:34 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@DElurker and ¡Andrew!: Is a cunt a vagina? I don’t mean what was it in the 14th century. According to Wikipedia, it looks like it was an obscenity in the 16th century – in England of all places.

Maybe I’m not third-wave enough, but I really hate that word.

10:45 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

On a somewhat lighter note, maybe this would have gone better if Hannity had used it as a theme song last week.

11:02 pm • Tuesday • June 5, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Scottish dude said “youse.” YOUSE! Youseguise! Kinuhgetahho[hard g]eee?

I keep having to edit this because I can’t speak Philly anymore.

10:14 am • Wednesday • June 6, 2018

@JNOV: I prefer the way the Brits and Aussies use the c-word, meaning an obnoxious, obtuse, idiotic asshole that says and does shit just to piss others off. A world-class troll, in other words. Twitler, for example, should rightfully be crowned the King of C::ts.

It’s also the last English language profanity that has any shock value.

10:48 am • Wednesday • June 6, 2018

@¡Andrew!: “It’s also the last English language profanity that has any shock value.”

Oh, yeah. I totally agree with you there. I like to think that I have single handily made “fuck” less vulgar because of over- / misuse.

But cunt? It’s not going to happen for me. Maybe when I’m 80 or something I’ll shout it for the helluvit if my kid puts me in a home.

4:03 am • Thursday • June 7, 2018

Oh, Canada.

10:10 pm • Thursday • June 7, 2018

Hmmmm. DOJ all up in a Times reporter’s email and phone records without her knowing it. We are in deep shit.

10:41 pm • Thursday • June 7, 2018

Thanks to my Ancestry DNA results, it appears that my most recent relative that came from Europe showed up in the 1850 US Census. Can I petition Belgium to let me in? I mean, hell. I’m dreaming in French for some reason. I’ve been reading Dark Money, and last night I was screaming “Jamais!” at the Koch brothers. An ex-boyfriend made a welcome, albeit brief, appearance. Some things never change.

But I think that if I can dream in French despite no longer being able to speak it, I could make a case for immigration to the motherland.

11:22 pm • Thursday • June 7, 2018

@¡Andrew!:
Because the rural guys are fucking morons who believe they’re funding Toronto/GTA when it is actually the other way around. They’ll cheer the cuts on till they realize they’re the chumps (like your rural guys.)

Because a lot of people were pissed about sky high real estate prices (and now collapsing real estate bubble) and electricity rates. Like the Tories would do better at either (since Harper inflated the bubble during his reign of error and the cost of electricity is paying for needed upgrades to the grid..)

Because people were sick of the Libruls.

And a lot of people forgot life under Mike Harris.

Wynne is a colossal idiot. Forced me to vote for someone else (NDP) for the first time in 20 years.

10:53 am • Friday • June 8, 2018

@ManchuCandidate: Ugh, now we’re gonna have to listen to the CBC breathlessly report on the idiotic antics of Rob Ford’s somehow even meaner, dumber brother. Christ.

10:38 pm • Friday • June 8, 2018

@ManchuCandidate: Man, this really sucks, I’m sorry. It shoulda gone NDP. I hope he’s constrained by bureaucratic procedures until the end of this travesty.

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