Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blunt Cogs

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.

17 comments:

Binty McShae said...

I'm never sure what words I can use when I comment on other peoples blogs..... it's easy when visiting the likes of Brewski, but having read this post I hope I haven't offensively commented anywhere on yours... I don't think so!

And many thanks, Kim, for all the work you have done in creating Blunt Cogs - it's turned into a real gem!

fatmammycat said...

I don't curse a lot, I'd really have to feel strongly about something...and I don't think I've ever heard/read you do it Mister Ayres.

michael the tubthumper said...

blunt cogs is hilarious. keep it up

michael the tubthumper said...

sorry...

keep it the fuck up you shower of cunts

Natalia said...

I immediately transposed the first letters BL and C...I just think that way.

I curse. When I need to curse. I am and will remain unapologetic about it.

:)

-N

Dr Maroon said...

Michael, more tea with your faux pas?

I wondered when I saw this post. I just wondered if you had spelled it out just quite enough.

Stella said...

Hilarious!!!!

the anti-barney said...

Well feck you anyway Kim,you frightened the life out of me.
Threequarter-way through your post
I thought,Oh no,kim is going to resign because of the unbearable guilt of using bad language and me after only getting to know him.
You Bollix.

Kim Ayres said...

Binty - I'm glad you're enjoying it. In fact, according to the poll on the site, your scripts are the most popular, so it's time you started submitting them again.

fatmammycat - it's quite possibly just a matter of time. Being a dad around small children means that I have an automatic switch that stops me from swearing in front of them, and I have to find the right place where I can consciously switch it off for periods of time

Michael - glad you're enjoying it, but may I refer you to the 3rd from last paragraph of my entry about keeping a certain level of decency on this blog.

Natalia - I find it difficult to imagine you apologising for who you are at any time ;)

Dr Maroon - you nearly had me resorting to acronyms for a moment, LOL!

Stella - your sense of humour is becoming clearer and clearer as time goes on ;)

Anti-barney - I find your sense of consideration and potential guilt quite heart warming.

samuel said...

On the topic of profanity in your blog..

Bear in mind that it's YOUR blog, it's about YOUR thoughts and YOUR feelings. If you want to curse it up, then go for it. Some might get offended and not come back, but everyone needs a place to let everything out and I think most people who read others' blogs realize that.

So, in short, curse if you want. I'll continue to read and I think most people will. And if people get too offended with you using profanity in your personal writings, then you don't want them reading anyway.

Foot Eater said...

Great post, Kim. I had noticed that you never swore on this blog and was sometimes a bit nervous about posting sweary responses to your comments elsewhere. I don't swear very much in real life, and use the blogs to let off a bit of steam.

Kim Ayres said...

Samuel - On one level, you are completely right, it is my blog, so I can say what I like, however, it isn't actually quite as straight forward as that.

Unlike the diary that I keep by the side of my bed, the blog is in the public domain. And unlike most of the bloggers about, I have made no attempt to cover up my identity by assuming a blog name.

As such, this blog contains not only a lot of thoughts, feelings and ideas, but also my public face.

This isn't just about me saying something that might cause someone to throw a brick through my window, but the fact that my stepchildren can easily access this site if they want to and, when they are old enough, so will my children.

As a parent, I cannot act in the same way as a single person, because I will end up setting an example to my children. And where profanities are concerned I tend to be of the opinion that they are most effective when used in the right place at the right time.

If you use the 'F' word in every sentence, then what do you say when you hit your thumb with the hammer? Or you suddenly get an unexpected tax demand?

Language is at its most effective when used appropriately in the right places. For me, the profanities are perfectly acceptable on Blunt Cogs, because the whole structure of the humour is built around them. The header bar says enough so that no one need go any further if it's not to their liking.

Kim Ayres said...

Foot eater - I find it interesting that you noticed that there weren't swear words on this site. Usually people are more likely to notice if there are!

Foot Eater said...

Well, personally when I hit my finger with a hammer I tend to say, "That will teach you to be so careless, you silly poltroon."

the anti-barney said...

Kim,you shouldn't over-concern yourself with the effect your blog may have on your step-children or children.Mine (3 daughters in 20s) relate to me more now since I started blogging,they are certainly
learning more about me.A while back one of them asked their mother
"Did Dad REALLY kiss Lady Di at Cheltenham?"

"Yes,and the Queen Mother and Princess Anne while I shook hands with Prince Charles"
Well its not something that comes up too often over dinner,is it?
Just little insights as to what things were like in the "Olden Days"

Binty McShae said...

I'm so used to reading blogs with swearing I always notice when one is profanity-free! My own blog swings wildly from pure and innocent to expletive ridden, depending on the mood and subject.

AB - 3 daughters in their 20's... seriously?

Kim Ayres said...

I wouldn't get your hopes up Binty. I can't imagine he'd let you anywhere near them...