Corrente

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Corrente is, justly, renowned because we say Fuck.

But I'd hate for us to become renowned because we say Fuck You -- especially to each other.

Sure, if they think you're technical, go crude (and if they think you're crude, go technical), and I'd hate anybody to think we're a few crudités short of a platter, but some of the recent threads have made me cranky, and I'm not the only one.

This is not a plea for Civility -- Civility is a Village value, fundamentally aristocratic, whereby Our Betters demand unearned deference from us. Fuck that and fuck them.

It's not even a plea for politeness -- I seem to recall a discussion on the uses and abuses of the term "ladies" that's still smoldering.

It is a plea for good writing. If you really feel that you need to eviscerate a post -- which is not the same as eviscerating a poster, because we are not the arguments we make -- there are far more interesting and effective ways to do that than by telling the poster "Fuck you."

Vercotti:[A] week later they called again and told me the cheque had bounced and said... I had to see... Doug.

2nd Interviewer: Doug?

Vercotti: Doug (takes a drink) Well, I was terrified. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.

2nd Interviewer: What did he do?

Vercotti: He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious.

Worse, Corrente's always been about the writing, and propagating the writing, and "Fuck you" has already been propagated quite successfully, so there's no percentage in it, for writers or for readers. Even worse, forcing readers to wade through sludge has an opportunity cost: They may hever get to the good stuff (of which we have a lot).

To the offenders and the offended -- and I realize these categories are by no means disjunct, let me say this:

One source of anger is fear: Fear, in this case, of being shunned or banned or dragged down by howling mobs. For whatever reason -- perhaps it's my teddy bear personality -- Corrente became a refuge for those who suffered on the front lines in that way. However, there are many of us, readers, writers, and Fellows, who haven't suffered in that way, and who can't understand why some would take offense at words or tropes that weren't meant to offend. Often, that will happen because, at the front, such were the harbingers of much worse to come. (To you, a harmless jest; to them, the rattle of machine gun fire preparatory to an assault). The remedy here is time and lots of posting.

A second source of anger is anger: This has certainly happened to me. This may come as a shock to some of you, but I really, really hate to lose an argument, and there have been times when I've "flipped the bozo bit" (as VastLeft says) on somebody, and started using tactics that I later regretted. I ended up feeling bad, and, more importantly, making the blog look bad. When you feel the anger feeding on itself, back off and post on something else.

Let's have a good clean fight here. No holding, no low punches, no biting, gouging or rabbit punches. You'll break when I say break.

NOTE The thread for voting for Obama, or not, is here.

NOTE As I've threatened to do before, I can start policing the threads, deleting everything I don't like, and maybe some random stuff, too, just to keep everybody on their toes, but I guarantee nobody's going to like the result. So don't make me go there!

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Comments

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

considered a curse word? ;)

Pat J's picture
Submitted by Pat J on

Sometimes the use of the "f" can be justified within the context of the statement to good effect.

But as in the phrase, "you know?" after every syllable it can become tedious and a total turn off.

But you continue to hold my interest both with your amazing writing and great humor. I may not agree with you 100% of the time, but I never feel dishonored as a result.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

down there,

below decks on the s.s. corriente,

there is not a lot of fun and energy happening in the posts today.

in fact, there is not a lot of any kind of interaction.

folks come here to express an opinion.

they don't come here to read great literature, though it may well happen that they do so.

there are a large number of very sharp and caring people who comment here. i'd guess they are here because corriente presents them with a sheltered opportunity for sane interaction and commentary.

few of them are idolaters, and i'd hazard the guess that fewer still come here to read an on-line version of the new yorker.

i'd guess that it's a chance for self-expression and interaction with like-minded others that draws them to corriente.

not that i have the same degree of understanding as have long-time denizens of the weblog world.

what i do understand is that intelligent adults do not care to lectured on their language or their writing style. that kind of nannyism is, shall we say, "off-putting" (a phrase i dislike as much as i dislike the behavior it is being used to describe).

warning and lecturing never create a welcoming environment for lively conversation.

with rare exceptions, which include some of corrente's best, i have not observed commenters or posters who were not self-limiting and self-correcting in their on-line behavior.

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

Why is it that every time that someone mentions fucking on the internets, Britney Spears' name comes up?

...for the rest of us

Submitted by lambert on

Nevertheless, do try the veal.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

amuses me, or fits the situation. Sometimes it's just the most apt to communicate the exact reaction I have to the event in question.

But in general I'm in favor of more erudite, imaginative discourse. It's more fun. Also, it passes through spam filters more readily, even in workplaces NOT renowned for their tolerance of the cruder side of life ** -- that is to say, the side of life where it's more important that workers get decent wages and benefits than that one pays the lowest possible price for everything, and one of course has no tax bill at all, because taxes are nothing more than a drain on productivity.

This, in the halls of academe, discourages me.
Being from the "slave class" I find myself often at odds with my bosses, politically and philosophically -- and yet, they are wonderful people to work with, genial and courteous. How is it that they can be so blind to the dangers of the race to the bottom that is all things Wal-Mart?

PS: Wal-Mart does NOT have the lowest prices.
Today I spent $15 for a haircut.
The same service at Wal-Mart is $22.
The place I went will color my hair for $22.
Wal-Mart will charge $44.86.

It pays to shop around a bit.

** e.g. mine, where mention of my experiences or reactions gets me looked at like the 800-pound gorilla in the room; and I'm not even Chuck Norris's stunt double.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

Since the word "fuck" was part of the theme of this post I figured this was as good a place as any to say goodbye to George Carlin, who passed away at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, CA, at 5:55 p.m. this evening (June 22nd).

Nice fucking way to go, George. I already miss you.

++++

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

No, thank you, though veal really should be the national food of this increasingly corporate country.

Still not eating meat, Lambert?

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Submitted by lambert on

I'll be here all week anyhow....

Meat's expensive! So, I eat a lot less of it.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.