Friday, September 14, 2007

Das Ding an sich

Today, I wish to speak to you about Magritte's pipe. And that is because I have been thinking about naughty words. People are shocked by naughty words, but the word is not the thing itself, it is simply a word for das Ding an sich.
In fact, I have a brontosaurus theory, pace Python, and that is that people are not shocked by the thing itself, but only by the word for the thing itself.
One of the cleverest adman inventions of the age is that FCUK logo. You are poised to be outraged, and yet, well, how can you be? It's just four letters in a row that don't actually mean anything.
If you have followed my train of thought this far, it means that you, like me, have nothing better to do this balmy Friday evening.


prairie mary said...

Not much happening here, so I will remark on this quandary when I was teaching high school kids whose every third word was FCUK except spelled and pronounced "properly," so to speak. I would say to them, "Do not say fuck in my classroom." They would protest that I just said it. "How will you know which word NOT to say if I don't SAY it?" I would demand. Usually they would roll that around in their heads until the bell rang.

On other occasions I would try a different technique: "Do not use a word you are not prepared to demonstrate the meaning of right here and now in this classroom." That set their heads so spinning with images that it was good for days. Sort of like the hunter's rule: "Do not shoot anything you are not prepared to eat."

Prairie Mary

Old Scrote said...

As Alan Coren once wrote "This is the point at which the boggle enters the mind".
Thanks, Mary, for the chuckle!

Nea said...

I might try that one Mary. Somebody left a message for me on the Art room door Thursday afternoon. "Fcuk Nae", it said. Yes, even here in Sweden. But the person who left it did not suffer from dyslexia. Had I been younger I might have taken it as a threat, but at my age maybe I should be taking it as a compliment.

ladybug said...

Hey, I like the idea posted by prairie mary. Hahaha. That ought to set them straight. I can't really fathom what went into the heads of the creator of FCUK. But then again, as long as it's not arranged the way it means something obscene, I guess they're not violating any law. They initially had trouble registering their name though.