Redundancy (Redundancy)

Young Koh

Conflict with people is a part of our daily routines. Intentional or not, the act of offending people is closely integrated into our daily interactions with people. In fact, it is a process almost impossible to avoid in conversations. Some people go to great lengths to avoid offending others and to preserve a certain superficial harmony whenever possible. Societally speaking, those who do not do so and indulge in the usage of offensive gestures and language are generally considered the “meaner sort”; or the “less culturally developed”.

Here, I would like to question such notions (However, I wish to establish first that I am not in any direct opposition against the societally acceptable mannerisms). The way that “nice” people act and speak, as I have observed, is generally based around two main principles:
1) That one should avoid, at all costs, hostile conflicts in opinions or interests
2) That in the worst case scenario where anger is aroused and catharsis cannot be achieved without some vent, substitutions of offensive language or gesture may be utilized. This is illustrated in the average school setting: students generally go for more of “poop” and “crap” as opposed to the alternative. Shakespearian thumb-bitings are also sometimes used.

The first principle seems impossible. Conflict will exist in our life, and in several cases, it is the only way to resolve the many tensions of life. Let’s be frank with ourselves: do we really feel better with an “elevated” moral stance when we avoid hostile encounters? Or do we simply feel the pent up pressure continue to build and pile on stress? One might feel moral about the avoidance of conflict, but it is my personal opinion that the “piousness” experienced is then vented of in a torrent of regret and rage, with personal conversations resounding the question “Why didn’t I?” and malicious plots to sneakily “Get ‘em back!”

The second principle, though not impossible, seems absolutely ridiculous. With accordance to it, the “acceptables” are: poop, dang, shoot, shirt, shut-the-front-door, son-of-a-biscuit, shiitake mushrooms, and so on. All is done with the intention to say the horrifying four lettered “s-word”, “f-word”, and “d-word”—the unholy verbal trinity—without actually saying them. To the casual observer, doing such not only makes the speaker look foolish, but it also makes the speaker rather hypocritical when he/she criticizes others for the usage of such words. Basically, you have the full intention of insulting someone or some situation, but you do not, and you say something else that means the same thing to yourself. Such actions are self-deceiving and not unlike the stereotypical “faker”.

I am not advocating profanity: there are other ways to confront people and settle disputes. However, the people involved in conflicts rarely consider creating a viable argument and will much prefer less refined ways of conflict, i.e. the middle finger. The “refinement” of crude language to achieve emotional release does not refine the method of argument; it merely lays sugar on excrement. For any action taken, there are consequences. If you wish to speak in the most direct and piercing manner possible, then do so and bear the consequences. If your morals and societal codes hold you against being rude to others, don’t find ways around the rule. Just don’t speak and bear the consequences. We have enough politicians and lawyers as is.

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