I Swear: On “Grit,” Adult Hypocrisy, and Privilege

dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

I’m gonna cuss on the mic tonight.
“Rockin’ the Suburbs,” Ben Folds

My parents taught me that if you swear, it’s a sign of a poor vocabulary.
If I expect my players to be disciplined, then I have to be, too.
Dean Smith

Few things have been more important to me than discovering George Carlin during my teens years in the 1970s. Soon to follow was Richard Pryor.

Profanity and the art of crafting humor are easily the foundations for my life of words as avid reader and writer.

And yes, I swear.

But in both Carlin and Pryor I learned something far more important than how to swear in ways that gained me credibility among my peers (despite my frail nerdom); I had the curtain pulled back on adult authority—the hypocrisy of the “do as I say, not as I do” adult world.

Carlin and Pryor were my first…

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