Why Muttering “Bastards” Can Change Our Lives (And The World)

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I have a friend who, whenever he doesn’t like something, just mutters “bastards” to himself. Sometimes he does it in conversation with others too. In any case, the phrase has become an interjection. And its power may surprise us.

It took me a while to stop to think about it, about how much meaning one simple, vulgar word may hold. “Bastards” in this context doesn’t seek to disparage, it isn’t directed at anyone in particular, it isn’t used to attack anybody. It is a statement of not being okay with how things are, it is an acknowledgement that we don’t fit in, and it can even be an extended hand.

“Bastards” doesn’t even really blame the majority for being how they are. It is not their fault, after all, they are just the way they are, just as we, the minority, are the way we are — we aren’t any better, we’re just different. “Bastards” simply establishes this reality: “Damn, there’s more of them… Bastards!”

And it can be an extended hand because, regardless of how different and unique we may feel, we aren’t really unique, we’re just in the minority; there are more like us, waiting to be found or trying to find us at this very moment. Here, “bastards” becomes almost a codeword, a connector, a hint that we’re not alone.

In a society bored to death by far too much ranting, muttering “bastards” every now and then isn’t the prelude or the epilogue to a rant, but a commitment to staying true to ourselves even when that implies social defiance.

When we find the others, our lives change. And as more and more lives change, little by little, very slowly, almost imperceptibly, the tables may begin to turn.




I’m a musician, but I think every day. So I write every day. Thoughts. Reflections. Life.

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Marti Purull

Marti Purull

I’m a musician, but I think every day. So I write every day. Thoughts. Reflections. Life.

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