Thursday, September 29, 2016

True Offence? Or Mind Control?

Author Peter Darley
What is it about a certain four letter word that gets people so hot under the collar? I’m sure most of us have had occasion to be in a room when grandma is sitting among us. A movie comes on the TV containing a scene of gratuitous violence. The antagonist is stabbing the victim to death, blood flying everywhere, bellowing something to the tune of “You fucking bastard!” Grandma gasps in horror and says, “Why do they have to use ‘that language’?” The gratuitous, homicidal violence isn’t even mentioned. A virtually meaningless combination of four letters – four alphabetical symbols that serve the purpose of expressing an exclamation mark – is the first cause of such horrified excitation.

But why is this? Out of scores of reviews for Hold On!, I have only been hit by this phenomenon twice (to date.) The use of profanity in it is, by no means, excessive, and is only used occasionally in dialogue for the purpose of contextual realism. If I’d had enraged characters or psychopathic killers bellowing ‘good gosh’, ‘golly’, ‘darn’, or ‘blinkey, blonkey, blimey’, I would’ve been laughed out of the writing game. It’s a no-win situation. Hold On! contains scenes of extreme homicidal violence, torture, and skull-crushing vengeance. I find it extraordinary how all of that goes unnoticed by certain people, in deference to the use of a mere word. Ironically, this very issue is directly addressed in chapter 33. It still doesn’t seem to be giving certain people a moment of thoughtful pause.

Hold On! by Peter Darley
It’s four letters. F.U.C.K. They contain no mystical properties whatsoever. They literally define the word ‘nothing’. If any of these people were to be asked why they felt so offended by it, the answer would, invariably be, “That’s how I was raised.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t constitute an opinion. There were many views my parents tried to drill into me, the ‘F’ word being a big one (as in – ‘we’ll cut you out of our will’ big.) However, if they couldn’t back those views up with any reasoning other than ‘because we said so’, I would simply disregard it with the contempt it deserved.

An opinion is a viewpoint at which one has arrived through personal experience, observation, and logical reasoning. Thinking what we are told to think is the very antithesis of that. All it shows is that critical thinking has, for that person, been minimal – at best! It is this very same shortcoming within the human condition that enables acts of terrorism.

Go! by Peter Darley
For my part, I am not going to compromise on this issue. I refuse to pander to the absurd, in order to gratify the bizarre sensibilities of those whose critical faculties have been so deeply impaired. I invite all to join me in a chorus of personal free expression, and it goes like this – “FUCK IT!” J


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