The Varying Degrees of Sh*t
a social interaction guideline in regards to fecal-zoology and excremental confederation
by Skip Pulley
We have all heard colloquial phrases in modern language which involve the word "Shit";
Bullshit, Dogshit, Batshit, etc., mostly used in a pejorative sense. But did you know that the word shit is a technical biology term that was not even considered an expletive until it began to be used out of context starting around the 19th century? With that in mind, here is a breakdown of terms and phrases which contain the word "shit", with matching personality types* and the meaning of each word or phrase in the context of modern conversational dialog and behavior.
ost people, living and/or dead, are or were a complete piece of sh*t. That is objective truth. If you are very offended by these definitions or feel that you have no connection whatsoever to any of them, then you automatically belong in at least 3 of these categories.
"Silence will always be better than bullshit" - King James
(Maybe. You don'know. You weren't there.)
Contextual Definition: A descriptive phrase for spurious conversational, colloquial or dialectic speech
Contextual Meaning: ¹A subject matter that is known or believed to be false by the speaker and/or listener, in which the speaker has to "sell" something or someone and achieve ends by the use of embellishment, exaggeration, falsehoods or incorrect/unverified information. ²Sycophantic speech
Commonly used by: politicians, salespersons, retailers, children on playgrounds, repair-persons, mechanics, parents, pop idols, contractors, in-laws, serial online daters, sports team coaches, pharmaceutical reps, comedians, novelists, grade school teachers, entertainment professionals, millionaires, lawyers, advertisers, racists, hippies, meteorologists, IRS agents, police detectives, con artists, stylists/beauticians, make-up artists, customer service associates, actors, NPR, professional wrestlers, lobbyists
Physical Definition: The excrement of a Bull
Physical Use: None. A useless alternative to cow manure as fertilizer
The entire US culture and society was built on bullshit; the "discovery", the "revolution", the constitution, the confederacy, manifest destiny and so on. The real question is, the one nobody wants to ask - or answer; is bullshit the same as an outright lie? Well, sometimes, yes. It is. It has to be. Because it's selling, it's bargaining, it's compromise, it's horse trading, it's bartering, it's wheeling & dealing, making accommodations and forcing settlements - from all sides of the political and socioeconomic spectrum. The best and most apparent example of this was the mid 20th century "New Deal", in which the "deal" was for the wealthy oligarchs to allow the working class, including minorities and women, to have the opportunity to create a better standard of living for themselves, in exchange for not burning down their mansions and murdering them. Sounds fair, right? On the up and up? Yet, just like every other example of American political compromise, there was a gradual, brutal and relentless re-imposition of the status quo for those at the top over everyone else. If that isn't an example of someone selling a farmer a load of useless manure, then I don't know what is.
Contextual Definition: A descriptive phrase for ideological propaganda and/or morally reinforced intolerance, pretext or rationale
Contextual Meaning: A subject matter that is believed to be true by the speaker in an ideological sense, yet has little or no empirical evidence or basis in fact and is more belief than knowledge. The speaker is motivated to "sell" the subject by all means necessary to reinforce their belief systems regardless of the involvement level or interest of the listener - or the discovery of evidence that contradicts their beliefs.
Commonly used by: network news media, identity politicians, most religious leaders, most physicians, religious fanatics, ideologues, secret societies, military leaders, nationalists, eugenicists, wealthy people, atheists, veterinarians, new-age practitioners, astrophysicists, most charity organization executives, white supremacists, most paleontologists, cult members, social Darwinists, most regular Darwinists, judges, bi-gender/agenger/gender-fluid persons - just pick a lane Sam[antha], professional female athletes, petroleum apologists
Physical Definition: The excrement of a Horse
Physical Use: An inexpensive fertilizer in the form of manure
I have a saying, that may one day be a popular quote, "the difference between entertainment and propaganda is enthusiasm" - SP. In other words, the difference between horseshit and bullshit is the presence of a "true believer". Many people, of all ages, often believe their own bullshit, which then transforms it into horseshit, which in turn makes it useful. Actual horseshit fertilizes crops and gardens, actual bullshit just leaves everyone literally holding the bag. As the Anglo-sphere (English speaking countries) progressed through the late 20th and early 21st century, most institutional bullshit evolved into horseshit. The ruling class could no longer hide the past by looking to the future. They figured the best way to stay on top while keeping most people on the bottom was to obscure the line between the two. And the best way to do that, is to convince people that the lie never existed and the 1% stranglehold on society is merely a "worldview". The bottom line is, if you refuse to run your own life, you will get run over by your own values.
Contextual Definition: A descriptive phrase for inferior or undesirable goods, products or services
Contextual Meaning: A man-made or engineered item, object, program or system that is sub-standard, ineffective or has little or no inherent value.
Commonly associated with: American electronics, Eastern-European automobiles, all Chinese trade goods, inexpensive sports equipment, processed food, most free stuff, national fast food chain menus, low calorie beer, most British food, Italian weaponry, SNL after 2003, I Heart Radio, cable news channels, dollar store pharmaceuticals, public schools, automobile accessories involving suction cups, prepared food from gas stations, fat-free snacks, sugar-free anything, supermarket sushi, dollar store produce and/or meat, any non-vacation spot "all you can eat" buffet
Physical Definition: The excrement of a Dog
Physical use: A low-level garden nutrient only when highly composted
In our modern fast-food, disposable, instant gratification style society, dogshit has become prevalent in almost every aspect. The biggest difference between dogshit and a piece of shit is basically expectation. When something is dogshit, we tend to understand its flaws and limitations prior to use. A piece of shit is something that generally has higher expectations, then turns out to be a disappointment. The Italian army never believed their rifles were top notch even when brand new. As kids, we weren't devastated when plastic parachute men fell back to earth at the exact same speed they went into the air.
When a dollar store flashlight breaks, you're not that upset. When you think about it, that's actually a lot of technology for a dollar (well, $1.25 now). Modern culture actually perpetuates and encourages the production of dogshit. Single use cutlery, coolers, containers and bbq grills - none of which are recyclable, has placed everyone in a mindset of "buy it cheap then throw it away". Of course quality will always be the biggest casualty of this mentality. But hey, who needs quality when you can have an entire grilled picnic on the fly for less than 10 bucks.
Contextual Definition: ¹Deceptive practices by devious persons in positions of power and influence. A description of the "worship" of avarice, gluttony and materialism. ²The normalization of greed.
Contextual Meaning: A person, group or pattern of behavior that is entirely self absorbed, using economic means to justify greed, selfishness and exploitation as ulterior motives.
Commonly associated with: highest level corporate executives, bankers, drug dealers, wealthy old men who exclusively date young women, billionaires, real estate moguls, diplomats, nihilists, criminals, cult Leaders, exotic sportscar collectors, oil tycoons, royalty, oligarchs, hedge fund managers, luxury yacht owners, CIA-installed strawman dictators, megachurch pastors
Physical Definition: The excrement of a Pig
Physical use: A fertilizer only when highly composted
There is no such thing as an ethical billionaire. Unless your ethic is to continuously play gullible saps against each other and themselves while assuming the role of altruistic innovator. *So, are all wealthy people inherently bad people? The short answer is...yes. Because even the so-called wealthy altruists understand better than most people that charity is horseshit. Only solidarity can bring about change in society. (*Wealthy is not the same as rich. Rich people are full of shit but they're not necessarily loathsome by definition.) The role of the wealthy should be social equity, with the ultimate end goal of eliminating both wealth and poverty. But that's not what western society is all about. There can't exist an upper class without a lower and vice versa. The wealthy need poor people to stay perpetually poor. It's in the elites' best interest to prevent upward mobility. It's called social evolutionary strategy.
5. "Talking Shit"
Contextual Definition UK: Talking confidently about something of which you have no knowledge
Contextual Definition US: Language used as intentional provocation in order to illicit a response
Contextual Meaning(s): UK - Someone who talks a lot despite the fact that they don't know what they're talking about. US - Someone who uses particular language for the specific purpose of getting a reaction of some type from a person or group.
Commonly used by: athletes, politicians, chefs, agitators, activists, separatists, pundits, restaurateurs, prosecutors, insecure people, inadequate people, narcissists, sports fanatics, Women who don't know how to flirt, Men who are afraid to be honest, fake people, people who are unable to give or accept love, political columnists, morning radio show hosts, people who lack the ability to be serious, TV talk show hosts, women who brag about being sarcastic, hecklers
Synonyms: Yang, Smack, Junk, Grease, Slime
The phrase "don't talk shit" has a slightly different connotation depending on which English speaking country that you currently inhabit. In the UK, that phrase means "shut up because you don't know what you're talking about". In the US, that phrase means shut up before you mess around and get your wig parted down the middle. People who talk shit out of compulsion are horribly insecure. They crave conflict because calm and peace reminds them that they are emotionally unstable. They would rather get punched in the head over nothing than be encouraged over a meaningful act. They literally can't understand compliments, legitimate praise or emotional support. The most ironic thing is that acting like a dick generally brings them physical harm, which is the opposite of what they need to feel secure. All competitive people (outside the context of games and sport) are assholes. With the possible exception of a work-related contest in which a monetary prize is involved, competitive people are putting all their insecurities on display under the guise of being an "alpha". But the truth is, they can't help it. Their desire to beat everyone at everything comes from their misunderstanding that life itself is a game. It isn't. It's a dream. Not yours. Someone else's.
The famed sexual researcher Alfred Kinsey estimated that 8 percent of men and 3.6 percent of women engage in some sort of sexual activity with an animal. So...yeah. That's way to many. That means in a random crowd of a hundred men, eight of them possess or have access to lipstick-wearing goats, pigs or something far worse yet even more domesticated. I'm not sure what's more disturbing; the fact that laws had to be created to keep people from doing it - or that there are several states in which it is not illegal. That's right. Look it up. Perhaps it's just one of many abhorrent practices that are now being normalized. I read that the LGBT community now refers to child molesters as "minor attracted persons", so I guess the eventual title of participants in manimal coitus relationships will be "animal attracted persons". It all seems to be part of a trend. The new social conditioning. People are encouraged to overreact to that which is meaningless and underreact to that which affects our collective existence as human beings. Having said all that, "crazy" is subjective. Your beliefs, outrageous or not, are ultimately of no (or very little) consequence. However, when your actions cause harm to others is when you wear the label of batshit as a badge of dishonor. Yet, even in that aspect, sometimes martyrs are created. Any and all social "consensus" is rapidly becoming extinct. If there is in fact a "culture war" being waged, those who feel the need to label everyone anti or pro this or that, etc., are losing. Badly.
Contextual Definition: An unreasonable, unpredictable or mentally unsound person, belief or behavior
Contextual Meaning: The term batty has become synonymous with crazy.
Commonly used in reference to: psychopaths, publicly intoxicated people, extremists, emotionally unhinged persons, cultists, firearm fanatics, daredevils, bestiality enthusiasts, people who have unsafe sexual intercourse with strangers, people who show up at Comic Con in costume and pick fist-fights, people who think magic shows are real, rodeo clowns, people who get angry at jokes, Karens, people who get angry at mistaken pronouns, people who believe in - and give money to psychics, lost cause proponents, church of satan members, sex workers in general
Physical Definition: The excrement of a Bat
Physical use: Compost activator, Soil conditioner, Fungicide
Contextual Definition: Posting deliberately provocative or off-topic comments online, typically on social media, for the specific purpose of intentional offense, aggression or distraction.
Contextual Meaning: Shitposting is essentially trolling. The object is not to contribute to the conversation but to derail the discussion or bait someone into responding to an often pointless, nonsensical comment.
Commonly associated with: the vast majority of teenage white boys, conservatives of all ages, people with absolutely no friends, people who lack human contact, Communists who can't explain what Communism is, most residents of the Midwestern US, Biblical literalists, late stage capitalism apologists, male virgins over 21, most hockey fans, right-leaning Libertarians, gender-diverse persons, mumble-rap fanatics, reactionaries, contrarians, people who don't know the difference between Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists, people who make racist comments on interracial porn videos after watching and masturbating to them because their loneliness and addiction outweighs their racial hatred, young registered democrats, people who crave attention, people with no personality whatsoever
Synonyms: Trolling, Brofessionalism, Gnoming, Dickweeding, Brogressive
This is basically a written form of "talking shit". It generally means nothing, but even if it did, there is probably no way for anyone to back it up or clearly explain it. It amazes me that so many people exercise their liberties while simultaneously trying to restrict the liberties of others. There is no scenario in which that makes sense. I remember in the not-so-distant-past when it was mostly conservative republicans who were all in on censorship and restriction of free speech; and so-called liberals were all outspoken defenders of legal self expression. Now it has literally flipped 180 degrees. Liberals aren't so liberal anymore I guess. Apparently there is no longer such thing as a joke, it's now bad and shameful to be happy and proud to live your entire life as the womb or non-womb possessing human being of which you were born - and violence, warfare, child abuse, xenophobia and permanent censorship are now sanctioned and actively encouraged by liberals as long as it falls within the bandwidth of the accepted media narratives. Conservatives are no better, but at least they were grandfathered into this wreck of a bandwagon, rather than jumping on for the remainder of garbage time. More than anyone else, progressives have fallen into this claptrap quagmire. Politics have gotten the better of them. Their high hopes and moral ideals have all been washed away by the tsunami of crumbling capitalism. Some of you are wondering if it's "too late for humankind". Yes. It is.
It was too late a long time ago.
8. Piece of Shit
Contextual Definitions: ¹A disreputable person or sociopath; ²A useless or poorly manufactured product
Contextual Meanings: ¹A deplorable, narcissistic and/or idiotic person whose liabilities far outweigh their assets, if any. ²A man-made item or some other type of engineered physical object that is sub-standard, ineffective or has little or no inherent value.
Commonly associated with: drunk drivers, non-disabled people who park in handicapped spots, pimps, drunk sports-parents, moving violation recidivists, child abusers, rapists, pyramid marketers, people who don't return shopping carts, hit-and-run drivers, people who take up multiple parking spots with one vehicle, internet scammers, Chrysler PT Cruisers, package thieves, Pontiac Aztecs, Samsung laptops, Windows phones, Gateway PCs, people who don't let drivers merge from on-ramps, people who ignore merge signs and intentionally drive all the way to the end of a lane then swerve left suddenly in front of someone without signaling, for-sport-only hunters, Neo-Nazis/Klanspersons, violence advocates/apologists, people who brag about being anti-social, planned obsolescence manufacturers (parts and devices designed to wear out quickly), Blackwater employees, anyone in a group with the word "first" preceded by a geographic location, armed assailants, people who get everyone else's attention then point out someone to make fun of, high-interest financiers, people who park in the fire lane, bullies, people who allow their dogs to bark incessantly all day or night, people who allow their children to have screaming tantrums in public, people who bring their large dogs (who are not service dogs) into shops because they feel like it; with no regard for others allergies or aversions, shitty parents, people who speed on residential streets, people who pass stopped school busses, synthetic weed, home tattoo removal kits, Ford Explorer transmissions
Synonyms: asshole, low-life, scumbag, garbage, junk, crap, dickhead, tosser, plonker
Here's another quote you may become familiar with; "If you're a piece of shit, then by definition, at least one of your parents must be an asshole - because that's where shit comes from" - SP.
Contextual Definition: A habitual and possibly compulsive or pathological liar, boaster or "bullshitter"
Contextual Meaning: ¹Someone who is often dishonest, disingenuous or intentionally misleading. ²Someone who brags unnecessarily or shows off in a pointless manner.
Commonly associated with: carnival workers, elected officials, prostitutes, panhandlers, gigolos, civil servants, retail district managers, most landlords, bodybuilders, prison guards/corrections officers, therapists, stock brokers, handgun enthusiasts, people who are incapable of non-humorous human interaction, half of all health inspectors, most home appraisers, urban building inspectors, film critics, most church folk, Hollywood insiders, cosmetic surgeons, young women who only date much older men, old men in general, beer and wine snobs, satanists, NASA, career politicians, conservative radio hosts
Synonyms: Braggart, Egotist, Poser, Loudmouth, Windbag, Blowhard, Big Mouth, Fake-bitchPathological liars tend to lie frequently regardless of context, whereas habitual lying is generally comprised of lies that are somewhat believable and may have truthful elements, however the lies usually contain statements that are of little if any importance. That's why most of the everyday people you know who are full of shit actually wouldn't really make very good con artists. They're simply not trustworthy enough for people to invest in anything they say to a large degree. It's essentially a matter of low or non-existent self worth. They have replaced actions with speech, because the results of their potential actions secretly terrify them. People who are full of shit are easily corruptible and remain generally corrupted. They have lost sight of who and what they are, so it's easier for them to exist in a realm of complete nonsense than take the time to connect with their true self.
10. Shit-Eating Grin
Contextual Definitions: ¹False Contrition or humility, especially in the face of degradation, humiliation, danger or uncertainty; A Forced penitence. ²A sly, duplicitous smirk or self-satisfied smile.
Contextual Meanings: ¹Someone who is forcibly contrite or coerced into repentance. ²A complacent, self-congratulatory smile, typically undeserved or unwarranted.
Commonly associated with: oppressed southern Blacks, country folk in general, oppressed people of color in general, minstrels, prisoners, clowns, small town Sheriffs, domestic workers, network sitcom live audience members, migrant workers, mayors, servers, valets, most working musicians, Jews, petty-bourgeois people who get lost or stranded in bad neighborhoods, undertakers, movie producers
The basic, bottom line of this phrase is a forced, fake smile; in just about any context. The disambiguation of this phrase has become so twisted that it seems everyone who is younger than Gen X seems to think that eating shit is actually a good thing. In non-pejorative terminology, the origin comes from a way of saying "eating crow" or eating ones own words as a form of contrition, submission or apology. I realize that "eat shit and die" has been tangled up with the grin phrase, but the meanings and context both stumble over each other. The best three examples of a shit-eating grin are as follows:
1. The grin you have when you are on a horrible date, but you are still trying to get all up under that, so you patiently and systematically swallow dumb, boring or hateful speech or behavior while displaying a glib smile which your date is too stupid to realize or understand
2. The self-serving grin someone has when they are being praised or admired for something they are associated with but not something they actually participated in or accomplished
3. The grin someone has when they are in no position to assert or exercise their rights as a human being and must accept their present condition as a matter of course for survival.
Honorable Shit Mentions:
Apeshit - Going "ape" is essentially wild anger or excitement
Commonly associated with: most pro athletes, toddlers, thespians (stage actors), teenage girls, people trying to hide their lies or keep their secrets, horribly parented children
Living Shitty - When someone can do better socially and financially but chooses not to
Commonly associated with: low-level drug dealers, false disability claimants, low-level gangsters, terrorists, neighborhood drug lab professors, "generational" welfare recipients
Shit-Show - A chaotic and ill-advised individual or situation that ends badly
Commonly associated with: women who wear way too much makeup, inexperienced event promoters, simps, boys with their whole ass and drawers showing, women wearing several rings and/or chain-jewelry outside their blouse, untrained or inexperienced actors who insist on being paid more than meals + transportation and expenses to do a piece-of-shit indie film, women who publicly cuck or simp men (we used to call them skeezers)
11. "The" Shit (or "My" Shit)
Contextual Definition: The utmost. Someone's preferred persons or things above all others
Contextual Meaning: Someone or something that brings excitement or joy to an individual.
Commonly associated with: songs, actors, athletes, movies, music videos, sports teams, automobiles, foods, beverages, TV shows, books, restaurants, shops, vacation spots, holidays
Synonyms: The Tits, The Jizz, The Balls, The Dogs Bollocks, The Spooge, The Berries, The/My Jam
And here we are. For whatever reason, your favorite things in life are commonly referred to as excrement. Why do you suppose that is? Maybe because everyone does it. Everyone has to relieve themselves of solid waste. Everyone who eats food, that is. So, it's a part of life. Yet no one referrers to their actual physical shit as "my shit". As if they stand up off the toilet and turn around to say "yuh, that's my shit right there, playa". At least I hope no one does that. But We all need things to become enthusiastic about, at least to some degree. "Shit" is eventual, as it were. It's inevitable, if you're human. So when we project it on to things we enjoy, it symbolizes our optimism that all the things we like will eventually be realized on some level. But it must be substantial. We all have to pee at some point as well, but no one ever hears a DJ track and says "ah, yeah...that's my Piss, son!" Perhaps the word shit being associated with our preferences is the basis for it being attached to common words and phrases. Society is complex, no doubt. But learning to successfully navigate social situations amid the current culture wars sometimes means not taking things personally; and gaining insight into how people use language and how others absorb it. I once heard a drug dealer say out loud "shit! this shit...is shit". In other words he was unhappy with the quality, but for some reason it took 3 shits to get there.
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Skip Pulley is editor in Chief of Catharsis Magazine, Soundboy Magazine and Kahuna life.