Indecent language writ large

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The question of indecent language has been in the news recently, and we here at NEWSCO have found ourselves looking at it in its broadest contexts. You see, indecent language is not only filth that proceeds from one’s mouth, but distasteful body language, as well as deeds that offend our senses and sensibilities. It was therefore not surprising that we found much ‘indeestant’ (‘indecent’ in the vernacular) language here in our fair state.

When members of officialdom drive past protesters and flip them the bird – that is indeestant language. When the three craters right smack in the middle of Cross Street (in front of Burger King) go unfixed for weeks, that is our Works Department saying to us in terms most vulgar, “Eff John Public!” When the atomic potholes on Market Street are ignored by the good and earnest Minister of Works, then that is a crude and base declaration of well . . . er . . . how can we put this delicately? . . . “Kiss my derriere!”

When workers at Burma Quarry and National Housing can bawl daily for that which they have rightfully earned, only to be rudely disregarded, then that is officialdom telling them to go pleasure themselves. When a section of Old Parham Road (near the junction with Wireless Road) is dug up some six weeks ago and left in the horrid dug-up state to add to the nightmare of our road users, then that is our good government telling us to our faces, “We don’t give a rat’s gazoo!”  

When the former honorable prime minister of our fair state can be tagged with a pejorative   moniker by the former opposition leadership, we submit that that is indecent language. When our duly elected constituency representatives can make a perverse virtue out of forsaking the people who  elected them, then those constituency representatives are essentially saying to their constituents, “Eff all aryou!” And yes, the sleight-of-hand election promises that have gone largely unfulfilled are obscenities and lewdness that would make a sailor blush. Indeed, not even bawdy sailors in a new port of call make promises to trusting damsels and renege on those promises. It’s just not done!

When government workers and the good men and women of law enforcement are forced to work in offices that are hazardous to their health and safety because those in authority are more concerned about feathering their own nests, then that is a clear case of our government swearing at their employees in the crassest terms. They are using words that cannot be printed in this upstanding paper. When the people of Barbuda are disparaged and belittled with adjectives that cannot be used in polite company, it is verbal abuse. Of course, the unfortunate thing about this verbal and non-verbal invective is that we take it like “Gentle Jesus meek and mild!” Well, actually . . . not the Barbudans! They have been known to resist and fight-back and cuss-back!)

And don’t talk about threatening language. When a ranking member of government can harangue members of a union and dare them to strike against his government, then that is intimidation of the most odious sort. After all, that threatening language came from a party that was once in the vanguard for workers’ right to strike. In fact, the first leader of the Antigua Trades and Labor Union was replaced by Sir V.C. Bird partly because he’d made a no-strike pledge with the planters, much to the annoyance of Papa VC and the rank-and-file.

Fellow Antiguans and Barbudans, we urge you to read their lips! They don’t give a damn! Read the body language – the stiff handshakes and the phony smiles; the disingenuousness and insincerity! Check out their deeds and misdeeds. They are cussin’ you to high heaven . . . in terms most foul! The two women cussin on Greenbay Hill – Crazy Ellen and Big-Foot Maude of King Obstinate fame – have nothing on our ruling politicos! Bad wud after bad wud! Dey givin’ us wud! We need to wash their filthy mouths with soap! Heck, we need to wash them out of our lives! Pass the Lux!

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