Monday, July 24, 2006

The Law of Unintended Consequences

I was watching this program on the ' 70s, I decade I virtually missed because of my involvement with TM, and it explained that the reason cocaine became such a big thing was becaues Nixon made pot VERY illegal, so the smugglers wisely switched from pot to coke because, whereas a kilo of pot might fetch a couple of hundered dollars, a kilo of coke would bring in tens of thousands, so they started flooding the market with coke. Now this is a perfect example of unintended consequences. And last night I was watching a program about Henry VIII and the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants and it seems that most of the things that each side did had the opposited effect of what they intended. For example, Mary, his daughter, also known as Bloody Mary, when she became queen, wrote an edict that ordered the burning at the stake of any Protestant that would not renounce his faith. Now while this did rid England of several hundred Protestants, it so enraged the nation that as soon as it was clear Mary would leave no successor, they annointed Elizabeth I, a Protestant, to be the next ruler.
I'm not sure exactly what my point is here, but I think it must have something to do with being very careful what you wish for and being VERY careful with how you go about getting it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On swearing

Some friends of mine, after reading the previous post, told me that they were unable to focus on what I was saying because I used the word "fuck" so much. So I went back and read the blog and, indeed, I did use the word "fuck" a lot, but it was only in a very narrow and precise meaning, specifically, to harass, as in "to fuck with people." I think that is a great use of the word. I could have used the word "harass," but it doesn't have the same oomph as "fuck."
I think in general people are too hung up about swearing. When I was in high school, everybody said that swearing was the sign of a bad vocabulary. Now, not to be too arrogant about this, but I was well aware of the fact that I had a better vocabulary than almost eveybody I knew, so that was a specious argument at best, and a wrong one at that. So I dismissed that whole thing about swearing a long time ago. I think swearing, when ued properly (whatever that means) adds spice to language. It's not called salty language for nothing.
So for those of you offended by my language, you shouldn't read it if it bothers you too much.