Monday, 9 June 2008

THE F-WORD: "Go take a flying fuck at a duck...!!"



This particular expression was still unusual, if not unprecedented, in the speech of cultured people a the time of my own education. Nor do I feel any inducement to impress my background. But, as I explained quite recently, I have been fortunate in having received some very exacting lessons in semantic deportment at a well-known convent school in Roehampton. Indeed, it is one of the major satisfactions of my adult life that I survived a girl’s boarding school education without acquiring anything so tedious as academic qualifications. So when I met a number of academic punters at the Spearmint Rhino - equally illiterate - who treated me to that particular expression, it was cool and exhilarating. Frankly, I couldn't have been more flattered or charmed. All I knew up to that point was that contemporary semantics favoured the masterpieces of genital or pro-coital art, and that they were never intended as a compliment. Nor did I have any idea how to take a flying fuck at anything, this rather being a man’s thing, but I felt it was exactly what I had been waiting absolutely years to say. Truth to tell, if I put the hundredth part of the energy that I have put into repressing it, into unleashing it, I may never have remained a virgin.

I might have been an indolent academic, or a female footballer instead, a ladette, perhaps, of uncertain gender extraction, or a TV chef...

Time was when forbearance was the code of behaviour that had come to be seen as appropriate to the educated classes. Today, socially, there is never a moment when there is more cachet to being a common man, a yob, a chav, a slacker with a cauliflower for a brain, or just another demented asshole...

So the art of swearing has taken on a new and exhilarating significance in modern society. There is nothing equivocal or evasive about it. It is punk condensed, leaving nothing wanting in the way of force and vigour. It is a practice that high society has taken to its heart. It is an insult that has inverted its import, elevating the detested academic, the man of letters, the poet laureate, to the desired status of the common man. It therefore has an absolutely extraordinary sense of entitlement. It is Man Booker Prize semantics, the dumming down of the average. A repellent jargon, every syllable of which implies a world of brutal idiocy, it nevertheless corrupts and depraves men like no alcohol or narcotics. For among the casualties of this campaign to abolish semantic excellence have foremost been the British educated classes. In fact, this may well be the clue you've been waiting for, the key to what determined our collective character, what inspired contemporary society to have the ideals that it has, divided perhaps between exigencies that are in opposition to our noble humanity, and a humanity that is in opposition to our ignoble needs!

Go take a flying fuck at a duck...

Indeed!



Dreamy

5 comments:

Richard Madeley said...

I think you've got it about right, Selena. Swearing is the last refuge for poetry; that place where language isn't afraid to be full of sound and fury. Given the anti-chav element around her lately, it's sobering to think that the next Robert Frost might be wearing baseball hat and sovereign rings.

Gordon McCabe said...

Blimey!

Where am I? How did I get here?

Selena Dreamy said...

Good heavens!

I am aghast to note, that you have lost your way, Gordon. Until now I expected my own insufficiency to act as an indemnity against our sharing a common web-site...

There's nothing for it, I'll have to shift further downmarket...

D.

Selena Dreamy said...

Oooops, all undressed and no room down there...!

mutleythedog said...

I am ready for a flying zipless fuck anytime.... I will even change the sheets and lay in some 'Cheeky Vimto'- Dicky says you are fond of it...