Okay, this is the fourth time I'm trying to write this entry, so let's go brief:
One of the reasons (among many) that I'm appreciating "Generation Kill" is because the language is gloriously, wonderfully, Un-PC. I think the political correctness movement has, over time, done a lot of damage to language as a whole. Nearly everything now is seen as some form of derogatory language, and it makes me fucking angry. I call one woman a "festering cunt boil" because she cheated on a friend and lied about it, I'm against all women, as opposed to being against the single woman I was talking about in the first place. I hear someone refer to something as "gay" in an abstract sense that doesn't lead to an "ew, fags" discussion and don't tell them their word usage is offensive to some people, I'm anti-gay and allowing the problem to fester. I swear in front of a child, and I'm obviously trying to lead the kid down some dark path involving fuck knows what.
And then I watch "Generation Kill" where a lot of guys sit around and say a lot of things that a lot of people would find horribly, wickedly offensive, and I love them. Because so very little of what they say is actually meant to be offensive: It's blowing off steam, riling one another up, shooting the shit, and generally fucking around. Ray calling something "retarded" isn't him having a beef with people with mental disabilities (and I think even "mental disabilities" is falling out of favor), it's the vernacular for something being really fucking stupid, not someone. And when Ray uses it to describe people, he's not making fun of every single person with an abnormal mental state. He's making fun of one guy for being a fucking idiot.
And it soothes me; it really does. Because I watch "Generation Kill," and I see a lot of hard-working, decent guys doing a really fucking hard job, and I appreciate their use of "offensive" language as a coping mechanism. I appreciate the way they can insult each other at a polysyllabic, multi-sentence level. These are people who understand language and who, in the way they laugh at each other's attempts to use it as insults, understand the power is only as strong as the recipient wants to take it.
I'm not saying every use of "offensive" language should be taken lightly. There are plenty of instances where what's being said is exactly what you think is being said, where someone calling someone else a "bad word" is actually someone trying to start real shit. Scary shit. Mean, evil shit. But there's so many times when people just say shit to say shit. When it's fun to string a bunch of words together because they sound good; when it's simply talking in the same way that the people around you talk, and it makes me happy to hear it, because the power of language is as strong as you make it, and I can appreciate a whiskey tango fuck who knows how to wield that power.