Watch your mouth

I got banned from Linkedin a couple of weeks back for «sharing unprofessional content that harasses or bullies others».

I wasn’t able to locate the specific instance where I was «harassing or bullying» someone, but if I were to guess it probably was when I challenged a middle manager if his son actually used the word «synergy» over ice cream or called a sales executive a pompous asshat for flexing in front of a pair of ski-doos and ranting on about the spoils one reaps when successful in sales.

If this is bullying, I’m guilty as charged, face me in a corner and staple a goddamn Dunce hat to my head.

The unprofessional content violation, on the other hand, had to be the time I shared a piece of writing Charles Bukowski once shat out about the worst blow job of his life. I can’t argue with this one. It certainly isn’t professional.

(But, it is entertaining and it is really, really good writing chalked full of lessons on the craft…)

Anyway, once the boys and girls at Linkedin «circled the wagons» and decided to let me back in as long as I promised not to misbehave, I wrote and published a long rant about how goddamn awful Linkedin is.

Here was an excerpt from that rant…

«

The best aspect of Linkedin (and the internet as a whole) is that everyone can share their thoughts. The worst aspect of Linkedin (and the internet as a whole) is that everyone can share their thoughts.

If we ban the slightly abrasive, surely-disagreeable, counter-culture thinking and only allow for the unoriginal, mind-numbingly dull, cookie-cutter thinking, what we will get is a society plagued with unoriginal, mind-numbingly dull, cookie-cutter thinking.

«

If I could have pricked my finger and placed a blood oath on this particular post, I would have. I believed it when I wrote it. I believe it now as I’m writing it again. And, I imagine that in three decades, I will still believe it.

That aside, a reader of mine commented on the post not exactly siding with Linkedin’s decision to ban me but not exactly disagreeing either, admitting that she’s opted out of buying a few of my products because my cursing is «not too classy».

What I told her, in not so many words, is that as a writer I’m not writing for her or for anyone. I’m writing for myself. And, I think when you write for yourself, you write in a language you’re familiar with, a language you grew up hearing and, eventually, using.

I grew up in a public high school that was rough. As a freshman, I recall tearing into a sloppy joe, hearing a loud crack of a skull sound behind me, looking up and around, and witnessing one student bash the face of another student against a lunchroom table several times before the cops that patrolled my school tackled the assailant and quickly saw to the victim, whose face looked like the innards of my sandwich.

At this school when someone was hounding you about something or another, you wouldn’t say… «Sir, please stop pestering me.» You’d say… «Fuck off.» The language you used and the tone you used it in could mean the difference between you getting your ass kicked or not. In this way, language was survival.

I grew up in a home run by a tenacious mother who wouldn’t say «Goodness gracious» when she got cut off at an intersection but would reach for more colorful language.

I grew up in a family where my grandfather would scream «horseshit» from the stands of my basketball games when he didn’t agree with a call the referee had made.

While I’m by no means the greatest writer to have ever graced this Earth, I’m damn proud to say I write the way I speak and I speak the language I was taught.

So, here’s my writing advice to you, today. Good writers write in the language that they speak. Bad writers write in the language they think others will feel comfortable reading.

Your language isn’t going to be everyone’s language. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But, that’s why they have coffee.

Which, speaking of, I need a refill.

Cole Schafer.

Πηγή: honeycopy.com

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