Disclaimer: I don’t want to shock anyone, but this post contains unsavoury language and the giving of zero fucks. Not literally. I mean, at last count this post contained at least 15 fucks. I make my mother proud every single day.
Clarification: I am the flakiest and most useless blogger of all time. I started this post in January this year, hence the completely irrelevant reference in my opening paragraph to events that took place 8 months ago. I was reflecting so hard on my failures that I failed to complete this blog post. That’s so fucking meta.
January is the perfect time to reflect on our failures from the previous 12 months, and to lovingly gestate the embryonic potential of new failures to come. I make no secret of the fact that I am an underachieving loser, and it is in this spirit of openness that I share one of my big fat failures from last year.
Goal: Stop saying “fuck” on my blog.
Outcome: You be the judge.
I did a lot of soul-searching after a couple of friends disclosed that they were uncomfortable with the language on my blog. Ten years ago my colourful response to that would have made Gordon Ramsay look like the Dowager from Downton Abbey, but being older and wiser I took their feedback on board and decided to clean house.
As a result, I spent a good chunk of 2015 stifling my natural urge to drop the f-bomb on a regular basis. In hindsight, it was kind of like telling a teenage boy to stop masturbating; which is to say that it was destined to fail in a messy and shameful way.
In the process I learned two very interesting things:
- THE UPSIDE
I’m not going to lie – I was at times being lazy and gratuitous in my use of the word “fuck”. Many times I used the dreaded f-word when it added nothing to the piece, and where a less-offensive option would have been just as effective. Forcing myself to edit most of them out of my work made me a better writer – or has at least made me a more judicious one. Those fucks need to earn their place in my work now (this
article entire year is clearly the exception, I realise that…)
- THE DOWNSIDE
A peculiar by-product of censoring all the “fucks” from my essays was that I censored myself everywhere on the blog, to the extent that my authentic voice disappeared up the puckered ring of its own uptight anal cavity.
To be honest, I look at all the lacklustre shit I wrote last year and cringe: it’s very telling that my best post happened when I finally went “FUCK IT”, and wrote without censorship. That one went viral, with over 100 000 views.
The title? “5 Ways You Know That ALDI Fucking Hates You”.
I have since vowed that 2016 is going to be “The Year of Fuck”: I’m gonna put my sweary pants back on, stop worrying and start loving the f-bomb. I sincerely promise that it won’t be open slather, but I’m not going to pretend to be June Dally-Watkins serving high tea on dainty lace doilies either.
This is who I am: the butcher’s daughter from the western suburbs.
Where I come from, “How ya goin’, ya fuggin’ c*nt” is used as a term of endearment. It’s a bit of a rough area, and local newspapers are rife with reports of assault, armed robbery, theft and drug busts (as opposed to where I live now, which is mostly “Stupid Tourist Walks Over Cliff in Broad Daylight” or “Teenager Defaces School Desk With Permanent Marker”).
At university other students would raise their eyebrows, sneer, visibly recoil or LAUGH IN MY FACE when I told them where I lived (or eye me warily like I might punch them in the fanny and steal their wallet). It was the first time I realised how rampant class snobbery is in Sydney, and it made me more determined than ever to embrace my inner – and outer – bogan.
A blogger who was chatting to me at some crappy brand event said “I hate bloggers who swear because they’re trying to be funny and they think it makes them edgy” (clearly had no idea who she was speaking to – awks). I had to laugh. These words aren’t “edgy”. Anyone in 2016 who still thinks the word “fuck” is edgy needs to grab their crochet blankie and their chamomile tea and go lie the fuck down.
The end result of my fuck-free experiment is that I’ve had to accept that this is me: this is the voice I use when I am most comfortable and completely free to be myself. It’s rude, crass and rough as guts. It’s the half-drunk bar wench holding court in a dark corner of a dingy pub. The potty-mouthed friend who cusses like a motherfucker but can talk like she has a plum in her mouth when she needs to.
The upshot is that I’ve stopped worrying whether my use of language upsets or alienates people, because what I’ve discovered in three years of blogging is that people who want to be offended will find a reason to take offence anyway, no matter how vanilla you are. So you might as well be yourself.
And if all of this cussing is not your cup of chamomile tea, there’s an entire blogosphere teeming with DIY crochet tutorials, boring-as-fuck flat lays and polite discourse about freshly-baked fudge cookies. All cool, let’s shake hands and bid each other a fond fucking adieu. If you’re lucky, you’ll leave with your wallet intact.