I have a little problem with the word ‘faggot’. I love that word. Not to say to someone who looks or acts gay or effeminate, but exclusively to bad drivers and ex-boyfriends. Well, actually I only think it with ex-boyfriends because yelling insults at them isn’t my idiom. And it’s clear to me why I think it then; it’s an emasculization or a de-sexualization, a way of saying ‘we had a romantic liason so unutterably unsatisfactory to me that you are a failure as a heterosexual, and if I wasn’t so well-bred I’d tell you so in a very insulting way.’
So I never use it once I’ve thought for a moment because it’s a word that seems too offensive to incidental parties. But if a driver changes lanes in front of me without signaling or checking his blindspot and I have a visceral sensation that I have been close to death or dismemberment at his (and yes, it’s usually a man) hands, I scream, “Faggot!” and immediately feel better. The times I control myself and refrain from screaming “Faggot!” I stew.
I don’t know what to do about this. I should just suck it up, since in terms of a global cost-benefit analysis the good feeling I get from yelling “Faggot!” at bad drivers doesn’t compensate for the possible bad feelings of any gay guys in earshot. But I need a replacement, I need another word to scream. “Cunt” is too short; “shithead”, “asswipe”, “dillhole” and “asshole” too smooth, “dumbass” and “jackass” too twee, “motherfucker”, “sisterfucker”, and “cocksucker” too long, “fuckwit” too esoteric in a Canadian context, “jerk”, “bastard” and “retard” too weak . . . I’m thinking of “dickweed” – the only problem with that one is that it was used in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure when Bill screams “you killed Ted, you medieval dickweed!” while attacking Ted’s putative killer. A line so well timed and delivered I think it belongs to Alex Winter forever.
Ahhhhh. Plus ça change . . .
Jean-François Revel is dead. It makes me sad. He was an infuriating writer, absolutely infuriating, yet he managed to be a coherent voice of dissent in France where the intellectual norm is just a loud cacophony of meaningless, antogonistic prose. Oh well. At least the French still make decent pastry. And they live right next to Italy, that's pretty sweet too.