This came in from the Contact Us comment form around 6am this morning:
Subject: A fucking suggestion
Message: Looks like you have the beginnings of a great blog. Just have this comment: Is it a requirement in L.A. that in order to be considered cool, you must use some form of the word “fuck” in every other sentence? I mean isn’t this getting to be passÈ? I realize that in our society “fuck” is going to retain some shock value for a while yet but while raking ones fingers on a chalk board OR TYPING IN ALL CAPS are also ways to get attention, I wouldn’t recommend them every fucking time you want to say something. Maybe there’s some feeling that by using “fuck”, you’re somehow linking into the psyche of the “average Joe” but that often seems pretty weak and forced to me(sorta like George W. calling Jesse Jackson “bro”). Besides all that, you seem like creative guys who can express themselves in more interesting ways instead of taking the “fucking” easy way out. Just my fucking two cents. Good luck with the fucking blog.
Where do I start?
Generally the “you are doing something cool but you should do it differently” kind of e-mails go straight in the trash. Sometimes, they get forwarded around to friends, but in this case, I decided the best thing to do was respond on here and let everyone else chime in as well. Besides, I wouldn’t mind hearing what other people think on the subject.
My first thought on reading this was that I must be really desensitized because I’ve been reading all the posts and didn’t notice the F bomb in every other line as this guy makes it seem. So I went and looked at the posts. There were 12 postings on the site at the point that he sent that in, and guess how many times the word “fuck” was used? Twice. In two separate posts, by two separate authors. That’s right, not a single person had used it more than once. I’ll take that one nerdy step further. Not including titles and “posted by” lines, there’s about 1677 words in those first 12 posts, only 2 being “fuck.” You do the math.
This guy used it 8 times, and only 3 of those were in reference to the word. The other 5 were some kind of hyper scary sarcasm or something. But that’s beside the point.
I could spend pages and countless links to pick apart this guys argument every step of the way. However, outside of this guy’s little word it’s not 1950 anymore and people just aren’t shocked by the word “fuck”, especially people who are reading blogs on the internet, and I think that’s pretty obvious.
What I do want to say, is that I say the word “fuck” when I’m talking. Regularly, and without hesitation. Most people I talk to, be they some guy in the gallery looking at the art, some reporter calling and asking questions about whatever project I’m working on, my landlords, my mom, the FedEx lady, the guy I bought coffee from this morning, all do the same. That’s the way people talk and it’s nothing new.
That said, I know that I, and many of the other writers on the site have had real writing jobs where writing “fuck” probably wouldn’t go over so well and we’ve had to tone things down for that audience. But that’s not the kind of environment I wanted to create on this site. I wanted a place where people could relax, and write just what they were thinking. “Fuck” or no “fuck.” And I think that in the whole one day the site has been live the contributors have all done just that, and I certainly don’t think any of it is “weak” or “forced.”