Bryan Zepp Jamieson
April 18th, 2023
The word “cunt” is one of the most radioactive in the United States. Even George Carlin shied away from it.
But in the UK and portions of Canada, where I was raised, it has another meaning. Oh, it is still a ugly term for vagina, but the far more pervasive usage is to describe a weak, nasty, contemptible and generally pathetic and/or despicable person. For example: Boris Johnson is a cunt. So is King Charles. Outside of World War 2, Winston Churchill was an immense cunt. Every member of the Trump family covering four generations are cunts. Yes, under this definition, women can be cunts, too. Margaret Thatcher was a cunt. So was that 30 day wonder last year at 10 Downing—wossname the Tory cunt. (Yeah, I’m going to make you look that one up.) Here in the States, Armpit Maggie and Bobo are cunts. With Elon Musk it has to be in all caps and with a blue verified tick.
While I don’t avoid the word, I kinda save it for special occasions, special people. Besides, all the words you couldn’t say on TV ten years ago are all over the place in this era of Trump. If you say ‘shite’ a nun might look at you and try to correct your pronunciation. Cunt is about the only word left with any shock value. (Cussing is a human universal custom; new words will come along. Don’t worry.)
This all brings us to one of the more obscure corners of Oklahoma, McCurtain County. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry. There are probably people in the Oklahoma state government who hadn’t heard of it before last week. It’s about 30,000 people, 70% of which are white and 9% are black. Agriculture and forestry are the main industries, along with a tourist trade exploiting the legacy of the Choctaw nation now that it has been safely destroyed. It went for Trump by 67 points in 2016. If the county doesn’t already have a motto, I suggest a line from Gene McDaniels’ ‘Compared To What’: “Poor Dumb Rednecks, Rollin’ Along.”
What McCurtain County DOES have, though, is something lamentably missing in much of the rest of the country: an independent, engaged local journalism. Most of that element of democracy has been bought up by plutocrats and corporations, which is a leading reason why the country as a whole is so fucked up.
McCurtain Gazette-News is an actual on-paper newspaper. It doesn’t have a website. The owner and publisher is one local guy, Bruce Willingham, and the leading reporter is his son, Chris Willingham.
Over the past several years, the two have run some 30 articles detailing corruption in the county sheriff’s department. Like most cops who get held to account (still far too seldom an occurrence) this lot were unamused. They didn’t like the Willinghams and their snitchy little paper, not one bit.
It came to Chris Willingham’s notice that the Sheriff, along with the County Board of Supes, were having informal “off the record” meetings in which official business was being discussed. That contravenes Oklahoma state law on open meetings concerning official proceedings. So he set out to show this was going on. He left a voice activated recorder in the room he believed the meetings were taking place.
He did catch the usual suspects (Sheriff Kevin Clardy, District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings, Investigator Alicia Manning, and Jail Administrator Larry Hendrix, hereafter referred to as “a pack of cunts”) having a meeting. But they weren’t discussing official business. At least, I hope to christfuck it wasn’t considered official business. Judging from the scalded-cat reactions of various officials in OK all the way up to the governor, it was something they knew was wrong, and we’ll save whether they believed it was wrong for another time. “Oklahoma Crude” refers to more than just oil.
The pack of cunts were discussing the Willinghams and their newspaper. The elder Willingham had just filed a defamation suit against the four, and they were not happy about it.
Alicia Manning, who investigates crimes, is heard suggesting that she needed to take some packages to a shipping center near the newspaper’s office. Without context it seems an innocent enough remark. In context, though, where they are discussing killing the Willinghams and disposing of their bodies, it’s pretty clearly a terrorist threat. Cunt Commish Mark Jennings just happened to know of “two big deep holes” that might be of use. Sheriff Kevin (Big Cunt) Clardy just happened to mention he had an excavator should a need for holes in a different locale arise. Jennings, apparently realizing what was needed in order to fill these holes, hypothetical or otherwise, said, “I’ve known two or three hit men, they’re very quiet guys…” Probably less messy than what dear sweet Alicia had in mind for her local shipping center.
Moving on from the fascist fantasies of assassinating the local journalists, they turned to another, more racist theme. I should mention at this point that nearly all fascists and by definition, all racists are cunts. You have to be a cunt to feel the way these people do, and to feel the way they do, you have to be a cunt. It’s a closed circle of cuntishness.
Jennings, the cunt with the holes, lamented the fact that they couldn’t just take “[the Willinghams] down to Mud Creek and hang them up with damned rope. But you can’t do that anymore. They’ve got more rights than we’ve got.” It’s safe to assume the “they” in the latter sentence isn’t referring to the Willinghams. In a motif often heard amongst the trashier elements of the far right, it’s often believed that African Americans have more rights then poor, meek, timid little white people. Why, they have a right not to be lynched! Can you imagine? White people don’t have a right not to be lynched! Why, any Ken or Barbie poking their pink noses outside are liable to find a sheriff and some commissioners waiting outside with ropes, ticking packages, and maybe an excavator or two. I tell you, it’s just so unjust! Cunts everywhere are crying over that injustice.
Even worse on the cunt scale of “put-upon-ness” was the fact that the recording was done without their consent, and thus was a far greater crime than plotting murder and terrorist bombings. Cause, you know, snitches get stitches. Can’t trust those reporters to allow cunts to go about their business unmolested.
Now, as horrible as this story is, there is a bright side. All four have been suspended and will probably lose their jobs. All are likely to face criminal charges, state level for certain, and in the case of the implied threats to bomb or lynch, federal charges as well. The cunts can whine about how unfair it all is, but the fact is they blew themselves up, and good riddence.
Most of the people in McCurtain County, I’m happy to say, seem shocked and appalled.
Many county governments are corrupt, some viciously so. Petty authority attracts cunts. Local journalism used to keep them in check, but most of the US doesn’t have anyone like the Willinghams, and so the cunts get away with it.
First thing to control the cunts: fight for strong, independent and engaged local journalism. We won’t survive without it.