I'm sorry that I should have to be sorry, and if there's a reason to be sorry, I'm sorry; but if I feel that I really have no cause to be sorry, then all I can say is: I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry. I've received a bit of stick recently for a couple of things I've said and done, so I thought I'd clear the air with you, if that's all right with you. If you find it boring, I'm sorry for that. Well, I'm not sorry, because I'm doing it anyway, but you get the general idea.
Swearing in general I've done before. I don't apologise for that, really. You might see it as some kind of lalochezia - reading the tabloid press is a bit like hitting your thumb with a hammer - before you know where you are, a massive screaming swear has come out of your lips. It's just a thing that I do. I know not everyone likes it, and quite often nowadays I try to do posts without swearing every now and then - I did yesterday, and they got 6,000 pageviews. So it's not like I need to swear to get your attention. But it's part of my personality, my real personality as well as my written-down one, so I think that's not going to change in the near future.
I don't think I'm above criticism. I get a lot of criticism every week, and I don't really mind. Water off a duck's back, and all that, except it's criticism off a rubbish blogger's back; but you get the general idea. A lot of it you see in the comments under stories; some of it you don't, as it turns up in my inbox. Sometimes it's in CAPS LOCK and I have fun staring at the angry letters, marvelling at the way in which my silly words have such an effect on another human being. If anything, I always end up saying sorry. I really do. I've said sorry so many times to readers who appear to have been genuinely offended by what I've said, even by accident, and I always say sorry when I feel that I've upset someone - even if I didn't mean to upset someone.
Of course there are some people who deserve to be upset, in my opinion. And I'm not sorry if they have ever been upset. If Richard Littlejohn, for example, has ever got the impression that I think he's a sub-human piece of shit, then I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry, because that's exactly what I think he is - although as I said the other day, cloaca is a particularly apt way of dealing with such a vile orifice of a man.
There I go again, though, using the word 'man'. It's a good example of my unexamined privilege. As a male, you see, I don't realise that I'm unwittingly accelerating the language that has been used to destroy women for centuries; I can't help it. It's just the way I am, and I should really just accept that whatever I say, it's going to be misogynist, because sometimes I am going to use gender-specific words - you know, referring to a man as a man, for example. What a horrible man, sorry, person, that makes me. Why I even keep on writing anything is beyond me, because from time to time I'm going to refer to things from a male perspective and use words that refer specifically to men, meaning that I am hateful scum.
Well look, I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry. From time to time I am going to use gender-specific words and phrases. I am going to use certain words. Yes, I said goalkeeper Rob Green was 'man enough' to get over his blunder; but I meant 'man' as in 'Rob Green is a man, not a boy', and believing that he is in possession of a penis and a pair of testicles, I thought it might be fair enough to say he'd be man enough to get over it. Oh no! My bad. Apparently that meant that I thought courage and phlegm were distinctly male characteristics rather than female ones. I didn't think that, of course, and I didn't intend to give that impression - and, for what it's worth (which is apparently nothing whatsoever compared to the immense value of the unexamined privilege that weighs me down and crushes me) I don't think that courage or stoicism or phlegm or anything like that are particularly male qualities - it just so happened that Rob Green is a man. He really is. I thought that might be all right, to say something as innocuous as that. Stupid me. Bad me. Wrong me. Apparently that makes me the villain, the enemy, the scum.
The funny thing is I spend most of my time on here saying that the so-called PC Brigade haven't gone mad, and that political correctness is actually a good thing. And I do. The more churlish of you might revel in the thought that I have therefore been hoist by my own petard (is 'petard' a masculine word? Best not use it just in case) by receiving criticism for my use of apparently anti-feminist language. But I stick by my principles. I think political correctness is a good way of being polite and trying not to cause widespread offence - not that offence is something that's necessarily taboo, as I'll come to in a minute - and a good idea to use to try and stop conversations from annoying others. PC hasn't gone mad. It isn't the case that you can't say anything nowadays without the PC diversity Nazis kicking you in the bollocks*for not being as exquisitely inclusive as you otherwise might have been.
But fucking hell. Sometimes it gets a bit wearying, it really does.You try your best to try and be a decent writer, to fight the good fight and all that, but some tiny little apparent error in what you say, and all of a sudden you're a villain. I mean, really? What pisses me off the most is the impression I get that people aren't even offended by these errors, or slips, or perfectly legitimate sentences of mine (whichever way you want to look at it) - they just delight in the idea that they've seen something they regard as being a mistake so they want to put a great big red ring around it and tell me off. I can understand people who are offended by things and like I've said, I apologise, but this isn't even causing offence - if anything I get the impression it causes delight for people to be able to say "Haha! I spotted you doing something incorrect, let me put you straight about this one!"
I'm nearly finished, honest. I just need to get this out of me, otherwise it'll sit there festering, and that won't be good for either of us, you understand. Let's talk about other offences I may commit. Yes, I do wish death on people. I do want people who cause death to others, and who legitimise the use of military force to kill others with lying sophistry and other justifications, to die. In the cas of those responsible for war crimes, I'd like to see them legitimately tried and imprisoned, of course; but in the absence of that, and I'm afraid there always will be the absence of that for our modern-day western war criminals, all I can hope for is a swift but painful death. I don't apologise for that and I won't. When Margaret Thatcher dies I'm having a big fucking party with fireworks, sombreros and confetti cannons, and you're invited - we'll do a big long fucking conga line down the street. Yes, I was pleased to hear Chris Hitchens had cancer. I'm not sorry about any of this, rather unpleasant though it is. You think I'm nasty; there are plans for parties in entire fucking football stadiums in Miami ready for when Castro dies. It's a natural human instinct to wish ill on those whom we despise, and I'm pretty sure people will wish the same on me if they don't like me, or at least do a little dance round the room if I fell under a bus. Ah well. That's human nature, I'm afraid; a pretty unpleasant and despicable part of human nature, but I think we've all got it. I just veil mine a little less discreetly than other people.
Finally, and thanks for staying with me this long if you made it this far, cunt. I understand that certain terms - bitching, cunt, hysterical etc - can be seen as denigrating women by their usage. However, I should perhaps explain. Left Outside writes a nice post about this yesterday, for example, so have a look at that if you like. I use cunt a lot because it's the most taboo word we have - other than racial slurs - and therefore the one that I want to use most of all to describe some of the people I come across while writing this blog, who are truly cunts. Motherfucker, sure, there's that option, perhaps the most taboo word in US English, and that may well be where I would go if I weren't English.
But I try to spread the swearing love around to other words too. I don't confine it to cunt, so I'm not saying that a cunt is the worst thing you can be - people can certainly be fucksticks, or cocks, or wankers, or tools, or knobs, or bellends, or tosswipes, banjostrings, or knackers, or arseholes, or bumgrapes, or whatever. You know, I don't really try to imply that the female genitalia is the worst thing you can be, because it obviously isn't - am I perpetuating that through the use of cunt? I don't think so. Cunts are lovely things, really, they give us life. We all came out of a cunt in the beginning. Maybe Tim's right and we should go for cloaca instead. But until that has a certain currency, I think I'll probably stick with cunt as my word of choice for what I call people who are cunts. It's what I grew up with and I personally don't think it targets women through anger, rage or hatred. Our no 1 swear is cunt. If it were 'ironing board' I'd call Richard Littlejohn an ironing board. You may disagree but at least I hope you can see that where I'm coming from isn't a place where I think that cunt does legitimise hatred or denigration of women above all else.
Anyway, look, that is all. The faintly dispiriting thing is that I know for sure that no matter what I write as my defence, I'll be seen as guilty by some. But all I can do is say that I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry. I don't go out of my way to be offensive or unpleasant - but somewhere along the line, whatever you write, you're going to upset someone, particularly if you're very honest with your readers about how you feel about things. To those who are genuinely offended, I am truly sorry. It doesn't mean that I'm going to change what I do, but I am sorry for any offence caused. For other matters of language, I can't apologise because I honestly don't think that a crime has been committed by me. And that's as far as I can go.
* I did that one on purpose. No, I don't mean that everyone has bollocks. No, I don't mean to imply that you've got bollocks. Unless you have, in which case, I'm sure they're lovely.
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