Why I Write

George Orwell
(I'm totally gay for him)
Long ago, during my days as a sailor, someone once told me “you know, when you cuss so much it makes you sound less intelligent.” Naturally, I cleverly responded “I’m a fucking sailor, what the fuck else am I supposed to say?”

I am keenly aware of the profuse profanity that peppers my vernacular. I was offended when that person asserted that I sound unintelligent because I know myself to be a fairly smart guy. I guess at the time I was young, uneducated, and didn’t really have anything smart to say anyway. But I’ve carried that comment with me ever since. And not only that, but when most people cuss in their every day discourse with me, I generally cringe because I, too, feel like it makes them sound unintelligent.

So why am I so prone to use foul language?

I know the argument: you can’t think of any intelligent words so you fill your speech with those. Well, why does a piece of literature have to be devoid of foul language and invective in order to be considered “intelligent,” or “efficacious”? It’s not the words that make you sound dumb, it’s the content. If you are someone who constantly speaks vacuously, never saying anything that bears any meaning other than squawking, then it’s a lack of meaningful content that makes you sound dumb, not your choice of words.

I know, Hypothetical Nay-Sayer, that my language can be counterproductive. I know that I am likely alienating a large portion of my fellow intellectuals. But if you think that I’m a moron because I insult people’s intelligence, then you are probably not reading my stuff as closely as you should be. It’s also a fairly good indication that you’re not open to new ideas and that you take your own opinions way too seriously.

If you thought that assertion was hypocritical—because my writing style is, shall we say, confident—then you’re still missing the point. Instead of actually thinking about the content I put out, you dismiss it because it’s “crass,” or insulting. You can’t get past the fact that my style isn’t necessarily cordial, and cordiality is something that’s expected of intellectual or academic pieces.

I just want to be true to myself. I don’t want to feel like I have to compromise my modes of expression just to be heard. I once wrote a paper for a graduate course about how George Orwell’s biggest fear was that expression itself was gradually being limited. “Intellectual cowardice … is the chief threat to freedom of thought,” he wrote. He didn’t only fear the oppressive thumb of totalitarianism, but fellow intellectuals that lambasted people for taking certain ideological positions.

Although the academic style of writing definitely has its place and importance, it shouldn’t have to be the sole vehicle for the expression of complex thoughts and ideas. So for anyone that is disappointed in my foul language, I hope you enjoyed this little piece. I’m sure you could tell that I withheld profanity, and I hope against hope that I have adequately demonstrated that I am capable of expressing myself in a more “intelligent” manner.

And to those of you who enjoy my writing just the way it is, I fucking love you mother-fuckers! =D