Friday, December 16, 2016

Why I Will Never Be a Skumfuk, The Power of Words

Since I have started participating in the Sum 41 community, I often wonder what Sum 41 fans called themselves before the Screaming Bloody Murder album which was released March 25, 2011. It was, by that time, their sixth album. Their first album was released in 2000. On the album is a song called "Skumfuk" and fans adopted this term to refer to themselves. As the t-shirt says in the photo of Deryck "PROUD TO BE A SKUMFUK" and many of his fans adhere to this slogan and happily proclaim they are "Skumfuks". Many go so far as to tattoo it on their person.

I have always maintained I will NEVER claim to be a Skumfuk. I will explain my reasons why in this blog post.

Words are a funny thing. Some words seem shocking to the string of profanities I sometimes utter without blinking an eye like they are filler words as common as "and"and "um". I don't look like that sort of girl to have such a potty mouth. Words are what I use for my artistic medium and words have power. We use words in communication. We use words to identify ourselves. We can use words to harm or heal. Every single day words go through our heads quietly and sometimes those words are negative self talk. We use words to degrade ourselves and each other and sometimes we aren't even aware we are doing it. Self-deprecation becomes as natural as breathing. Someone gives us a compliment and we squirm and negate it by saying something negative about ourselves.

"You are so talented. I love your drawing!"

"I think I suck but thanks anyway."

"You are beautiful."

"You think so? I hate my nose and I wish my hair was straight, but thanks anyway."

There are so many ways we are cruel to ourselves and put ourselves down and we don't even realize it as we think it is harmless. Adopting degredating words to identify ourselves is another way of doing that because if you really look at the words and what they mean, you will understand and hopefully never again identify with a word, phrase or term that is dis-empowering.

Let's look at the word Skumfuk which breaks down to "scum" and "fuck".
Impurities and a foul filmy covering mixed with a sense of disgust. Hmmm and this is what fans are calling themselves without giving it a second thought. This is what the band themselves are now calling the fans.

Now let's take a look at the lyrics of the song the term comes from:


Take the pictures off the wall
Erase the thoughts, forget them all
The choice is yours to save yourself
Or in the hands of someone else

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh [x4]

Broken thoughts and alibis
Conscience disappears in time
Voices are all that I can show
And all that I have is a soul

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh [x4]


You're a set-up to fail
You're a dead-beat on parade
With a foot in the gutter
And the other in the grave
You've cooked your silver spoon so black
So die

What can I say?
Guess it's obvious you would end up this way,
When you live amongst the dead.

The best of luck,
As the one and only resident scumfuk.
A victim or just a tragedy?

I hear you talk
But I don't hear you speak.
You don't make sense,
Your mind is incomplete.

I can't believe all the things that you say.
You just can't get enough.
We'll all be waiting here just for the day
That your time is up.

What can I say?
Guess it's obvious you would end up this way,
When you live amongst the dead.

The best of luck,
As the one and only resident scumfuk.
A victim or just a tragedy?

All that I need is time for me to breathe.
Dream little dreams that only I believe.
Now that I see beyond the light,
I know I'll be, I'll be alright.

Firstly, let me say that I love this song. The whole album is one of my favorites. I don't know about Deryck, but I know when I write my poetry, often the "you" I am speaking to is myself. To me it seems obvious that Deryck is speaking to himself and this is about his battle with his addiction which is what the line "You've cooked your silver spoon so black" is a direct reference to...addiction. How many times have we seen in movies images of a drug user cooking the drug before injecting it. This is a song about knowing how lost he is and not knowing how to pull himself out. There is self-degradation all over it and beating himself up over his path of self-destruction.

With all of this in mind, I see the term "Skumfuk" to be one of self-degradation and one that keeps speaking over and over again of the battle he was losing with himself and how much he hated himself for it. Why would I ever want to identify with a phrase or word that holds so much heartache, sadness, and struggle?

I will not.

Not ever.

So should you choose to identify with a word, a phrase or label, really look at it to see what energy it holds and decide if it is empowering or dis-empowering and then make your choice. Dis-empowering words and phrases work on a subconscious level. It doesn't happen suddenly. It happens gradually and then you one day realize you are in a deep dark hole and wonder how you got there. Little did you know that each negative word you spoke to yourself was a scoop of dirt making your hole deeper.

Choose your words wisely.