By Belur Chennakeshava!
We are copycats, but we are also honest. And we have no hesitation in admitting , By Toutatis! that we have taken a leaf out of the Gauls’ book. And Belur IS ex-PM country.
Sundays never cease to surprise. It’s the day our Humble Former declares Open Season for Profanity. The Humble Former who looks more like an Animated Ragi Mudde (it’s true, you are what you eat) every day, has a head start. But is there a contest on? The target of his profane outing apparently called him “a desperate man” and had a good day at the movies watching 3 Idiots. As Chief Minister, he doesn’t care to stoop to the level of an ex-PM, and everything has its place and time.
ARM’s profanities have prompted a little research into the subject of swearing and X-rated oaths. Many great men have extolled the virtues of swearing. The most famous advocate of swearing as a tonic, is of course, Mark Twain.
My favourite Twain is Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
On Sunday, our Homa-loving Desperately Drastic Gnarlatron ( I started to make that one up, got as far as Gnark, but these days Googling is the mother of invention, and that’s how I found in Urban Dictionary. Gnarlatron –Any person or thing that exceeds awesome or sick. Often referred to as uber gnarly or “gnarlatron.” Eg. “Dude, that trick was so gnarlatron!”) Gnark is a word too, but I digress.
HDDG, aka ARM, is not dogged by morning-after pangs of regret. He has already winged it to Delhi, and is brazening it out with the media, claiming the “excesses of Yeddyurappa ” chiefly being in the chair where he’d rather see his own son sitting, are too provocative for anyone as tolerant as him. His sons are gamely holding out against attacks from foes-turned-friends-turned-foes, with threats of retaliation if said f-turned-f-turned-fs didn’t call their protesting pack to heel. Urgent, desperate circumstances that only profanity can mitigate!
The target of his inglorious epithets, who went from numb-with-shock to awestruck ( I mean, it takes guts to swear on camera, even if you have little to lose) to probably-gleeful-in-his sleeve, couldn’t have asked for more. His shoulders are suddenly lighter by a messy party (of his own making), an uneasy chair, and enemies within. Amazing what profanity can do. You get to be the lesser of all evils for free, though there’s an outside chance that all that name-calling might actually be close to the truth. And he can sue.
Back to our little thesis on profanities and what wise men say.
Mark Twain had plenty to say on profanity, and knew how to swear without the fear of punishment. He seems to have applied a couple of them in his life too. He wrote in Roughin’ It – I was…blaspheming my luck in a way that made my breath smell of brimstone.
Wonder what one’s breath smells of when one blasphemes an Ungrateful Wretch, which is what the ARM would like us to call the CM.
…quadrilateral, astronomical, incandescent son-of-a-bitch.
– Letter to W. D. Howells, (attacking an enemy) Mark Twain did relish swearing!!
When you’re mad, count four; when you’re very mad, swear! But most of us don’t wait to count four! at least I don’t!
– quoted in A Lifetime with Mark Twain: The Memories of Katy Leary.
(Animated Ragi Mudde counts only when it suits him, and thinks he has something to gain from it. Okay, everybody makes mistakes.)
All through the first ten years of my married life I kept a constant and discreet watch upon my tongue while in the house, and went outside and to a distance when circumstances were too much for me and I was obliged to seek relief. I prized my wife’s respect and approval above all the rest of the human race’s respect and approval. I dreaded the day when she should discover that I was but a whited sepulcher partly freighted with suppressed language. I was so careful, during ten years, that I had not a doubt that my suppressions had been successful. Therefore I was quite as happy in my guilt as I could have been if I had been innocent. – Mark Twain’s Autobiography
ARM doesn’t have the problem of having to control his profane predilictions in the presence of his long-suffering wife, and longer-suffering public).
There ought to be a room in every house to swear in. It’s dangerous to have to repress an emotion like that- Twain said it, but I’m guessing ARM doesn’t know that, or doesn’t care if he did.
Twain said: The idea that no gentleman ever swears is all wrong. He can swear and still be a gentleman if he does it in a nice and benevolent and affectionate way. Of course our Animated Ragi Mudde swore, not in a nice, benevolent and affectionate way, though today he wants people to be nice, benevolent and affectionate to him and his, and consider how provocative the circumstances are just now.
The Animated Ragi Mudde may have heard of Mark Twain, or not, but Twain’s pearls on profanity seem tailor-made for him- Let us swear while we may, for in Heaven it will not be allowed, Twain wrote in Notebook, 1898.
If I cannot swear in heaven I shall not stay there. – Notebook, 1898
So where the hell are we?
Did the CM swear? Just because he said nothing, or very little, it doesn’t mean he didn’t. Mark Twain has quotes for that too. He didn’t utter a word, but he exuded mute blasphemy from every pore. – Autobiography of Mark Twain.
Some profanity funda (for ARM to meditate on, and for others to gloat on)
Profanity is the weapon of the witless.
Profanity is the attempt of the lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcefully.
When a man uses profanity to support an argument, it indicates that either the man or the argument is weak- probably both.
Profanity is the common crutch of the conversational cripple- David Keuck.
Can profanity be good for anyone? Cheering news for newspaper fellows:
My approach to newspapers was based on the idea that when you looked at the front page you said: ‘Good heavens’, when you looked at the middle page you said: ‘Holy smoke’, and by the time you got to the back page, well, I’d have to utter a profanity to show how exciting it was. -British Journalist Arthur Christiansen, in Headlines all my Life.
Well, I’ll be……….