If you’re anything like us, all this n-word funeral business from last week has been weighing pretty heavily on your mind. We’d been doing some serious soul-searching after Monday’s burial, trying to reconcile the intentions of the event with its actual effect on language and racial politics and put the whole deal into its proper perspective, before it suddenly dawned on us that David Lee Roth had cut through all the attendant emotions and misperceptions and “laid it straight” a good ten years before the fact in his book Crazy From the Heat. We’re starting to think it’s a solid possibility that he earned his nickname not from the brilliance of his early 80s performances, but on account of the diamond-like clarity of his worldview.
Censorship can become very dense and convoluted as quick as you can say “Bob’s your uncle.” Because if you read Source magazine, it’s hip-hop, it’s completely Dre and Snoopy and Coolio. In the magazine, if it’s friendly and affirmative―every single one of these acts refers to “Yeah, I’m hangin’ with me and my nigguz.” “Uz” means it’s cool. It’s not okay for me to use it, or anybody but that crew, okay? Nigger is negative. That’s old school. That’ll get you shot.
Okay. So what happens is, we move into this censorship way of
thinking, we give it a nice, friendly name, like “politically correct,” and
we start referring to things as “the N word.” We won’t even say the word anymore. As if, if we don’t say it, it’ll go away. Kind of like date rape. If we just don’t talk about it, then it doesn’t exist, right? A lot like wife beating, or child abuse.
Okay. So we’re all tuned in to “Court TV,” and they’re referring to the N word. Now, I think I know what N word is, I’m just not sure which version it is. Is it uz or er, ‘cause that makes a difference.
We know what the F word means. And we kinda know what the S word means… what about the K word? That sounds like three different insults for the price of one, for me―all of them spelled incorrectly. But anybody who uses one of those insults frequently probably can’t spell. Now, where does that leave me? I’m a little fuzzy. ‘Cause one of the K words might be kiss my ass. I have a lot of friends who would have alphabetized that under K. I would have alphabetized it under A.
But anybody who uses that insult in their daily diet, more often than not, is probably coming from the former school of thought.
Anybody who uses the word cunt on a daily basis probably spells it with a K. So now I have to adjust the C word and the K word.
You can see how things spin right out of control. The joystick breaks right off, and things get desperate in a hurry here.
That’s censorship. Wait a minute… is that an S word or a C word?