Welcome to meditations, a blog where the shit counter just hit six hundred and sixty-two. This will become relevant soon enough.
When civilization kicked off, our species were all sorted under one category: survival. It remained this way for a long ass time. And then a group started using a mouthy substance to expand their consciousness and shit-talk their exes. Pot. Um: No. Language. But pot may have led to the point because it was way older.
Language did to evolution what cannabis has done to gardening. Language cross-pollinated with the species, and understanding it versus not became the first brick in the wall to cleave us. While new languages meant more bricks, they also meant new ways to band together. Survive.
We were still mostly mentally footloose until trundled writing, language’s concrete truck.
Writing meant our expanding categories could now be immortalized, and it’d also mean Starbucks could expand across the globe because the world would never be short of history majors.
Writing seeded the market for making-up-shit and that fecundated like a Genghis Khan orgy.
Books became bloodlines.
The books people read would eternalize their belief system. And for the first time, we had a division more powerful than geography or language. Religion became the mass-market paperback of hope. With that, humanity would be irretrievably fucked.
Which brings me to the point of the essay:
Like the first kiss, we all remember the first time we heard the word F*ck—formal usage: Fuck—the thing you just said out in your head when you read the word F*ck.
I was 15 when my cousin used the word and he picked the worst setting for his boo-boo: a wedding. An Indian wedding, the OG Fyre festival. Obviously, the people who heard him went nuts. Some covered their ears and others, their crotch. And everyone else wanted to know what happened, so in the end, no one made eye contact with him for the rest of the wedding. Everyone still remembers the wedding as the one where my cousin said the word. I remember it as the one where I lost my virginity. Same thing, different approach.
Swearing is so mainstream now, my dad uses the F word once a month. He actually says, “F word”. But the avant-garde began in a category that shouldn’t surprise you anymore: writing. When everyone was still pussyfooting around the word, back in 2015, writer and philosopher-philanthropist of not giving a fuck, Mark Manson wrote a post in which he, admittedly, used the word Fuck a hundred and twenty-seven times. It became the equivalent of Kim K’s internet-breaking photoshoot, for people who can read.
It has taken me six years to situate my balls and use the word because I didn’t want to ride on a vapid virality a million others have tried and spectacularly failed at since the Manson fuck-attack. And the reason I am doing it now is that the direction we are headed with language scares me. Scares. the. fuck. out. of. me.
I am talking of course about Political correctness, language’s Third Reich.
We will always be divided in our beliefs. With politically correct language, though, our beliefs may be reaching a point of no return. Because, a movement whose aim is to increase sensitivity is constantly shit-shaming anyone who does not play by its rules. And I am throwing in the towel, in the most boring way available. Swearing.
Language should not be shaped by politics, but by perspective. As we were busy politicizing language: bleeping out words and scratching away at the dry ends of labels, the Internet (or the advertisements that run it) flushed in a stream of cleavage and cock outrage. While we were nit-picking, they prick-knitted the world.
If you think the world’s more sensitive than ever, it only takes wiping off people’s filters on the Internet (talking to them outside of it) to notice we have never been more numb. Political correctness has not become a medium for sensitivity. It has become a medium for superiority. Yet another filter to pretend you give a fuck so people can pretend to like you so you can pretend to not give a fuck whether people like you or not.
And we don’t have to look beyond religion to see how this plays out.
Generalizing a whole (religious) population as evil—you know, that thing fascists do—just because a group’s vulnerabilities differ from yours has fractured humanity and left us wailing at the altar of our respective Gods. It’s dark and misses the point entirely: almost everyone, in their own way, is trying their best to be good. Do good. It’s what we forgot about religion, as we have about language. It was always meant to bring us closer. Together. Cleave (v): to join.
We have already been through one long-ass movement that missed the point and only divided us further by shitting on our sensibilities and is now subdividing us by choice of genitalia. You may not be entirely sure what I am talking about, but you know something about it pisses you off. And that’s what this has come to. A constant, vague and half-witted need to feel upset. To choose, briefly, to be unanesthetized so you can fake pain.
The PC movement is based off a system founded on the same scientific principle that gave us masturbation will make you blind. The movement’s pathology is based off the premise that saying it wrong makes what you said wrong and your beliefs bigoted and your followers racist. But here’s why this all-encompassing cult of dumb fucks (the OG Indian wedding) is as stagnant as the beliefs it tries to establish: It assumes to be automatically right because it pointed out what you said—or, how you said it—was wrong. For a movement that calls bullshit on intent, it spends an inordinate time going after the unintended. And it has become blind to its own manipulations. Must be all the masturbation.
If our idea of truth is all about the box it comes in, our filters will eventually clog the toilet we now call free speech. Our heightened sensitivity, instead of making us more self-aware, will only make us more self-righteous.
Sure, you (PC) may be right occasionally, but then I am going to double down on what I said because, well, fuck you. Your fake indignance is so annoying, I just want to piss you off and don’t even care if I am actually wrong anymore. See how easy it was to fake it. For a movement built on the packaging, political correctness forgets to notice all the times it has its head up its own arse.
If you have read so far, and if the swearing has made you uncomfortable, I am sorry. Just kidding. You can fuck right off. You were always a click away. You still are. I’ll respect you more for it. I am not doing this with the intention to make you uncomfortable. Okay, maybe a little, but if you ignore the pubescent stunt, you will realize we are both trying to do the same thing: We both love language and want to preserve it in all its ferocious glory. If it gives you any comfort, I rarely use the F word in a conversation, but if that’s what makes you comfortable, fuck you for missing the whole point.
Language is and will ever be the greatest love story humans told, and what it really expands is not the brain but the heart. And the language of heart requires, sometimes, that we shut the fuck up and listen.
You can tell me I said it wrong, that I don’t know how to write, but you can’t tell me I don’t know how to love, that I don’t know how much people did to bring us this far. Although I know they sure as heck didn’t get us this far by stifling everything that made them uncomfortable. Also, because we all know what they did to being us here: they, quite unextraordinaryly, rather simply, fucked.
Here’s a pithy toilet-seat-warmer of a sentiment: We are all the same.
We so fucking are not.
Every movement with a raging hard-on to prove we are all the same, rather than bringing us closer, has deteriorated into destroying anyone and anything that is different.
How different it would all be if our need to accept our differences were as strong as our need to change one another. Language’s deterioration is defaulting into the familiar patterns of shame and ridicule, the memory foam of political correctness.
We are all, most of us anyway, still learning to talk. And we will say some real dumb shit along the way. The polarization you see playing out is not because we are different, but because we don’t know how to talk about our differences. It’ll take us another long ass time to get there, and until then, we will keep trying. Until we can understand each other’s silence.
Love, like religion, has no language. But what glorious possibility lay in this human attempt to speak it anyway, to understand it anyway.
To say fuck it and go, tell me more.