There’s an evil form of mind control that is camouflaged in the guise of a trite old saying that you will be subjected to as soon as you start getting real. It’s implanted into all of our heads in our childhood and, unlike so many other important things that we should be able to remember like the first time we tasted cheese, it remains to haunt us. It pops out at the most inopportune times and inhibits and stifles our creativity, our ability to be honest and true to ourselves and ensures that we will, like most other people we encounter in life, be doomed as cowardly liars. At least we are not alone. Look around you. Every single adult in the room is controlled in the same, stealthy manner and have been convinced that it is a good thing and results in something loosely regarded as ‘civilised behaviour’.
The evil I am alerting you to is the saying ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. Even writing those words strikes me with an irrational fear that I may say something that will offend someone in this blog. It’s taken a lifetime of practice to overcome this anxiety, but I take it one day at a time and so, I am hoping that this letter will help you to be prepared, aware and unlikely to be struck down by the quite disturbing and complex ‘bleeding tongue syndrome’, which is directly attributable to the saying above. I daren’t even type it again lest it finds its way back into my soul and starts to dissolve my ability to express myself freely and this brings me to a very important point.
You have been born into a very strange country. It’s called the USA. It’s a very young country and one that has decided that it has such a level of collective mental illness that it not only is the biggest prescriber of psychoactive medications, but it also drugs it’s youth. It appears that one of the symptoms that leads to early drugging is speaking freely, overriding the previous programming implanted early on. I must admit that the somewhat schizophrenic behaviours of the country of your birth does concern those of us looking in.
For example, there is a huge movement of people who campaign ferociously against the right of doctors to provide pre birth abortion (which will be a topic of a future letter to you) because they firmly believe they are saving human lives. Now, one has to admire them for their passion and depth of concern. When it gets confusing is when these same people also campaign ferociously for their rather loosely defined constitutional right for everyone to be able to own as many guns as their little hearts desire with absolutely no restrictions, in effect fighting for the right of individuals to provide post partum abortion. I’m not in a position to give a diagnosis on this particular behaviour anomaly and would defer to Dr. Phil on this one, but it does seem that this would justify the level of medication currently being dispensed.
This rather paradoxal behaviour extends to this form of brainwashing about not saying things that aren’t nice. On one hand, people from the USA also believe firmly in one of their other constitutional rights, not quite as loosely worded as the last one – which is rather fitting, frankly – namely, freedom of speech. Then they make sure that only the very brave will be willing to indulge in that right by implanting the belief that saying something that would upset someone is endemically harmful.
So, to try to guide you through these treacherous and somewhat confusing rules of societal engagement foisted upon you by your confused and rather drug addled society, here is some of Badass Auntie’s wisdom (Please note, following this advice could lead to a punch in the nose, throat, to prison or worse. You have been warned.)
You might wish to reconsider saying what you truly mean when:
- You are considerably smaller and slower than the person you wish to speak honestly to.
- You are a child and the person you wish to get real with is a parent. Oddly, even though it is illegal for adults to hit each other, they are allowed to hit children. Keep this in mind.
- The person you want to give some home truths to buys you really great gifts and generally makes your life much more comfortable. This could be your Badass Auntie. I do have thick skin and a good sense of humour. So, if you plan to tell me something that may offend me, you better make it worthwhile, extremely clever, funny and something that will cause my pride in you to overwhelm my desire to tell you to buy your own fucking birthday presents in future.
- You have run out of friends.
- You aren’t able to produce an honest comment that is so perfect that when your teacher repeats it to your parents, all they can do is laugh.
- You really need your job badly.
- You are not white and you are talking to a police officer. We both know you’re totally white, even though your Dad has sometimes appeared to have been in denial of his racial origins – though thankfully he never went full Dolezal .(Google the name. You’ll probably be able to do a pretty cool essay on her one day.) I share this advice because you will probably have friends who are not white and you need to extend this rule to those situations. There is nothing worse than being the smart arse white boy who gets all his black friends arrested because he thought it was funny to tell the cop what a dick face he was being – even if he was being a dick face. So, only risk jail if you’re on your own.
- When you’re talking to your grandparents. Lying to them will keep them happy.
There are so many other situations in which you might wish to consider not being forthright, honest and practicing your, apparent ‘right’ to your freedom of speech. The rest of the time it’s all about weighing up the consequences because despite the use of the word ‘freedom’, there’s nothing really ‘free’ about it. People like to dismiss this by saying (normally in a very condescending tone – which I’m particularly good at) ‘well, with rights come responsibilities’. Well, I say fuck that.
If I go to a bar and it says ‘free beer’, I do not want to be burdened with some fucking responsibility. I want free fucking beer. I want to be able to get completely pissed out of mind, throw up to make room for more beer, throw up again, fall over, find some really disgusting food to eat somewhere and then stagger home and this is the philosophy I tend to practice when it comes to my own freedom of speech, which, I must say, I have no legal right to practice. I just fucking do it anyway.
So there you have it. Say whatever the fuck you want to say, when you want to and how you want to. I’ve tried to give you some general guidelines above so that you’ll live to see adulthood. I’ve gone through life being labeled as ‘painfully honest’, ‘a fucking cow’, ‘cool and upfront’, ‘real’, ‘a bully’, ‘insensitive’, ‘offensive’, ‘hilarious’ and ‘fucking hilarious’. I have found that those who refer to me as ‘fucking hilarious’ soon change their tune to ‘insensitive, bully, offensive, fucking cow’ when my honesty is directed at them – but that’s the nature of being a beastly Badass Auntie.
Much love from your Badass Auntie
ps. One extra piece of advice. Learn to punch hard, run fast and get lots of tattoos.
I was thinking today, am I subliminally sexist or overtly ageist because I write your brother’s letter first? This is how self censorship creeps in on a day to day basis. Censorship sucks. Your Tia used to have to censor things and she got paid for it. One day I’ll tell you about your Tia, but not today. Today I will tell you how to censor other people through not censoring yourself.
Yesterday a friend contacted me on Facebook to ask if I felt Badass Auntie was appropriate for his 14 year old cousin. What an odd question ,I thought. I mean, the letters I write are to a 2 year old and a newborn, how the fuck could they be inappropriate for a 14 year old. So I replied by saying ‘if her parents don’t mind her learning about flavoured anal lubricants, it should be fine’. That’s how it’s artfully done. Granted, his 14 year old cousin is now following this blog (hi G!) but anyone in their right mind knows that if a 14 year old wants to learn about flavoured anal lubricant, they don’t have to search hard and, quite frankly, these letters, while liberally sprinkled with profanity and sex, are pretty suitable for all age groups. Because, you know why? People don’t have to fucking read it. I’m not going to fucking censor myself – so I make sure that within a few lines of reading anyone will know whether their sensibilities will be rubbed the wrong way and they can go do some fucking Buzzfeed quiz instead.
Just to digress, but those quizzes make me insane. I hope there is no longer such a thing when you get older. The thought of my own blood being sucked in by quizzes titled ‘find out what sort of fucking flower you are’ or ‘let us guess what colour your knickers are in three easy questions written by a total perv’ or ‘which one of the the three wankateers would you have been’, makes the lower levels of my very thick skin crawl hideously.
Getting back on track here. I’m hoping you’re going to be like me. It’s a totally narcissistic thing, but it makes me happy to think that there would be another woman in this world after I die to carry on the fine tradition of inappropriateness that I have so carefully fostered over the years. OK, I know it’s arrogant to believe that there aren’t other, more inappropriate, women out there to be excellent role models and I agree that there are. There are women out there who are so blindingly, fabulously, not giving a flying fuckity wrong in every way that I pathetically hope that one day we could be friends and know that deep down it will never happen.
So, I burden you now with all my dreams and hopes for the future. The most important part of being a truly badass woman is to surround yourself with other badass women. I can’t stress this enough. Choose your friends wisely. Of my friends one works with wild sharks and the other with wild crocodiles. In fact the one who works with crocodiles doesn’t just work with them, but she makes them puke and studies it. You can’t get more badass than that and it’s no accident that I surround myself with these kinds of women. In fact, a really important, but sort of secret key to badass success is to surround yourself with women who are even more badass than you are. It keeps you on your game.
To help you along the way and to make sure that you never lower the bar in terms of the sort of people in your entourage, here are some things that I’ve learned.
- You know that a friend is for life when you hit her over the head with both a dildo and a bag full of dog shit and she doesn’t hate you forever. (true story) I recommend doing this early in relationships to ensure complete transparency.
- Get to know the woman that everyone hates. There’s a good chance they hate her because she’s badass.
- Never pretend you don’t like someone your friend doesn’t like just so that it doesn’t upset them. No one but you should ever determine who you like and spend time with. If they can’t handle that you are friends with someone they don’t like, they aren’t badass. Kick ’em to the curb.
- Always make sure that your badass friends know that you are there to get their back if anyone does anything horrible to them. If you are anything like me, make sure they know that getting their back means you will take action and they better be willing to live with the consequences of the action you may take if they take you up on the back getting.
- If you’re badass friends make mistakes or do something every so often to annoy you, let it slide. Badass women are only badass because they refuse to be perfect. Now, if they ask your opinion, tell them straight up because badass women should never ask if they don’t want to know.
- If anyone ever describes you as ‘nice’ or ‘easy going’, rethink your life.
- If anyone ever describes you as ‘dishonest’ or ‘fake, rethink your life.
- Know that some people will let you down. No matter how good you think you are at judging someone’s character, you will get it wrong from time to time. Betrayal is one of the most sucky things ever. Badass women get over it and move on. Get drunk with some of your badass friends, call her all the cunts in the world and never think of her again.
- If some of your badass friends get oversensitive and lose some of their badass edge every so often, help them reclaim their badassery. Badass women are the ones who take on the world and will bite off more than they can chew. So be their metaphorical Heimlich maneuver when they start to choke because that’s how Badass women roll.
- And finally, never let any arsehole determine what you believe is badass. Badassery comes in all sizes, shapes and colours. If anyone ever tries to make you do something you don’t want to do through force, guilt, extortion or brown nosing (well it depends on how brown they are willing to get their nose sometimes) tell them to suck a bag of dicks (thanks to J for this – if you read this, you’ll know who you are).
Well, that’s it for today.
Much love from your Badass Auntie
– No snakes were hurt in the making of this blog. Boa was rescued and released to eat rats forever more.