I’m writing here really for the most part about my feelings and such (as they’re the only ones I can really speak with any authority on), but others in my life (obviously) have feelings about what I’m doing.
Justin for example.
I wrote some lyrics yesterday, and in them I used the word “cunt”. When I asked Justin what he thought of them, he criticized my use of the word, saying it was too harsh, and misplaced. We had a discussion about it, and I defended my use of the word, stating that:
a) it keeps the meter
b) it rhymes
c) It’s not the only cuss word in the lyrics
d) It jives with the tone of the rest of the song, which is meant to be dark and aggressive for the genre I’m writing for
The song is a general statement on the core nature of the male/female relationship.
Despite these points, Justin insists that the word isn’t appropriate for the rest of the lyrics.
I think what’s really going on here is that Justin’s not ready to hear his mother scream words like “cunt” in public. It’s not like he’s not familiar with my temperament, fondness for cussing, sexuality, or any other aspect of my personality. I don’t know exactly what to tell him in order to help him process this in his head. We’ll do what we always do, talk about it, till everyone’s ok with it.
This of course brings to the forefront the whole issue of cussing in general. I remember when I first heard Robert Smith use the word “fuck” in a song I was tremendously disappointed, because I’d come to appreciate Robert’s abilities to use language, and I felt that his resorting to use a cuss word showed a lack of vocabulary.
Upon further reflection, when re-listening to the offending song (The Kiss, off Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss me), it dawned on me that the word was used in context, and really….. there was no other word he could use to convey the emotion he was trying to. (“Get your fucking voice out of my head”). I mean, I’ve felt that way…. all the time.
Artistic license aside, there are issues of what are we teaching our children when writing/using/propagating words that have negative connotations attached to them.
Words by themselves mean nothing…. discussion… that means something, and although he’s not happy with it, we have had discussions about it, and just the fact that I can have that kind of discussion with my teenage son makes me feel secure in the fact that he will understand why such words exist, why and when and in what context they should be used. It also makes me feel good, cause most kids his age can’t have that kind of conversation with their parents.