Pondering the F-Bomb, its ancestors, and what’s next

Posted: 2015/01/08 in Politics, Words

I didn’t major in something that ended in “Studies,” so I’m confused.

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations in Paris, one cartoonist responded with a hand rising from bloody paper, middle finger raised in a universal gesture, “F— you!”

It’s a predictable response from a cartoonist. However, something about it struck me, for the first time. It’s graphical sexual violence. Isn’t it a rape metaphor?

When someone screams, “F— You,” they aren’t seeking consent. When the global climate is “F—ed up,” something’s been done to it, and we now have to live with the consequences, and they’re never good. We’re not exactly drifting off to sleep in the peace of loving intimacy.

The same is true of the F-bomb’s older, and hence less shocking, ancestors in American slang. It’s pretty screwed up, if you ask me. That sentence has become so detached from its original connotation that it doesn’t even register with most people. The same is happening with the F-bomb. It is now an F—cracker, on its way to becoming an F-sparkler.

What will take its place? R-pe You? That would be offensive. But don’t they all mean pretty much the same thing?

I’m confused.


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