A LOVE SUPREME

I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

If you post comments here at Theos Project, please know that I will respond and engage your thoughts in a timely manner.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"Go Feck Yourself!"



[begin infomercial]

[begin intro infomercial music]
[narrator]
Are you a Christian and conservative with your language? But do you still sometimes get mad at people and want to curse?

We'll we at Cursenomore have just the product for you.

It's Feck!

Life can be difficult. People will cut you off on the highway, cars can break down at the worst time, and sometimes it all just piles up on you! We at Cursenomore understand, and that's why we want you to have "Feck."
[fade out intro infomercial music]

[begin testimonial by well groomed, roundly shaped man in mid-thirties with slightly nerdy tone of voice]
My name is Tom. I am a pastor of a very nice church. I always listen to Christian music on the radio and want my children to grow up in a safe atmosphere. [pause, guilty look] But I do get angry sometimes with how people drive, and every once in a while a bad word will slip out of my mouth. [pause, even more guilty looking] I have used [bleeping out the word] and I sometimes have even said [bleeping out the word] and [bleeping out the word]. But since using Feck I've been a whole new person. I have not used [bleeping out the word], [bleeping out the word], or [bleeping out the word]. Not once. [look of relief and satisfaction] Feck has changed my life and made my car a safe place again for the kids to listen to Christian music or watch wholesome DVDs.
[end testimonial by well groomed, roundly shaped man in mid-thirties with slightly nerdy tone of voice]

[fade in upbeat infomercial music]
[narrator]
Just in the feck of time, you, too, can get rid of those nasty pofanities. Just like that, they can be gone--fecking gone!
[dim the upbeat infomercial music]

[begin testimonial from attractive, thin and trendy woman with wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights look]
There are sooooo many fecking good combinations. [little giggle] Uhhmmmmm, there's "Feck you," "What the Feck??!!" "Get the feck out of here!" "Feck that," Oh, and "Feck off!" You can just be so creative!
[end testimonial from attractive, thin and trendy woman with wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights look]

[fade in teary eyed, dramatic infomercial music]
[narrator]
Sometimes cursing can really be bad for you and others around you.
[begin testimonial by well groomed, roundly shaped man in mid-thirties with slightly nerdy tone of voice]
[really serious look] I know what it is like to drop the Fbomb....and I'm a Pastor. Imagine the fear I felt at the possibility that one day I would say [bleeping out the word] or even [bleeping out the word] and a person in my congregation would hear.
[end testimonial by well groomed, roundly shaped man in mid-thirties with slightly nerdy tone of voice]

[narrator]
But you don't have to curse. Not if you're Fecked!

[abrupt change to upbeat infomercial music]
[narrator]
Order today! You, too, can curse no more! The profanity can be gone in a Feck! The results are guaranteed. You will never have to curse again.

But that's not all! Be one of the first hundred callers and we'll also send you a bonus product. Pick up the phone and order right now and you'll also receive "Crum!"

[begin testimonial from man named James who is doing some electrical wiring around the house]
I do a lot of odd jobs and handyman work around the house, and sometimes I like to help out friends with jobs at their houses. Crum works great for those small jobs where things just don't go quite the way you had planned. I use Crum all the time for those little things. It works great. It's always right there, whenever I need an "Ah, crum!" or even just a quick "Crum" under my breath.
[end testimonial from man named James who is doing some electrical wiring around the house]

[narrator]
Feck is a real product with real results. And the results are guaranteed.

Being curse-free is just a phone call away. Call 1-800-Feck-Off to speak with a helpful service representative. Remember, Feck is guaranteed to make you curse-free. You can even try it risk-free for thirty days.

Get Feck today by calling 1-800-Feck-Off. That's 1-800-Feck-Off.

Call today!

Feck yourself right now: it's for your own good and the safety of those you love.

[end infomercial]



Main Entry: feck
Function:noun
Etymology:Middle English (Scots) fek, by shortening & alteration from Middle English 1effect

1 Scotland a : the greater share : MAJORITY usually used with the "the feck of the town council didn't fancy his backers" John Buchan b : PART, PORTION "took the best feck of a year" "sold the best feck of the litter"
2 Scotland : VALUE, WORTH "no feck would come from it"
3 Scotland : a number or quantity especially when large "a whole feck of them came"
[taken from Merriam-Webster]

8 comments:

Emily said...

Oh, my. It looks like you came across this word "feck" and felt a spell of creativity come over you. Nice work.

It reminds me of when I saw "The Christmas Story" as a child. They use the word "fudge" and so I thought "fudge" had been a bad word in the old days.

Melody said...

Swearing is kind of risky. So under the Erdman philosphy that would make it kind of worthwhile, yes?

But I think you've misjudged your target market. I mean, I got in trouble for saying "freakin'" as a child. You think my mother was going to be consoled by "feckin'"?

Besides that, pseudo swears are easy enough to create on your own. What people really need in bad traffic is a replacement hand gesture. I mean, right now I just shake my fist at people, but I'm not entirely sure they understand that they're the object of my wrath.

There also needs to be some kind of universal traffic-apology gesture, because sometimes you cut people off without meaning to and there's no way to say, "Oops! I'm not really an inconsider jerk, just an incompetent driver!"

Kenji said...

Funny and satirical as it may be, it still demonstrates a real problem. Christians are good at creating "chrisitan swear words" but doesn't this defeat the purpose? For a long time I caught on to using the word "frick." But then I got to thinking, the point isn't what I'm saying, its why. I swear when things are not going the way I want them to. But doesn't this reveal a selfish heart. i guess Jesus was right when he pointed out that what comes out of the mouth is from the heart, and it is that which defiles a man.

ya know, while I am against swearing of any kind, the one that bugs me most is when Christians use the Lord's name in vain. Things like "oh my god" or "for christ's sake" and other such phrases are all to common by even those who consider themselves devout. Yet then they turn and recite; "Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name."

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Ken/Melody:

Ephesians 5 may be of interest:

1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.


In v. 4 Paul says that there should not be "obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking." But who determines "obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking"? I would suggest it is like any other language: It is something of a random development within each culture/society. So, the word "fuck" might be very obscene in American or other English speaking countries, but perhaps in some other language it is a pretty and nice word. The word "shag" is a very strong word (the equivalent strength of "fuck") in England, but in America it isn't nearly as strong.

So, maybe the words themselves do matter, even more than the heart. Maybe God wants us to speak cleanly, according to the dictates of our culture. If this is the case, then it probably wouldn't be wrong to substitute "crum" in your vocabulary as a word to use when you get frustrated. It isn't a vulgar term, and it would let you blow off a bit of steam. Maybe Christian cuss words are good in their own quaint way.

Melody said...

Just giving you a hard time Jon, I don't actually care. Unless I'm around my mom in which case I feel very strongly that no one should swear or pseudo swear. Ever.

Kenji said...

You quote some passages that speak against any kind of impure speech, and yet go on to say that if the speech is culturally acceptable, then it is ok. This rather surprises me.

I believe that this text can go beyond cultural bounds to say that anything used to swear is the problem. It is not an issue of what the word is, but the motivation behind the word. You argue elsewhere in your blog that the issues found in scripture are not bent toward legalism but the heart. Why not here. The issue with swearing is the heart. Why do we swear? To vent anger and frustration about things that are not going the way we want them to go. The heart in this case is focused on the self. So regardless of what words we use, we are still swearing, and that swearing is an issue of the heart.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Ken,

My suggestion is based on the relativity of language. My argument kind of stands or falls on whether or not language is relative to cultures and societies.

If language is relative, then what constitutes "unclean" language will vary according to language.

To be precise, Paul does not say that we should not use words that come from an unclean heart, but he (in this instance, anyway) suggests that we not use words that are "unclean."

Yes, I am all for going for the heart of things, but I'm also all for being fair to Paul, and in this context I think he is suggesting we avoid unclean language, not that we avoid unclean hearts that produce unclean language.

Let the record show that in this instance, I'm arguing based on authorial intent!

Melody said...

Why do we swear? To vent anger and frustration about things that are not going the way we want them to go.

There's an ethical problem with this?