Despite the fact that for the vast majority of the time I strive to be perceived as a warm, considerate, wise and empathetic individual, there are times when I love nothing more than to go down to the pub, tell dirty jokes and make wild exaggerations about my sexual prowess. There are, however, a couple of problems with this.
The first is that my wife doesn’t really understand it, as she just doesn’t see a need for foul language unless it is really called for. I’ve always known that she was a bit uncomfortable with strong language and coarser behaviour, so over the years I’ve toned down this aspect of my personality and rarely display it in front of her. In fact, it has become extremely unusal for me to display it at all. I have no desire to make people feel unnecessarily uncomfortable; this is not about denial, it’s about consideration for others. I fully respect the fact that for many people, including my wife, they shouldn’t have to put up with language and behaviour that makes them feel uneasy.
The other problem is that I don’t actually have a peer group I can do this with anymore. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, this kind of activity was pretty standard with the people I mixed with. Even when I returned to education and went to University, I managed to find a group of friends with whom I could let down my hair, swear like a trooper and engage in crude, jokey behaviour.
But then, after leaving Uni, I found myself in the role of family man, and a couple of years after that I spent a lot of time building up a reputation as a respectable businessman, which left no outlets. I guess I thought that maybe I should have just “grown out of it”, but the truth is I’ve found myself yearning for the kind of company where I can release a certain amount of caustic tension.
Sooner or later I guess it was bound to happen, once I got into blogging, that I would find an intelligent, witty and utterly foul mouthed group of bloggers that I would end up hanging around with.
Without a doubt it’s a strange collection of people, whose liberal use of four letter, Anglo-Saxon profanities I find oddly comforting. Many have adopted extreme and unlikely blog personalities, which makes me suspect that I’m not the only one going through a mid-life crisis where part of me is attempting to reclaim some kind of lost youth.
From the Japing Ape, who presents a view of the human condition as seen through the eyes of a mature Gorilla, raised in human society, to Dr Evil Scientist, who would never tell James Bond his plans before killing him; from the Irish craic of the Anti-Barney, to the Scottish creativity of Dr Maroon, who is creating stories using the very bloggers who visit his site as principle characters; I just love this corner of the blogiverse. I have no idea whether these people are, in reality, anything like the ones they portray, but it doesn’t worry me one bit. In some ways I suspect that because of the natural anonymity their assumed monikers give them, they are in some ways even more authentic than they would otherwise allow themselves to be.
The more I got drawn in reading these blogs, the more I couldn’t help but get involved, so a few weeks ago I ended up being a part of the creation of Blunt Cogs, which is an online comic strip written by, and starring, this particular set of bizarre and wonderful folk. Much of the language is strong and most of the humour makes more sense when you regularly read the blogs of the characters involved and have a good sense of who they are and their relationships with each other.
However, what led me to write this blog entry was reflecting upon the realisation that despite the fact that it has been taking up quite a bit of my blog-time over the past 3 weeks, I have completely failed to mention it on the Ramblings of the Bearded One.
To date most of the traffic, or at least most of the people who have been prepared to comment on this site, has been from the family-orientated end of the blogiverse - primarily stemming from a common experience of being a parent to a child with Downs Syndrome; some have come from the Losing a Hundredweight journey I’ve been undertaking for almost a year now; and others have randomly drifted in and decided to stick around.
Over the months I have enjoyed the thoughts, comments and contributions of my regular readers and, if truth be told, I was a bit unsure about causing offence or uneasiness. I’m not aware of (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong) explicitly using the ‘F’ or ‘C’ word on this site, and as such this sets up a certain mood, or level of expectation, and I think it would be unfair to suddenly introduce it our of nowhere. Again, this is not about denial, but about common decency; about not intentionally setting out to offend.
However, this blog is about various facets of me, so to pretend that this side of me doesn’t exist is, well, a bit stupid really. However, I don’t believe in unnecessarily inflicting my humour on anyone who’s not prepared for it. While I find much of the content of Blunt Cogs ranges from the mildly amusing to the hysterically funny, I am very aware that it will certainly not appeal to everyone.
So for those who want to explore this strange and twisted world, the link is up there on the right, but don’t say you weren’t warned.