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Who Doesn’t Love To Say Fuck

Listening to a recent Lexicon Valley podcast, triggered a memory about how, as a kid, I was chastised for swearing. I was probably around 13 or 14 years old and had used, as teenagers often do, a word that some adult authority figure in my life thought was inappropriate.

Their response was that swear words were for uncreative and lazy people who couldn’t find a better way to express their emotions. And that my grandfather never had to say a swear word in his life to express how he felt.

I remember, even in my teenage brain, thinking this was one) untrue and two) ridiculous. So, I asked, “Well what did he say?”

To which there wasn’t an answer.


I am aware that one can thoroughly insult people without dropping a curse word. I’m also aware that one can do so with curse words. Or just not insult anyone at all but who wants that?

There are lots of great words in the English language. Some of them have been arbitrarily deemed “inappropriate.” Many of them because the Victorians were uncomfortable with bodily functions (shit, piss). Or because sexism (pussy, cunt, twat). Or because of shaming about sex (fuck, cocksucker*).

I don’t abide by this. Words aren’t inherently bad. It’s a social construct. Like race. And whether long hair is for men or women. And whatever goes into a pumpkin spice latte (maybe that’s a chemical construct?)



*Why do men use cocksucker as a swearword? Isn’t that like calling someone you don’t like “Hey delicious steak” or “Fuck off, excellent massage?”


No One Cares If You Hate McDonalds

On one of the many podcasts that I listen to, The Gist, host Mike Pesca interviewed TV producer Phil Rosenthal about his new TV show “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having.” It’s basically a travel TV show where Phil goes around to different places and eats food there.

Rosenthal discussed what his food preferences are and made some snarky remarks about there being Starbucks in Italy and McDonald’s in Paris. He made a comment to the effect of “I don’t want to have McDonald’s in Paris.”

Hey, that’s great! Don’t eat McDonald’s in Paris. Or drink Starbucks in Italy. Or at Burger King in Spain. That’s fine. There are lots of great local places that you can try. Plenty of delicious food (and drinks!) to go around.

You know who doesn’t give a shit about whether or not you, American tourist, want McDonald’s in Paris? The 2.25 million people who live in Paris.

You know, who, it turns out might want to eat McDonald’s in Paris? That same 2.25 million people who live in Paris.

I’m not defending the exportation of American food culture, nor am I arguing in favor of McDonald’s (or other chain restaurants) over local places. But Paris and Italy aren’t just exotic locations you jet off to for your TV show or vacation. Actual people live there. And those actual people might find, and I know this is shocking, a Big Mac exotic.


If you grow up in Paris, pain au chocolat and baguettes are standard fare. It’s not a French restaurant there. It’s just a restaurant.


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