Swearing: You’re Doing it Wrong

Chris Kluwe shot to fame, in my world, a little more than a month ago, when he wrote an open letter to Emmett C. Burns.  The Huffington Post does a nice job recapping the course of events that led up to this letter, so I’m just going to borrow their summary.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has voiced his support for a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. In response, Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr. (D-Baltimore) wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti urging him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee.” In the open letter below, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responds to Burns.

If you haven’t read Kluwe’s letter yet, I recommend it, not the least reason is that in the course of the letter, Kluwe assures Burns Jr. that gay marriage will not ” magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.”

Now there are a whole hand of finger reasons that I’m choosing Kluwe as an alternate universe bro:

  • He’s outspoken in favor of Marriage for All, in a job where, from an outsider’s point of view, there’s a need to portray hyper-masculine behavior, which includes, among other things, not appreciating people different than yourself.
  • His words are considered, his ideas logical, and his word-smithery keeps his audience engaged. He’s either wicked smart, or really good at faking it.
  • In addition to being a professional athlete, Kluwe also plays in the band, Tripping Icarus, and apparently plays a mean game in World of Warcraft – though he also enjoys gaming of all sorts.

Now if you haven’t read the letter yet, (I linked to it, what’s your excuse?) you may be unaware that Kluwe is also THE modern day Shakespeare of cursing, and this was what initially brought him to my attention as an alternate universe bro.

Swearing is an under appreciated skill in the modern world.

I’m a regular cusser. I swear at work, at home, at the gym, under my breath, out loud, and in my head. I’m not in the habit of swearing AT people; swearing works more as a pressure valve release. But I always have a twinge of guilt when I swear, because I hear the words of the universal mom, “Swearing is lazy speech. It’s uncouth and common. Cursing has no place in the expression of ideas. You can do better.”

But perhaps doing better is learning to swear creatively, as Kluwe explains in his recent interview with Out magazine:

“Your insults can’t be the standard f*ck, sh*t, bitch — it has to be something that sticks in people’s minds,” says Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter, explaining how to craft a devastating letter to someone whose views you hold reprehensible. “Generally the way you do that is to take a swear word—usually a part of someone’s anatomy — and attach it to something else that it normally wouldn’t go with. When you come up with a good one, you’ll know you have it because you’ll just start giggling to yourself.”

For example, “lustful cockmonster.”

So, if you’re a swearer – regular or high-octane – why not put in a little practice and move from common man to artiste? I know I’ll be putting in some practice to improve my cursing creativity.

Let me know any favorite cusses you’ve come up with, because remember, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

For more of Kluwe’s thoughts on… well, everything… check out his blog. His political rhetoric is especially fun to read. But of course, I nerd out about that sort of shit.


Posted on October 8, 2012, in AUBs - Alternate Universe Bros, Gay News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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