(This is a transcript of Al Stefanelli’s “Voice Of Reason” segment on my American Heathen® Internet Radio Show)
I am wordsmith. An architect of thoughts, plying my trade through the free exchange of ideas between the different facets that make up my concept of self. With due respect to the classically trained, I don’t reason there is a right way or wrong to build using words, and I also reason there are no words that should never be used.
A cursory glance down the streets of many cities and towns reveal the tried and true, angular construction that is so prevalent in our buildings. The materials are mass produced, wood, glass, brick, and mortar. Every now and then, though, you see the unusual, the odd building that is not shaped like the rest, or that is made of something that isn’t normally used as construction material.
We marvel at round houses, homes built in trees, made of beer bottles and hubcaps, and we even stop and stare at the roadside eyesores that look like they fell out of an episode of “Hoarders,” but are designed that way, intentionally. For whatever lines these structures run, and to what end our tastes demand what we perceive as aesthetic, we are attracted to them. And the architects know this. It is why they build them, and they are not constrained in their ideas.
I view writing the same way. There are certain rules that must be followed. This is true for even the Frank Lloyd Wright’s of the world. A building, any building, must have structure and load-bearing members. But after that, all bets are off. I do this because, like the architect, I have a different purpose for what I write. Not every building is suited for every use, and not every style is suited for every subject.
Thus, there is nothing that is placed outside of purpose, especially words, and what words I use depend on what message I am trying to convey. This is why I have such a problem with censorship. I would just as soon see Vincent Van Gogh censored as I would any artist, and the same goes for any wordsmith.
It’s one of the reasons I admired George Carlin so much. Do you remember his shtick back in the 1970’s, the one where he listed seven words that you would never, ever hear on television? Well, here we are, thirty years later, and you still won’t hear the words “shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker or tits” on NBC, CBS or ABC. Some of the cable networks have allowed them, but only recently.
What saddens me is that there is a movement within the freethought community to censor words, just for the sake of their existence – giving no thought to context. There are words that have been deemed simply too offensive to even utter, and that, as a wordsmith, I have a huge problem with, because it reminds me of a certain religion that has a prophet that depicting an image of is too offensive to even draw. It makes me wonder if heads will start being chopped off if someone simply speaks the words, “Picture of Muhammad,” because it elicits a mental image.
Don’t even get me started on phrases like, ‘the n-word’ or whatever word people want to describe in similar fashion. If I mean to say something, I am going to use the word, not a rendition of the word. It reminds of the Christian who says, “Well, Sally is such a b.” For fuck’s sake, if you think Sally is a bitch, then just call Sally a bitch, and move on. We know what you mean, and using a letter in place of a word does NOT make you a better person.
Trying to change attitudes by force-feeding people different words that carry the same meanings is just plain stupid. It’s like building a facade over an existing building. It’s still the same on the inside, still has the same inner walls, structure and design.
I am a wordsmith. An architect. I will use whatever words I choose to build with, and it is your choice to drive by and bitch about how ugly the building is, or drive around town to find other things I’ve built. Either way, your choice. Just know, in any given room you’ll likely find an old record player, with a scratchy recording of a familiar voice, saying, “shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfucker tits,” and sometimes even “fart, turd or twat”