In America, profanity is thought to comprise 13 percent of all adult conversation. Swearing is, in fact, so commonplace we take it for granted, quickly employing hackneyed oaths such as shit, fuck, son of a bitch, and goddamn to drive home even our most mundane points. It's sad. It even happens in print. Thankfully, The Swearing Festival II
is upon us. During the popular panel discussion segment, lovers of degenerate idioms may explore the colorful history, science, and power of profanity with swearing expert and rhetorician Dr. Jonathan Hunt of Stanford University, Whore!
magazine editor Ginger Murray, and Litquake honcho Jack Boulware. We have questions for them, including, "Why are swear words processed by the lower limbic system, unlike other language, which is processed in the high-falootin' cerebral cortex?" and "Why have words like pygobombe
(a woman with a big, sexy ass) and rantallion
(a man with a low-hanging ball sack) fallen from use?"
Later, foul-mouthed aspirants are invited to delve into the depths of their depravity and flex their fork-tongued enmity during the Verbal Abuse Duel (spew vitriol at a complete stranger and be prepared to receive the same in kind) and the Most Horrible, Vile Oaths Contest (choose a person you hate and wish them very very ill). Foreign-language cursing lessons are available, while masochists may sign up for a session of "curse torture" perpetrated by the Dick Cheney Ideas Group. If you aren't yet offended, stick around for the Shite Discotheque dance party and sing along to the "Shit Parade" with Les Merdes.
Sat., Nov. 10, 3 p.m., 2007