Back to Contents

M.... !

 By mgib   I hesitated long about the title. Thinking first of sending it in clear, drooling in advance about Simon Says trapped in the conflict between free speech and losing the prude fringe of his readers at the simple look of the front page.
 I don't think it would have done any damage to the frequentation. It's well known those who pretend to be the most disgusted about what they call foul language are the first to read it carefully to be comforted in their disgust.          Voyeurism often goes with sectarianism. Like banned porn novels read on the sly by those who stood for Victorian values.

 Reminds me of the story of this old lady, complaining at the police station about her neighbour showing himself nude in his bathroom, window wide open. When the Officer came to her apartment to record and as he saw nothing, she said "Sir, go into my kitchen, put the stool on the table and climb on it, you will see, it's disgusting". 

 I finally chose the masked form for the foul word. Especially when in French you replace letters by dots, but the first (eventually with the last) letter, while in English it's more common to replace vowels. Cryptic, catching curiosity.

 So here you are reader, ready for the worse! What? This is unfair because the title wasn't clear enough? How many times did you click on "I agree" about a license you didn't read and anyway which didn't say anything but you are an idiot because you are accepting to be wrong in any case? LOL!

 Now natural selection occurred among readers, let's be serious. I didn't chose "merde" by chance. It's one of the rather few slang words which has exactly the same meaning as in its English equivalent "sh*t". First and second meaning. Both rather vulgar slang. Both used in the same circumstances most of the time within the same expressions.
 Just one difference: the "*". Whereas in English there are very smart places, circumstances, publics where one would avoid to use it, in French there is a larger tolerance for such words and anyway most would find inappropriate, not to say ridiculous, scandalous or intolerable, one complains or warns about its use.
 The reason? Difficult to say, it's mostly related to the culture and also the language. It's a difference that's all, no reason really needed. Maybe because there are no foul words but foul meanings. Like there are no bad notes but bad music. The thing is it's easy to say despicable things with "nice" words, starting with lying: a well spread practice among the right thinking shocked by "shit".

 Usually (that is in RL, for those who know where is the switch on their computer) this is not too much a problem. We are used to select our environment so to be mostly with people "speaking" the same language as us or a language we tolerate. And when we can't, it's most of the time in unexpected circumstances we may escape from quickly.

 But in AW, this is quite different. The chance is to meet people from different nations, cultures, ages, education or religions we wouldn't naturally meet by the selection we made in RL or for simple practical reasons. The benefit is quite obvious. The drawback is we may be more often shocked or offended by words or attitudes. 
 There are those who can't afford it, wanting to draw only the winning numbers without betting. They managed to take control of the community by force thinking it was possible.

But it's not. Would you enforce (real sense, by force) anyone to behave in a way that shocks no one, this person wouldn't be himself. You lose all the benefits and meet only the reflection of yourself. Quite comfortable but sterile.

 The only result is some low profile standardisation leading in some places to these "safe", aseptic, meaningless, boring, uniform chats where nice words, by lack of contrast, lose their value you desperately try to balance putting them between enough brackets.  I find very amusing to witness this soaring of kind superlatives when one suddenly wants to explain he/she is REALLY happy to see someone else.

 But as you need fair explanations for this language and behaviour enforcement but explaining it's because a rather prude, bigot, narrow-minded attitude, and stupid here, you invent anything. Only because protecting kids, you know. Some kids badly need to be protected from hearing "shit"? Where are these aliens? Are they kept in the freezer between two AW sessions? 
 I bet many of these wet blankets wouldn't be so demanding in RL. Like I saw few of them at The Reunion being pretty much careless, not to say more, in their adult attitude or vocabulary in front of kids. But of course in RL they can't cheat with some virtual powers to satisfy their repressive instincts, whatever they do believe or not in the rule.

 Would you ask how come some pretend to be able to define the borderline of acceptable language or behaviour for all, at the end (unless you are ejected before for "harassment") you'll get this lame answer: common sense. "Common" sense in such a various community?

  If it were the common denominator, I would understand. But I guess this would concern a very limited number of cases, certainly not "shit" which is intolerable only for bigots. The main one would be flooding, which isn't a form of language. Just a trick so no one can read each other, kinda muting all. Censorship for the poor. Rich censors aren't ejected, don't worry. And if muting could be done without having to spot an ever-moving avatar we wouldn't need ejection. But maybe this is the reason why it's not fixed to be easy: so we feel cops are still necessary.

 The lowest common multiple? Then "shit" wouldn't be acceptable because of some. But please include too the request from some cultures which consider women can only speak when allowed (what a change in AW!), teachers who can't stand to hear bad grammar
 (Very good for education of kids, btw, if kids aren't a pretext: one mistake = warning, two mistakes = ejected: 

 "Dumbass":  <<you have shit yourself!>> 
     PK69 :      << Dumbass, watch your language please, you should say "you have shAt yourself", last warning.>>

 At least the kid would learn something.), 
very religious people who are shocked by "damn" or "what's the hell…". (about this expression I witnessed two GKs simultaneously present having a very opposite opinion on how foul it is, one ready to eject. Looks like their "common sense" needs to be adjusted.) etc… etc…

 Would you be offended, you don't have to shut up. You can say it, explain, argue, flame if you feel it. There is a chance to come to some understanding and compromise. Quite none if you threaten to use force. More responsible than saying "this isn't a place for debate" or "this is the rule", arguments for poor minds or cowards. 
 Once, I flamed with few others someone praising nazi theories. In fact I was more shocked by few others including a PK, saying where they live it's ok because it's considered as simply a "political opinion" even if you don't like it. In many countries such a public speech would have been a crime, severely punished. Where is the  "common sense" then? Ejecting me because I used foul language with this bastard? 
No matter how much disgusted I was, never it came to my mind this person hadn't his place here, hoping he would be ejected or asking for it. I know here I must be ready to face such people, I accept it. It doesn't mean I will agree with them, from far. Too many people mix up "accepting" and "agreeing", we understand why. The difference is the one between gunshots and arguments. We have the "weapons" we can afford.

 No, we know too well what "common sense" means. It's the common sense of a clique which has decided their common sense is worth for others, that poor suburbs close where they live and where you look like a square if "shit" is the only bad word you use, is fine as far as the riffraff doesn't come downtown. Segregation is the answer from incompetence and stupidity. We have started here.

 Prices for computers have fallen drastically. The bad point is anyone may enter our nice virtual tea-room. Deities of the Internet have mercy on us!! And send us some watchdogs… no shit!

 Back to Contents
This document maintained by Tripper
Material Copyright © 1998 Simon Says