The C-Word

Cancer sucks

I’m not a big techie or Apple fan (though I like the edible kind!), I don’t even have an iPhone, but I was sad when I heard the news this morning that Steve Jobs had passed away from pancreatic cancer.

I feel for his family; I empathize with them. It’s especially heartbreaking when you lose someone after they’ve gone through the hell of treatment. Do you know what chemo “therapy” is? It’s poison. Doctors poison your body in hopes of killing more of the bad stuff than the good stuff. Do you know what a bone marrow transplant involves? Doctors bring this person you love to the brink of death, and then hope the cancer cells die before your loved one is pushed over the precipice.

Okay okay, so that last bit has nothing to do with iSteve. Maybe I’ve got some PTSD going on there, but I’m certainly not alone-too many of our loved ones are being taken away by this demon we can’t put a face to. (Preposition at the end there, sorry Mrs. Reece.)

Another thing that sucks about cancer is the “blame the victim” mentality. People want to know, “Did he smoke? Did he drink? Did he eat too many nitrates? Was he exposed to chemicals in ‘Nam?” I get it, I do, that this a protective mechanism we lowly evolved humans use to convince ourselves that it can’t happen to me. But please, people, it’s not necessary to say those things out loud. Because those left behind are already thinking it; they’re a step ahead of you. They’re thinking things like, “I should have encouraged him to exercise more. I should have said something about too many processed foods. I shouldn’t have caused him so much stress.” I guess usually it’s just easier to try to find a way to blame yourself. (That’s not just me, right?)

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could devote all of the moo-lah being spent on “defense,” finding effective ways to kill each other, on helping each other instead? I’ve often wondered if a little education wouldn’t solve many of the world’s problems….I’m getting off track, so let me just say once again, in case you didn’t get it the first time that

cancer sucks

And on the other c-word….

Since I’ve been in Japan, I have had many more opportunities to parlay with English speakers from other English speaking countries, and I’ve noticed that they use this word a lot. Or anyway, a lot more than we do in America, which is basically never.

This word is so bad baddy badness that I never knew what other letters made up the “C-word” until I was a senior in high school.

And I learned it from Shakespeare.

Is this one of those things like saying “bloody” where an Englishman would get all upset, but an American would just be using an adjective meaning “of or pertaining to blood?” Enlighten me please, y’all.

While I’m at it, I would like to formally lodge a complaint with the powers that be about the lack of bad baddy badness words in Japanese. It’s all good for me, I can resort to English after all, but too many Japanese people use English “bad words” too loosely. They’re trigger happy, if you know what I mean. It’s d@mn it this, b!tch that, when the situation doesn’t call for it or the company is inappropriate. The closest you can really come is a gruff ふざけんな! which literally translates “don’t mess around!” That’s just not the same as the gloriously guttural Anglo-Saxon utterings we English speakers have been blessed with.

I’m on a mission to gift the residents of these isles with some good, nasty, heartfelt, stress-relieving curse words of their own. It may be impossible, it may not catch on (as was the case with my effort to establish “froke” as the past tense of “freak.”) But it can’t hurt to try *@&$!”,)&


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. gaijinwife
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 16:05:36

    The c-word. I’ve definitely used ‘cancer’ a lot more on my blog than the other one. All sorts of fury would spew forth from my mother if we ever used that word. Sometimes when I do type it though I cringe :)

    Japanese definitely has a lack of swear words and the common ones are heard on normal TV a lot. Must say hub is a fan of ふざけんな! aimed at me of course.


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