John Kerry is a Real Man!

Or, well, at least he swears .

But I’m afraid you’re going to have to cuss much, much worse than that to get my vote, Mr. Kerry. Market testing has shown that “motherfucker” is an especial hit with youth vote like me. Say something really fucking scurrilous, OK?

This all reminds me of a lovely argument someone made (maybe Gary Wills in NYRB?), that Clinton could’ve saved himself a heap of trouble by swearing more. That instead of saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” he should’ve said “I didn’t fuck her”. It would’ve been gorgeous. Frank language for a frank national discussion.

There’s certainly no question that cussing from power can be heavy shit. A reminder to others of their station. I seem to recall reading that Stalin swore something terrible. And check out Lord St Vincent in Post Captain below, putting Jack Aubrey in his place. By way of background, Jack’d captured the Spanish Cacafuego, a big-ass fire-shitting brawler of a ship compared to Jack’s eighteen-gun sloop, and expected a promotion for it:

‘The Cacafuego was a thirty-two gun xebec-frigate, my Lord.’

‘She was a privateer, sir.’

‘Only by a damned lawyer’s quibble,’ said Jack, his voice rising.

‘What the fucking hell is this language to me, sir? Do you know who you are talking to, sir? Do you know where you are?’

‘I beg your pardon, my Lord.’

7 Responses to “John Kerry is a Real Man!”

  1. snjoseph Says:

    Stalin did indeed swear, although it got worse over time as he consolidated his power. The Bolsheviks under Lenin could be quite sharp with one another, but were unfailingly cordial. In fact, Lenin broke off all personal relations with Stalin in 1923 when Stalin used rude language against Lenin’s wife (he was already mad at him for other stuff, too).

    The most terrible example, though, comes from 1932. At a social dinner with other high Soviet officials, Stalin’s wife voiced her anxieties about the terrible toll of the collectivizations, political terror, etc. Stalin snapped and let loose a torrent of vulgar abuse directed at her, and in front of all the other guests. She immediately left the banquet, and committed suicide that night. Horrible!

    (PS: I can talk about things other than Stalin, really. I don’t even like Stalin.)

  2. Erin Says:

    Or as a character in Philip Roth’s The Human Stain says about the Lewinsky scandal:
    “If Clinton had … turned her over in the Oval Office and fucked her in the ass, none of this would have happened.”

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