Thursday, March 5, 2009

On Curses


I still think Peter David has his head shoved up his own backside. America is full of cowards who're more concerned with their own personal comfort than in dealing with the damage of slavery, the original American conquest and the ongoing disease of racism. Peter David is one of those cowards, along with many of the authors involved in Racefail 09.

However, I'm attempting to reconsider the term DIAF. My sentiment that he needs some kind of spiritual intervention, or several more turns of reincarnation, or something as he's currently dragging down the human race - that still stands. He is not a part of my humanity. And I likely wouldn't shout to warn him to get out of the way of an oncoming bus.

But having good friends is rather like having the angel on your shoulder call for back up, and they show up like little angel Rambos, with moral ethics grenades and blades of conscience and gird themselves for a war to save your soul. So I'm reconsidering because of 'my angel squad'.

I do not want to use sex as as a curse. Just no. No get bent. No f u. No homophobic baiting 'drop your soap' or any of that shit. But what am I left with if I'm not thinking of individuals as failed!Meshachs?

* Be Unborn ? Well that has connotations of wishing someone's mother had aborted them. That's an iffy area to me.

* Hex you? I like it. But that seems like a PR nightmare for pagans, especially since I wouldn't mean 'May you stub your toe repeatedly'.

A friend told me last night that I'm vindictive. And I had a moment of 'ahh!! noooooooo!!!!!!' (yeah, really, it was a Prequel-Vader moment). But then I slept on it, and really, they're not wrong. I am a spiteful little thing. I desire the hurt of those who hurt or wrong me, or those I care about. I cut people off and out of my life without quandary. I don't turn the other cheek and purposely route out shades and tendrils of anything meek within me. I am not Medea, but I understand her methodology of stripping the man who betrayed her and broke his sworn word to her of absolutely everything.

That said, does anyone have suggestions on curses? Is there anyone else who refuses to use sex or gender as a curse? Because I'm still partial to things like "Die Screaming" and to me, going over the line would be "May your spirit NEVER find rest."


  1. I've had a similar problem, actually. What I've finally decided on, I think, is wishing that their actions should come back on them with a fury. For me, it has the advantage of implying -- to me, at least -- that the...soul of the universe, I guess, which knows everything, will ensure that the punishment is proportional. Which, even if I don't want it to be, I think it should be.

    I've never been comfortable wishing death on someone. For one thing, if they they up and died I would be consumed with guilt. But wishing that their own actions would come back to them, that works for me.

  2. I'm still partial to a hearty "fuck off" at this point, but your position is well taken. I tend not to use "fuck" to refer to actual sex for that very reason, which is sad in its way. The gendered ones, I try to avoid, but don't always succeed.

    That said, I don't know what real difference there is between metaphorical sexual/parentage connotations and metaphorical ill-wishing. I think you've reached the most workable conclusion in your later post, that the violent sentiment is the one that expresses your honest response. The very fact that DIAF is codified in an acronym points to its function as a curse word, not a literal order. Taking it as the latter is more than a little disingenuous.

    The lecturing stance in PAD's comment about how to address a pro circles right back to square one of the tone argument. You've reached the (pretty damn well-supported) conclusion that he's not going to pay attention to the content of your comments regardless.

    The one element that gives me pause about saying "So you might as well couch it as viciously as you please" is the ever-present reality for a public figure that there is no way to tell who's just blowing off steam and who's a full-blown stalkerfan who might get proactive and literal about it in physical space. He really does have no option but to err on the side of caution in that regard. If it sounds like a threat, however likely it is to be metaphorical, it has to be taken as one.

    That said, I can't think of anything that won't. The cleverly-worded option (my favorite in Chicago is "walk east until your hat floats") generally doesn't satisfy the churning-gut impetus of a good solid succinct curse, precisely because it softens the threat factor. So I'm not sure there's a substitute that will answer the need.

  3. Why are insults based on sex verboten, but insults based on the ending of someone's life okay?

  4. David:

    Possibly because I'm not you? Also I'm discussing curses, not insults aka "You fight like a girl."

    Curses, cussing, as in the intent to let someone know you wish them ill.

    Sex is not an ill will event to me. Death and pain are.

  5. I don't much care for Die in a Fire. But, then, I'm Whitey Whitepants. If I tell a black person to go die in a fire, well, shit, I might as well tell him to go hang from a noose.

    How about... Eat Shit? It's disgusting and unpleasant and could potentially lead to death without explicitly saying so.

  6. Disposable Ninja:

    Ok, the 5 year old in me? Just curled up in a little corner and went "Eeeeeeewhhh!"

    On the other hand, I keep hearing the end of the sentence as 'And Die'.

  7. I usually go with "Get a clue." It sounds pretty wimpy, I know, but having had the sudden stark epiphany of "Oh my god, what the hell have I been SAYING?!" and realizing I've been utterly, painfully, embarrassingly wrong/stupid more than a few times, I can honestly say that for a while at least, I wanted to do nothing more than hide under a rock forever.

    And there's the added optimism element: having now GOT a clue, the person will be much more tolerable to be around after the fact.