Rude, Crude & Socially Unattractive

“No one can be as calculatedly rude as the British, which amazes Americans, who do not understand studied insult and can only offer abuse as a substitute.”  [Paul Gallico]

So, what is the difference between calculated rudeness and abuse?  Is it the “calculated” part that separates the “studied insult” from simple abusive language?  Can abusive language directed toward an adversary be transformed into not only a socially acceptable form of communication, but, a potent weapon?

I think the answer to the last question is a resounding yes!  I have long marveled at the ability of those highly skilled in the art of the “studied insult” to accomplish with humor what can never as effectively be accomplished with debate, or, simple conversation.  I believe it is a form of art that has a very long history in the person of Court Jesters and comedians.  When deflating the Big Shot is what is called for I do not believe there is a more powerful means than laughter.  I do not think anything strikes more fear into the heart of the powerful than the prospect of being laughed at.

So, what stops us from seeing a whole lot more of this… this “studied insult”, this “calculated rudeness”?  Why is it we, as a culture, find this business perfectly acceptable on “Comedy Central”, “The Daily Show” and other designated venues for comedy, but, not in our daily lives, or, political debates such as that ridiculous bit of nonsense that took place in Denver last week?  If it is such a powerful tool for deflating the overly pompous why is its use limited to venues that are designated as “non-serious”… all in fun….. or, not to be taken too seriously?

I guess what I am trying to ascertain is why, in American political life, the use of the “studied insult” and “calculated rudeness” are to debate & discourse what nuclear weapons are to warfare.  Even if we possess them… we dare not use them… AS POLITICIANS.  Comedians can use them.  It’s funny when comedians do.  It’s sometimes devastating when skilled comedians do and everybody I know enjoys it.  But NEVER directly into the face of the politician (or, person) being made to look foolish.   THAT is considered rude, crude and socially unattractive.

I often wonder who made up that rule.  I bet it was the powerful.  I bet I know why and I bet you do too.

I think it is a foolish rule and I would like to see it fall by the wayside in the interest of HONESTY!

Lets face it folks…. “If” politicians can lie through their ass every time they open their mouths in a debate SOMETHING more powerful is necessary to counteract the power of the lie.  That “something” is the artful application of calculated rudeness.

THIS is the kind of technique President Obama should be boning up on for the next debate.  Here is the work of an expert.



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5 responses to “Rude, Crude & Socially Unattractive

  1. Is it possible that politicians have no sense of humor!? I jest. But I suspect they are not very good at the sort of thing of which you speak. The English are brought up on it with their debate clubs. American politicians apparently think they have to present a sober and serious face. In any event, few of them seem to be able to laugh at themselves. But that doesn’t stop us!!

    • Obviously the Obama Campaign follows this blog very closely. This morning I turn on the TV and I see their new “Big Bird” commercial using satire and poking direct fun at Old Magic Underpants.

      My chest swells with pride.

  2. I agree with you Hugh, but, I think EVERYBODY who has, or, seeks a position of power deeply fears being laughed at. I think being laughed at, REALLY laughed at, to a politician is akin to being exposed to kryptonite was to Superman. It’s their greatest weakness! The truth CERTAINLY ISN’T! We have seen that in spades at the last debate. Truth is utterly meaningless to politicians…. so, the wise move should be to pull out the kryptonite and lay it on with a vengeance.

    All I know is I could not debate a man who believes that Native Americans are lost Jews and that wearing magic underpants keeps away witches and demons. I would be forced to consult people like Jerry Seinfeld & Chris Rock on appropriate techniques to deal with such a “Mother Load” of potential hilarity.

    • Art Fern

      I agree with what you say. Pomposity is a great target and the ego necessary for a politician usually also means a thin skin. I enjoy watching the English Parliament in session once in awhile, the booing and hissing,
      the cheering and the insult slinging is great entertainment. I’m sure you enjoyed Biden the other night, I thought it was great, if for no other reason, that it made the illiterates in the “news” business look up the word ‘malarky’. And, please, they’re temple garments, not magic underpants. Shipped every Wednesday from the planet Kolob where they are apparently dry cleaned. And possibly where Mrs.Romney gets her dresses.

      And thanks for the dose of Carlin, I truly miss him.

  3. I miss him too.

    It says something about us as a culture and as a people that we keep a straight face as characters like Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann and that, what’s his name little twerpy Eddie Munster kid from the Biden debate take the stage and flap their gums. Unfortunately, what it says isn’t good.

    We would be a MUCH better nation and a MUCH happier people if, instead of having a mythical Jesus on our shoulder, or, asking ourselves WWJD?… we stopped and asked ourselves…. “What would George say?”

    His critique would be merciless and THAT is exactly what these Bozos deserve, but unfortunately, don’t get.

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