“”A bureaucracy is like a tree full of monkeys.
Looking down, you see nothing but smiling faces.
“”♫Hey! Do you know what you are?
You're an asshole! An asshole!
|—Frank Zappa, "Broken Hearts Are for Assholes"|
“”Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down — you dig — farting out the words. It was unlike anything I ever heard. …
|—William Burroughs from Naked Lunch|
“”♫But sometimes that's just not enough to keep a guy like me interested
I gotta go out and have fun at someone else's expense.
I'm an asshole!
I use public toilets and I piss on the seats,
|—Denis Leary, "Asshole"|
Asshole (American English) or arsehole (Commonwealth English) is a slang term for the anus, an orifice on the bodies of more complex animals for the purpose of purging waste, having fun, being the butt of jokes, and letting pearlfish also have fun inside sea cucumbers.
It can also be an extremely apt metaphor for an individual who is extremely arrogant, or just regularly spews forth bullshit. I.e., "they're talking out of their asshole", or "they've pulled that fact out of their asshole", or "they do not know their ass from a hole in the ground".
Inspired in part by philosopher Harry Frankfurt essay Bullshit that defined the meaning of bullshit, philosopher Aaron James has proposed a definition of asshole:
“”…the asshole is the guy who systematically allows himself special advantages in cooperative life out of an entrenched sense of entitlement that immunises him against the complaints of other people.
- Everyone is an Asshole
- 70 Years of Evolving Douchebag Style Shown Decade by Decade In a Chronological Time Lapse by Lori Dorn (8:23 AM on May 4, 2017) Laughing Squid
“”Now we’re at the door. And he’s still got me in the bro hug. And he says, 'Come on, those are nothing. Those are softballs.' And he says, 'One more for the road. Give me something with some mustard.' And this is what I said: 'Well, OK, fair enough. My wife and I watched The Apprentice for the first time the other night in preparation for coming over here. And, honestly, the question that kept popping up in my head is: are you as big an asshole as you seem? Or do you just play one on TV? And this is what he did. He dropped my arm like it had caught fire spontaneously, stepped back at least a yard, made that kind of constipated furious pig face he makes, slapped my back, doubled over and popped up laughing like you can't believe and declared, 'Yeah, it's fun, isn't it?'
—James Dodson, a golf writer and reporter, interview with Donald Trump.
- ↑ The Man Who Taught His Asshole to Talk by William Burroughs. RealityStudio
- ↑ Naked Lunch by William Burroughs (2013 reprint edition) Grove Press. ISBN 0802122078.
- ↑ The Meaning of "Asshole" by Aaron James (02 October 2015) The Philosophers' Magazine.
- ↑ A Day (And A Cheeseburger) With President Trump by Bill Littlefield (May 05, 2017; Updated 2017-05-08 11:00:17) WBUR.