So, I watched Die Hard With a Vengeance last night. It was on TV, so I wondered how they were going to handle the whole scene where John's standing in Harlem wearing a sandwich board with a racist statement on it. Sure enough, when they finally did show the sign, it said "I HATE EVERYONE". Umm, no. They also cut out the part where Zeus says what's on the sign.
Seriously, people. It's ridiculous. Yet, notice I refrain from using it here. Because I don't want a rain of shit to come down on my head for using it. And no, I won't do the whole 'stars in the middle thing'. Sometimes I have the serious urge to run around just saying the word over and over again so people see how ridiculous it is to fear or hate a word. Say it enough and it becomes meaningless.
Honkie Honkie Honkie Honkie... oh wait, that's not the word. That word's okay. Mybad.
The one I'm talking about is pretty much the only word you can never ever use. George Carlin's 7 words You Can't Say on TV have become every day oatmeal words. Personally, I don't think tits was ever that bad, but what do I know?
It used to be that you couldn't use the word fuck. :shrug: Just about everyone I have ever known has used that word since I was like ten. (My mother being one of the rare exceptions.) We used to hang out under the big tree at recess saying fuck. Just because the playground attendants never bothered to climb the hill and monitor what any of us was doing underneath the tree. We could've been doing ritual sacrifices up there for all they knew.
Of course, in public you have to put some stars in the middle of it there. F*ck, F**k, F***. Everyone's brain fills in the missing letters, so what the purpose of those asterisks is? Who knows. The stars are protecting someone's delicate feelings, I guess. Fuck that.
As my mom says, it's just not a nice way to talk. I respect that. I try not to use that word when I'm talking to her. Sometimes, though, it's just the right word at the right time.
Anyway... where was I? Oh, yes, the WORD. The derogatory word for a certain race that no one - except those who are members of that race - is allowed to say or type without stars. Funny how the derogatory terms for all the other races aren't as carefully monitored. Oh, sure, I had an editor give me the stink-eye for using 'spic' once in Accidental Death. I ignored her and left it in. Right word for the right time, doncha know.
So, there's John McLain... and this dude who hates him wants him to have a horrible day and possibly get the crap kicked out of him, so he drops John into Harlem wearing a sign that says 'I hate... EVERYONE'? That wouldn't even get him noticed. I think hating everyone is a pastime in NYC, so it wouldn't make him stand out. At all. Feh. Hell, it might even get him a few new friends. "Hey, that dude hates everyone. So do we! Let's buy him a coffee."
You know what word I hate? Cunt. Now there's a word Carlin missed. It doesn't offend me. It's just nasty. Why? Who knows. Something somewhere in my history made it so that word is hated. Poor word.
So, we can't use THAT WORD. Or any word closely resembling that word. I read a news story about a professor who was teaching a foreign language - Korean, I think - and an innocuous word of that language sounded similar enough that the professor got slapped around (figuratively) for using it. What a bunch of scheisskopfs*.
Eh, I'm a writer. Words are my trade. The mere fact that I am not allowed to use a particular word burns my ass something fierce.
*Scheisskopf - German for shithead. I learned that one at a pretty young age, too. Thanks, Dad.