Monday, January 4, 2010

Insert Soap in Mouth

Tonight I played a Left 4 Dead 2 campaign with my best friend Colin, and things got a little frustrating towards the end. There's something about being knocked off a bridge by a mutated redneck zombie for the third time in a row that can stretch one's patience. We ended up shouting at each other a bit over the usual L4D2 fun, such as friendly fire incidents and abandonment issues.

Afterward I decided to tweet about the incident, comparing it to a Ron White bit in which he uses the phrase "G" damn it, with "G" standing in for "God".

I don't have any trouble with most swear words: anything scatological or sexual is fair game, although I avoid the "C" word out of deference to Sarah.

But I don't blaspheme if I can help it. I'm not strongly religious, and I'm not afraid of going to hell over it; I just think that one should be careful about invoking a higher power in anger, just in case they decide to answer. It's a weird attitude, but it's mine and I like it.

So when I went to tweet, I had to debate whether to censor the quote. I didn't think it was necessary; if you can use it on the radio, I figure it's fair game on Twitter. And I didn't like the way the tweet looked censored: "G--" damn it lacks the power of the unvarnished blasphemy.

But I still wanted to censor the tweet. It was pure instinct, a gut reaction I couldn't quite shake even while I was hitting the "Send" button. I still have a little voice in my head going "Delete the tweet, delete the tweet" an hour later.

I need to throttle that voice. Lock it in a box and throw away the key. I know what I write, and I know I'm going to be writing a few characters with filthy mouths. And if and when they blaspheme, I'm going to have to let them, or my dialogue is going to stink.

And I'm not interested in writing stinking Goddamn dialogue. So I'll write what I need to write, and eat the soap later.


Author's Log

Wrote some character notes, and got my loose notes filed for future reference. Now revising a ten page synopsis suffering from "fundamental issues", which is not nearly as bad as it sounds on first read.

Current Reading

Working on The Curse of Lono, by Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman. It's a hard book to read just because of the size of it, something like a foot and a half by two feet. But it's classic Thompson prose combined with excellent Steadman art, and in my mind definitely worth the effort to read (although possibly not worth the cost on Amazon).

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