A Brief But Heartfelt Response To Karen Spears Zacharias

Oh Karen, my Karen, our vile culture is rife
With "fuck!" and "cocksucker!" and other such strife
Nobody's polite. Nobody keeps cool.
Nobody uses nice words for their stool.
Instead of discoursing in the way that we should,
We all swear like that guy getting blown on Deadwood.

Even kids — O, sweet Children! — are subject to scorn,
We curse them! We rue the day they were born!
We damn their behavior, we laugh when they weep,
We employ cruel invective to tell them to sleep!

Well, not to their faces. We're not all that rude.
But in private, our venting is terribly crude.
It's as if we were human, and sorry to say —
As if parenting's foibles were funny! No way!

You know better, dear Karen. You know kids are no joke
You know bad words hurt those about whom they're spoke
Even if they don't hear them. Bad words hurt us all
They cheapen the culture, they lower the wall.
Between us and barbarians. For isn't it said
That the Etruscans, who cursed, are all now mostly dead?

We need you sweet Karen. We need you to flit
To wherever there's call for a nannying twit
We need you in comics. We need you in games
We need you if someone says womyn are "dames"

But we don't know that we need you. Oh, for shame
Our permissive culture is surely to blame
We imagine we're able to think for ourselves
About which dirty books to put on our shelves
We believe there's a difference, a key one in fact,
Between in-private fun, and company tact.

So please, Karen please, spare a thought for us churls,
As you faint on your couch and clutch at your pearls,
One day we'll admit you know best for our health,
But not today, Karen. So go fuck yourself.

(Hat Tip To Nick Gillespie, and to my dear wife, who gave me the offending book in question for Father's Day.)

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Craig S. Cottingham says

    I don't know why it amuses me so, but I get a kick out of the fact that you actually have a category on this blog named "Effluvia".

  2. says

    Sorry, dude. The Etruscans weren't barbarians from a Roman perspective. They were anciently overthrown overlords.

  3. says

    Sorry, dude. The Etruscans weren’t barbarians from a Roman perspective. They were anciently overthrown overlords.

    I was all ready to point out that the Etruscans weren't supposed to be the barbarians in the logic of my doggerel when I realized you were just messing with my head.

  4. Piper says

    Heh, heh, you said dead wood was getting blown. Sounds like a Rolling Stones song…

  5. says

    I thought about writing a little snippet about this bizarre piece of what I simply have to hope was intended as self-parody, but then I thought, "I bet one of the folks at Popehat is going to do a far better job mocking this piece of ninnyism than I."

    And, well, yeah.

  6. Nicolas says

    Leaves me cold. There is much to be said for civil discourse. In my view the culture has become coarser due to many of the society-wrecking government policies this site typically deplores.

  7. says

    This is certainly discourse – Ken's poem adeptly addresses the issues with the Zacharais piece.

    As a poem it is quite a masterpiece. Poems are civilized.

  8. says

    I can appreciate Nicolas' point that there is a place for civil discourse, and that there are places where incendiary language is out of place.

    My point is that it's silly to treat a satirical book, marketed to the sorts of adults who will pay $12.95 for a 15-page satirical book marketed to adults, is not such a place, and that conflating satire with violence against children is alarmist, dishonest, and part of the pearl-clutcher culture.

  9. says

    BTW: Shared this on Facebook, as did my wife. Sometimes I kind of forget that three of our four pastors are Facebook friends. ::cringe::

  10. Bob says

    "Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.
    Hiro used to feel this way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this was liberating. He no longer has to worry about being the baddest motherfucker in the world. The position is taken." — Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

    Hiro :: Raven, Us :: Ken

  11. Patrick says

    He's a Presbyterian. A sense of humor to a Presbyterian pastor is like a foreskin to a rabbi.

    — Ex-Presbyterian