>This is a cartoon that I submitted recently but which was rejected for content. The term “up yours” was considered a little too racy for most newspaper funny pages, so it didn’t get published. It was actually written by J.C. Duffy, of The Fusco Brothers and The New Yorker. He didn’t have a market for it, so he offered it to me.
I knew it was “iffy” when I drew it, but I hoped “up yours” was innocuous enough to get by. I guess I should have known better. Lord knows what kind of calamity and social decay would have been wrought upon western civilization if this kind of profanity were to be printed in a comic. The body shudders, the mind reels.
Profanity is profanity purely and only because we all agree that it is. If we stop forbidding certain words or phrases, they immediately lose their power. These kinds of words have the magical power to offend simple because we endow them with it. The myth of profanity exists purely because we believe in it, which, in my opinion, is archaic.
I’ve never studied the subject, but my brain tells me this likely started ages ago when people were more ridiculously superstitious (I say “more” because people are still superstitious, but we weed certain traditional taboos out over the centuries and tell ourselves we’re not) and they feared that saying certain things about god would bring his wrath down upon us. (I know, some people still believe that.)
From there, I suspect we added certain sexually-loaded language to the list, fearing that if we spoke these kinds of words, orgies would break out and society would collapse. I know from personal experience that there are people living in the United States of America in the 21st century who actually fear that if their children hear (or read) about homosexuality, they will become homosexual. These are people with jobs and college educations and drivers licenses.
Personally, I think it is all a lot of hooey. When I was raising my daughters, they were not denied knowledge of profanity, but told that certain words and phrases were off limits only until they were old enough to understand the social implications and use them appropriately. I didn’t want my six-year-old using language that other people would use to make inaccurate assumptions about their character.
Not surprisingly, this worked. They weren’t forbidden from knowing or uttering these things, they were simply warned of other people’s reactions to them if they did and asked to wait until they fully understood this concept before they talked that way. Both are now well-rounded, happy adults. Their brains didn’t explode.
I also did this with all matters of sexuality, illegal drugs, manners of dress, etc. If you tell your kids the truth and give them good, factual information on which to make their decisions, they tend to make the right decisions. Imagine that.
I could go on and on about the myth of profanity, but it wouldn’t make any difference, so f*ck it.
I hope you like this cartoon, as a person who hates doing laundry, I got a chuckle out of it.