Sports “You cunt-lapping dog!”
posted by December 4 at 11:12 AMon
Ah, our national pastime. Baseball, that is, not cunnilingus.
The quotation headlining this story comes from a memo written in 1898 for circulation among players in the National League. The issue: obscene language used by ballplayers within earshot of women and children, damaging the image of purity and cleanliness the game tried to promote. The memo recently showed up among stray items in a late baseball historian’s estate, and will be up for auction next year. Go here and click on the images for blow-ups.
Two things make this document remarkable: first, it actually quotes the objectionable language. Nowadays, any such official memorandum would use euphemisms or other double talk. But our forebears in the last Gilded Age knew better.
That such brutal language as “You cock-sucking son of a bitch!” “You prick-eating bastard!” “You cunt-lapping dog!” “Kiss my ass you son of a bitch!” “A dog must have fucked your mother when she made you!” “I fucked your mother, your sister, your wife!” “I’ll make you suck my ass!” “You cock-sucker!” and many other revolting terms are used by a limited number of players to intimidate umpires and opposing players is vouched for by the almost unanimous assertion of those invited to speak and who are competent to speak from personal knowledge.
Second, this memo reminds us that the Good Old Days were just like nowadays. The cultural myth that America in the past was a more polite, less conflicted place, is right-wing bullshit of the first order, and items like this that bring us back to the fulsome filthiness of the past are invaluable. Maybe copies should be printed up and handed out to the Politeness Police at Safeco when they eject hapless Mariners’ fans for the tame chant of “Yankees suck!” Which they do, the ass-sucking sons of bitches. And don’t get me started on the cock-sucking Red Sox either.