Against fucking

As I write, from my flat in Toronto’s Parkdale, my neighbour is criticizing his imaginary flatmate.  He, though sometimes she, is loudly, indeed explosively, accused of ruining his life. His vocabulary is mostly restricted to the word, “fuck,” but occasionally extended to the phrase, “leave me fucking alone.” Several times a day, and night, these declarations ring through my walls. An actual person who lives on the next floor, tells me he thinks the man could be dangerous. But I think he will remain physically harmless, so long as he has no encounter with another human being. If that happens, of course, all bets are off.

By coincidence, one of the many half-way house residents across the street is beating against a window, just short of smashing it. He, contrastingly, demands to be let in. The person he assumes is preventing him, is obsessively denounced, with variations on the word “fucking.”

A young derelict is also shouting this word, farther down the street, but apparently to no one except, perhaps, a dog that may be barking at him.

Earlier today, I heard several other instances of “fucking.” The word seems to indicate some (otherwise unspecified) tiresome behaviour. … And ho! Another person is now shouting “fuck,” and “fuck you,” somewhat rhythmically with the dog that is barking. That makes four, and the dog, five.

“In our age there is no such thing as keeping out of politics,” George Orwell says. “All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.”

To which I would add, fucking. Orwell noted the “gramophone mind,” that mechanically repeats the prevailing “smelly little orthodoxies,” in political life, generally using the same clichés. But this has become too challenging in these liberal, progressive, low-intelligence times, and now we just repeat the term “fucking.”