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steward
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"Say it loudly and proudly"

 
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I disagree with the premise and the logic perched thereon; both with the video and the justification of unclean speech. I acknowledge any speech can be made unclean by malicious intent and tone. But it is a non-commutable equation. Speech that owes it's existence to express malicious bitterness, resentful anger, disrespect, denigration, etc. cannot be purified by intention. To paraphrase the principle attributed to Albert Einstein, "One cannot simultaneously plan for peace and prepare for war."

That having been said, it is a personal responsibility to avoid polluting or being polluted by said speech, and others should not be forced to live by my standards anymore than they should force me to live by theirs. So, I miss out on all the podcasts. It is a dear wish of mine that all the podcasts had been, or will be, made kid friendly/family friendly. Still, my choice to listen or not. Definitely not my place to resist in any way their production, distribution, or enjoyment by others.

Whether that happens or not, I do wish the euphemism "full beauty of the english language" be exposed for justification for lack of restraint or consideration that it is. I have trouble seeing the difference between that and rhetoric justifying smoking. It's harmful. To some it is beautiful, and to others it is filthy. It's not kind to force someone to not smoke, and it's not kind to force someone to be affected by smoking. If every expletive was removed from every piece of media produced by and for this community, not one particle of the great and important knowledge of permaculture would be lost; not one atom of beauty of the knowledge of permaculture would be diminished. Paul, in a recent talk gave evidence of the trouble caused to certain groups by those self identifying as "vegans" or "proponents of universal love". The full beauty of the english language movement seems to me to be a mild form of the same coercion.

Thank you to the moderators for providing a topic specifically tailored to allow me to share my feelings and opinions on the matter without attacking the content, ideas, opinions, or people of this very valuable site and community.
 
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A very intriguing post, Vaughn.

I do think too much swearing leads us to think that the person really wasn't able to come up with enough that was interesting by itself.

I teach kinder, 1st, and 2nd grades a lot. I'm a substitute teacher. Swearing is a career ending offense. I believe that there are different segments of our society who feel sharply different about swearing.

I try not to swear at people. I mostly swear at inanimate objects or situations.

Many swear words have interesting origins. To fuck meant to sow seeds. Good for permaculture?

Crapper was the name of the guy who invented the toilet.

People have forgotten that to damn someone means to condemn them to hell for eternity. Quite a punishment.

Words like "you suck" and "bite me" have origins in activities that people probably don't think about usually when they say those words.
John S
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I'm more comfortable without profanity. I have small children with me most of the time, so I don't get to listen to the podcasts. (My kids have seen all the videos, though, and often pretend to be Paul Wheaton, just as they pretend to be other fascinating people like Santa and Grampa. ) Even when I'm not with children I still don't swear. I tried to swear when I was a teenager and never really got the hang of it.

 
Adrien Lapointe
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I don't swear much myself, but I think it is just a pile of words, nothing else. How you use them is just what makes them good or bad. Heck! Fuck is just French for seal (phoque).
 
steward
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Fuck is just French for seal (phoque).

A friend was telling me about a day at the beach with his French girlfriend and her mother.
The mother's English was very broken.
Some SCUBA divers were out on the breakwater in their wet suits, horsing around.
The mother innocently commented that "They look like a bunch of silly phoques."
 
Adrien Lapointe
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That's funny.

For those who wonder, it is pronounced pretty much the same: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/phoque
 
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The use of what we call "profane" language being offensive has always been a mystery to me. We assign words meaning, which means we take some arbitrary sound and seed it with a definitive purpose so the word in and of itself isn't in any way bad. We decided to make some words bad or off limits which is a little irrational. When I was young and swearing was a no no in my house hold I routinely used replacement words like "oh shoot", "what the heck", or "freak". None of those words were deemed bad by my parents and other adult authority figures with the exception of perhaps one crazy sunday school teacher. However, the intent behind those words and their "more adult" counterparts was the same. When I needed to exclaim disgust and spilling a gallon of milk the only difference between oh shoot and oh shit was that we as a society deem that word to be bad or in poor taste. The fact that I could say oh poop and not get my mouth washed out while oh shit just wasted good hand soap was completely idiotic, as poop and shit are only really differentiated by taboo. Too much use of any word whether it be a swear word or not is the sign of smaller vocabulary, but as Carlin noted some of these words have multiple meanings which makes them more useful than some words which are much more limited in use.

Now that's not to say that I don't understand trying to keep kids vocabularies "clean" because words can be just as dangerous as a chainsaw or other power tools I wouldn't have a young kid using. The words of dictators, religious fundamentalists, and other general "bad guys" have stoked and created terrible conflicts within the world. However, with kids using swear words it's the same as with a power tool, I don't let them use it because they're not yet capable of understanding the full repercussions of the use of such things. The words we choose to use should be chosen with care and thought, with audience and the true intent of our communication in mind. When kids learn to use these bad words correctly (usually by practicing their use away from encroaching parental and authority figures) all the sudden it becomes clear that with a little guidance they too eventually learn to use the full beauty of the english language in a manner suiting their contemporaneous and present situation. They learn that in a classroom, fuck is not a very good thing to say, but when their with their mates outside of the classroom it's perfectly acceptable to use that word to convey just how bad that dead leg they just received felt.

I always just tell kids that there are grown up words that should be used judicially and if they don't understand what the words mean or how to use them they should refrain from using them just like I tell kids the chainsaw is a tool that you should not us until you have the strength and have been shown how to properly use them. Just like I don't teach small children words like orgasm, and clitoris as they're not really useful to children but after they grow old enough they should know what both of these are. If we never told kids that these words were bad or unclean in the first place they'd never know and instead of creating some arbitrary value system for words being good or bad we could actually just help children with their vocabulary when they use these "bad words". We correct kids when they use the wrong verb conjugations like telling them it's "I saw a bear not I seen a bear", so I don't know why we assign such vitriol towards some words. It's one of those societal taboos that is only backed up by our own collective hallucinations like most of our value systems and we should question this taboo. After all the words genocide, rape, and molestation all mean some pretty rotten things, but the words themselves aren't bad and are in fact very useful to describe this world around us which can be pretty rotten at times.
 
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for the best part of a decade (and I mean best in all the ways possible), I lived in Western Scotland, and the use of "fuck" as a descriptive was ubiquitous.
maybe it was the accent that endeared the word to me - Billy Connolly anyone? - but hearing it describe a day: "aye, it's a fuckin' gorgeous day, so it is!"
or to gently mock someone "ge'tay fuck wit yer nonsense" (get outta here with your silly opinions) - has taken all the sting out of the word itself.

of course, it can be used with rage behind it, but so can many words - I'd rather not experience the rage, but the words themselves mostly don't bother me.
I actually like that Paul uses "fuck" as an adjective, it sets his tone. . . in the same way that I'd notice if say, geoff lawton used this word - people have different personalities, and others are free to partake/ignore depending on their own preferences.

not so keen on having things homogenised simply to keep children from hearing these words - appropriate content for appropriate ages. I was raised in a strict religious home, and punishment for saying "my gosh" as a derivative of "god's name in vain" ensured, in my case at least, rebellious behaviours as a result. the world holds many "types" - I'm down for individuals to seek out and find their similars, with no silencing of anyone as they go. . .
 
master steward
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Translation to understand scottish folk at about 4:32



(most of my heritage is scottish)


Found this and have not watched it yet:

 
paul wheaton
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Every person with the word "fuck" on their lips has power over the people that choose to fear it.
 
John Saltveit
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The Danny Bhoy Scotland bit is hilarious!
John S
PDX OR
 
paul wheaton
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One of the great political commentators of our time:




And then on social commentary (and this comes back to scotland):

 
Matu Collins
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I don't think the podcasts shouldn't have it, I just can't listen to them most of the time.

I like shit as an expletive better because it's a yucky thing. Fuck is a little sad to me because it's such a lovely healthy fun thing to do and yet it's the heavy artillery of mean words you can say to someone. I'm not afraid of it.

 
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Personally I find it lame. Kinda like wearing leather and driving a Harley.
 
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Vaughn La Force wrote:To paraphrase the principle attributed to Albert Einstein, "One cannot simultaneously plan for peace and prepare for war."


I like one attributed to George Carlin better: "fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity." turns out it was probably Emma S. Riches who said it and not George Carlin.
 
Matu Collins
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To be fair, mostly I just never get to listen to podcasts because it's never quiet enough around here! Between the animals and the children...
 
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paul wheaton wrote:Every person with the word "f***" on their lips has power over the people that choose to fear it.

Paul, that's pretty lame. You actually think you (and the others approving of this) have power over people because you cuss and people don't like it? There is no fear involved, just your childish ego.

Swearing in what should be a professional setting (such as in your podcasts or in speeches at conferences, for example) only makes you look less professional, and is a turn off to a great many people. No, I am not "afraid" of words, but I am offended by them, especially when there are a great many other words that can more beautifully and eloquently make the necessary point. If someone fills their conversation with vulgar talk, it speaks to me of inadequate vocabulary and low intelligence; it may be a wrong impression, but an impression nonetheless.

I also have great reluctance to share this site with many of my friends, because I know that they, too, would be offended by your language and attitude. What does this word even contribute to the permaculture conversation? Nothing. There is simply no benefit to using it.

This isn't Jr. High, and nobody is going to be impressed by the attempt to shock, except others in Jr. High.

Permies is a valuable place. But we should have high standards for ourselves and others, especially if you really want to spread permaculture to the world. Don't drag it down into the muck.
 
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Lynn Jacobs wrote: But we should have high standards for ourselves and others, especially if you really want to spread permaculture to the world. Don't drag it down into the muck.


Personally I find being should on is a whole lot more offensive than hearing the F-word.

It's a bit like in Hermione discussing he who shall not be named, when she says "Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself."

And, to paraphrase Mr Weasley, I suspect that Paul has a very different idea about what disgraces the name of permaculture.
 
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I will share a personal story . It was Christmas season about 16 years ago . I was driving by a mall and ran into X-mas traffic which brings out the Scrooge in me . My wife and two year old daughter were in the car . So , I impulsively hung a quick left onto the freeway to escape the mall traffic . The freeway traffic was jammed up for miles . So , I let out a whopping "Oh , Fuck!" . Of course , our beautiful and innocent little girl followed in kind.
There she was in her little car seat , arms waving in mimicry of Daddy yelling out "Fuck , fuck , fuck !" . My wife gave me a look and said "Now you did it " . I repiled with confidence "Don't worry , I can fix this" . I turned to our precious and said "No Baby , Frog , frog , frog ". She followed by saying "Frog , frog , frog " . "See , told you . No problem" . Except for the next six months or so . Whenever she would see a picture of a frog . She would point and say "Fuck" . It took awhile to get the "r" in there .
Now she is a beautiful and well mannered high school graduate who despises the F-word . So , all is well that fucking ends well !
 
paul wheaton
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Paul, that's pretty lame. You actually think you (and the others approving of this) have power over people because you cuss and people don't like it? There is no fear involved, just your childish ego.


First, I would not be surprised if someone on the staff deletes your post. Rather than discussing the issue, you choose to attack a person. I am choosing to leave it for now. In fact, I am going to leave it so that it gives me license to respond in kind. But I will limit my response-in-kind to the exact language you used.

If I wander around and say "fuck" then everybody that chooses to fear that word cringes. Maybe even cries out! I, therefore, have power over them. Cause and effect.

As we focus on this word, it would seem that we have two factions:

1) people who use the word

2) people who choose to fear the word, and will take steps in order to attempt to shame the first group into stop the use of the word.

So we have one group of innocents, and a second group that cries "pain" when the pain is of their own choosing. And then they attempt to leverage this fake-pain for control over the other group.

So you say "Paul, that's pretty lame." And I wish to express my opinion that I think I am fucking awesome. Glorious even. And that the people of the second group that attempt to shame the first group: THAT, in my opinion, is extremely lame.



There is no fear involved, just your childish ego.


Again, ad hominem.

As for my childish ego, I have already written a fair bit on the topic: http://www.permies.com/t/18631/md/ego

Along the lines of what I wrote earlier in this thread about those with "fuck" on their lips ...

Anybody with the word "ego" on their lips, suffers from it.

After all, how can you utter the word WITHOUT ego? How can anyone ever post to a forum without ego?

So this opens up the great world of degrees of ego. And then can we debate that one ego is larger than another? And, if so, how big is too big? And how big of an ego does one need to suggest that another ego is "too big"?

If people were to succeed in shaming others into ego suppression, would we lose most of our innovators and artisans?

I could fill about six books on all of the things I disagree with in your post, but I'm going to wrap up with just one more thing:

I also have great reluctance to share this site with many of my friends, because I know that they, too, would be offended by your language and attitude.


Thank you. Please don't tell these people about permies. Because permies is not for people that choose to be offended by "fuck" let alone people that are into shaming others into compliance with such a small, pathetic life.


 
paul wheaton
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Yesterday I heard Jocelyn say "Oh fudge" and I thought: Jocelyn is living a smaller life. Because of the shamers she is saying "fudge" instead of "fuck." The shamers have suppressed Jocelyn from living a full and glorious life. To what end? Some perverted sense of decency?
 
paul wheaton
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(Since it came up) When people seem to think that I am less than perfect, they will insist that I need to change. We created this thread for those people:

http://www.permies.com/t/12726/tnk/change

 
paul wheaton
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If we were to suppose, for a moment, that the shamers were able to pass a law that nobody could say "fuck", I propose that all of the humor from Robin Williams would be 30% less funny. And that would make our world have a little less joy and glory.

At the same time, if the shamers stopped their wicked ways and the word "fuck" would be reduced to what little it is, then I think that that, too, would make the humor from Robin Williams 30% less funny.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:Yesterday I heard Jocelyn say "Oh fudge" and I thought: Jocelyn is living a smaller life. Because of the shamers she is saying "fudge" instead of "fuck." The shamers have suppressed Jocelyn from living a full and glorious life. To what end? Some perverted sense of decency?



This might be an example of a 'third' faction in addition to the two that you mentioned previously (those who use the word fuck comfortably and those who are offended by those saying fuck). Some of us just don't say fuck very often and we aren't offended by others saying fuck a lot. I think I would not want to feel forced into using the word fuck more than I do naturally......I think country joe and the fish did a bit of liberating the word fuck also....got me to sing along maybe I can find 'the fish song cheer'.
 
paul wheaton
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Judith,

I think that my two groups could use subgroups like:

1.1) people who do not fear the word, but the word just doesn't pop out

2.1) people who do fear the word, but just don't openly shame anybody about it

And, I suspect many more subgroups.
 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton
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Here is a thread about having diversity in communities rather than forcing all communities to be exactly the same. I think it applies here:

http://www.permies.com/t/12976/intentional-community/community-recipes-art-community

And, I think, online communities are a type of community.

Therefore, I encourage the shamers to be the change they want to see: create a community that fits your standards. Both on-line and in meat-space. Maybe make several!

At the same time, this forum has the most censorship, the most moderating and allows the word "fuck". And it has, mysteriously, become the largest permaculture site.
 
paul wheaton
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Artisans about style and profanity ...

Eddie Murphy talks about how he and Bill Cosby talked about the word "Fuck".




And here is Bill eluding the word "shit" while using other profanity in his own stuff ("Dammit! Get out of that tree!" "No, Dad, I'm Jesus Christ!"):




 
paul wheaton
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For those people that want a podcast that is different than the one's I put out, please make those podcasts.

For those people that want a forum that is different that the forum I run, please create that forum.

For those people that want a community that is different than the one I manage, please create that community.

For those people that want a presentation that different than the presentations I give, please give those presentations.

For those people that want DVDs that are different from the ones that I help create, please create those DVDs.

For those people that want me to live my life a different way, fuck off, I'm not your fucking slave.
 
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The world is certainly richer for having Paul's podcast conversations recorded, and available. And yet the said desire for permaculture to be spread far and wide is hindered by the excessive use of profanity.

If I was to have you over to my home to eat at my table with my children, who here would think it would be appropriate to use the so called "full beauty of the English language" in front of my children? It would show a lack of maturity. It's something I expect when at walmart that some fellow shopper is going to say Fuck loud enough for my kids to hear. It's the pollution argument. Potty mouth. I tell the kids that if they want to talk about poop they can go into the bathroom.

If you are on Jacks show or NPR you modulate your language use accordingly.

Permies is your house and we don't really want to argue with you here. I listen to all your podcast but by your use of adult language you limit the audience. That is unfortunate.

All we are saying is that if you claim to want to reach more people, modifying your language would help the cause.
 
paul wheaton
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I think that my use of "the full beauty of the english language" makes my stuff reach more people. Just a different audience than the audience that you would be part of. I remember when I was going to present one time the article in the paper said something about how the presentation about gardening is not for children as adult language would be used. I think THAT is why it was a full house.

As for "lack of maturity": first, this is referred to as "adult language". Second, it is my opinion that those that choose to fear these words are showing a lack of maturity.
 
John Saltveit
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I think that the voluntary participation in this website is something that we choose to do. All through our society, people are involved in voluntary association, increasing trust and things in common. This is something that we excel at as a nation. Those things in common are different with every association. Some people like to use swear words as a quick momentary use of surprise power, by breaking the bonds of association, and suddenly using them in their favor. The problem is, like with using toxins in the garden/farm, the long-term effect is weakening the bonds of that structure. People trust less, and are unwilling to open their minds when someone is going to pull a surprise interjection to upset the trust that they have established. Then the voluntary emotional trust has to be rethreaded somehow. This is my main problem with lots of swearing. I am not a saint. I am trying to not swear.
John S
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paul wheaton wrote:For those people that want ...


Paul, I've seen and heard this appeal in your forums and podcasts many times. It tells me that the truck-loads of unsolicited advice you get on how to improve your language, your dress, your podcasts -- yourself -- takes its toll. I've never wanted to be famous and this is why, more or less. I just hope it doesn't wear you down.

On the topic at hand, I personally like a little "salt" on my fries, so to speak, and I don't shy away from using it myself, occasionally. I'm always mindful, though, that it is the fact that cursing is offensive to some that gives these words their meaning. I think if I were powerfully motivated to infect as many minds as possible with the permaculture meme, I might be moved to speak a little more like a prime time news anchor and a little less like a construction worker. There are good business reasons why network TV (and institutional food) is so bland. But I don't think I'd want Regis Philbin hosting your podcasts.

One other thing. It's a mistake to characterise the distaste for "colorful metaphores" (to quote James T. Kirk) as fear. It's more like the reaction to someone who farts. Many find it disgusting. Some will find it funny. Nobody thinks it'll kill them (though they may claim otherwise). How a person reacts tells you a lot about them, but it won't tell how much insight they might bring to a conversation about raising hogs or building soil fertility. It might be a mistake to be too cavalier about their feelings.

My 2 cents.
 
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The phrase "the full beauty of the english language" reminded me of the 'beat' poets and writers in the fifties and sixties who were at the time chastised for the language they chose to use to express themselves....they are accepted and recognized today for literary brilliance, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, lawrence Ferlinghetti (a personal favorite of mine along with ginsberg).......Henry Miller....just a thought.....The words they chose allowed many to look at the world in a different way....to understand in a different light...a different perspective....using 'the full beauty of the english language".
 
Burra Maluca
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I guess fuck is a weed in the world of words.

Maybe something like a nettle. It announces it presence with a vengeance when we brush against it unexpectedly, making sure we all take notice of it. And yet who of us who really know it would ever want to do without it?
 
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I think "fuck" is the new beige.

I feel blah about fuck. I do say fuck - as an expletive it has a certain explosionary quality that suits for situations that startle me in a bad way (almost hit by a car, etc). I try not to use "fuck" around folks who don't feel comfortable with it out of respect for them. I would seek the same respect from them. I try very hard not to swear in front of kids.

If people want to delve into all the literary ways to use fuck - I'm fine with that.

I think that "fuck", in all its glory, has been vastly overused - hence it has become the new "beige" for me.

I think something that would be supremely awesome is developing some permie "language". It could be a fun, creative exercise.

To quote Monty Python, "Your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!"

 
paul wheaton
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On the topic at hand, I personally like a little "salt" on my fries, so to speak


Bravo! Nicely done!


I think if I were powerfully motivated to infect as many minds as possible with the permaculture meme, I might be moved to speak a little more like a prime time news anchor and a little less like a construction worker.


I think we have lots of permies that are speaking prolifically like a prime time news anchor.

And rather than a construction worker, I would like to put forth:

1) My favorite author, Christopher Moore. His current book is absolutely delicious and his hero is often talking about "foul fuckery" and his favorite exclamation is "fuckstockings!" In one of his books, he introduces "fuck puppet".

2) Robin Williams

3) Jon Stewart is considered a more reliable news source than MSNBC. And he has about three fucks per show.

4) Two of my favorite campaigns are "fuck cancer" and "fuck shaving"

5) There is a facebook page called "I fucking love rocket stoves"

6) several of my favorite movies contain lots of "fuck" but have nothing to do with construction workers



I was rather hoping that this thread would be dominantly about the philosophy surrounding the word rather than about me, but since there has been some focus put on me let me just say: I think there is something about being true to one's self. And this is who I am. In theory, by being who I am, I would reach only a few hundred people who could bear to tolerate my persona. A tiny niche. And somehow I reach millions.

Who reaches more brains: Brian Williams (prime time news anchor) or Robin Williams (fucksmith)?


 
paul wheaton
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I try not to use "fuck" around folks who don't feel comfortable with it out of respect for them.


It reminds me of this:

 
John Polk
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It reminds me of this:

That was fucking hilarious.
 
Did you see how Paul cut 87% off of his electric heat bill with 82 watts of micro heaters?
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