"...you've got to be kidding status". The budget deficit exceeds $20 billion and the
unemployment rate exceeds the national average. Millions of Californians face the
possibility of losing their homes and the prison system receives more money than the
University of California schools. There is a proposal to close all state parks in order to save
money. In the midst of all this economic chaos, the state assembly passed a bill designating
the first week of March as "Cuss Free Week". If the state Senate also approves, the proposal
I suspect I know why this bill passed so quickly in an assembly which usually can't agree
on whether the sun rises in the east. California's politicians scrambled to support this measure
because they can't appear in public without constituents verbally assaulting them and telling
them to do things which are anatomically impossible.
California's state Senators and Assemblypersons get paid over $100,000 a year to serve
in that august body. They get a car allowance where the state buys them any model they desire
and pays for their gas even if they are driving a Hummer. They get a per-diem fee (they get
paid for each day in session above and beyond their regular salary). They get excellent health
insurance and a generous pension upon retirement. None of these perks and benefits are
threatened by the current fiscal crisis.
Our state's politicians are tired of being told they were born illegitimately. They have had
it with comments about possible intimate relations they might have had with their mother.
They cringe when voters express their opinion that oral proficiency is not limited to the floor
of the state capital. They are having a hard time explaining to their children why God would
wish them harm. At a time when they can't agree on anyway to reduce the deficit or increase
state revenues and put people back to work, they find the time to call on Californians to clean
up their potty mouths.
Normally, I don't get excited about these silly bills. California has weeks set aside for
everything from honoring the state mollusk to memorializing the state fruit and honoring
the custodians of the state rest stops. Now, however, they have gone too far. They have taken
the eighth largest economy in the world and driven it off a cliff. They took a state known for
innovation and cutting-edge research and turned it into a place where good ideas die of
loneliness. This state's university system was the envy of the world, but now the state's
inmates get more money and resources than the state's students. Californians are out of work,
looking for work, working part-time, and worked up over the current conditions; and now,
Sacramento wants to take away one of the few pleasures left to the state's embattled citizenry,
"...cussin' an swearin'".
As with most ideas emanating from the state capital, "Cuss Free Week" also happens to
be dangerous to our health. A recent study published in a prominent psychology magazine
discovered people who don't hold their rage in, people who express their anger, people who
let fly with the occasional scatology, have lower blood pressure and fewer negative effects
from stress and fewer heart attacks. Another study concluded that "cussin' an swearin'"
expressed while in pain can actually help to reduce the pain and enable the person to cope
with it more effectively. Swearing and cursing are good for your mental and physical health;
but now in their wisdom, our state's professional politicians want to take it away from us.
There is nothing more satisfying at times than a good rant. There is nothing which gives
a more immediate rush than to lift a literal or oral middle finger to someone who frustrates
you and goes out of their way to anger you. Creative cussing requires thought and rhythm
and passion. No wonder Sacramento doesn't like this activity. Creativity and passion have
been missing in action in the state's capital for quite some time.
It may be beating a long-dead horse to suggest state legislators have better things to do
with their time than try to limit the free and artistic use of curses and laments; but if they are
incapable of being embarrassed by leading this state into economic ruin, all that is left to us
is our God-given right to let them know how we feel when we encounter them at home or in
the store or even at church. (The Bible contains some marvelous curses and epithets.)
I take this subject on with a tongue firmly planted in my cheek, but even the most
flippant examination of "Cuss Free Week" can't miss the anger and frustration and fear of
being ignored by those who took an oath to lead responsibly. They can agree on encouraging
us to wash our collective mouths out with soap but on virtually nothing else. They can send
a bill to the Senate to amputate our rage, but can't agree on the state budget. They can pass
a bill calling for more virtue and civility from the average Californian, but they can't find the
where-with-all to put the state on sound fiscal footing.
California needs representatives who put the state's interests ahead of their own. They
need to rebuild the University of California, state college, and community college systems.
They have to raise taxes and cut spending. They need to call on the people to modify the
initiative process and they need to end the 2/3 majority needed to pass a budget or raise taxes.
They need to cut the prison budget in half and rebuild the state's crumbling infrastructure.
They need to worry less about the verbal pyrotechnics of their constituents and more about
taking the steps to restore the state to it's former glory. If they can't do the above, then FXXX
them and the horse they rode in on. What do you think? I welcome your comments and
rebuttals. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org