In which we observe Mitt Romney using the phrase “Obama, Bless His Heart, Has Tried To Substitute Government For Free People”, upon which every pundit North of the Mason-Dixon Line’s head explodes with confusion. “Did he just insult Obam-bam?”
Let’s just start off by saying that it was a bit odd to see Romney using the phrase and, while certainly adequate, the delivery wasn’t perfect, but yes. Yes he did. Quite egregiously too. About the delivery; he missed the full effect by blurting it out so quickly, it should be dwelt upon a bit and it should be quite a bit more syrupy sweet, but the meaning certainly wasn’t lost on any southerner.
Which of course pretty much guarantees that the DNCMedia are eventually going to settle on it being racist because, southerners. Also, how dare he insult Teh One™! But they were going to do that anyway, so who really gives a flip what those lapdogs say, bless their hearts.
Before we mock the poor Yankees’ lack of understanding too much we should, in all fairness, state that it took quite a while for His Imperial Majesty to learn the full devastating nature of that particular put-down, and we’re sure that we still have things to learn about it (and even more sure that you uppity LCs will be more than happy to teach us in the comments), because it can be used in many and varied ways and it all depends on the context and the inflection when you say it.
But generally, it is not something that you want anybody to say to or about you unless they happen to be immediate family or very very close friends.
It can be used as a genuine expression of sympathy, but since it’s very much ambivalent, it is generally only safe to use it as such if you know the recipient very well so they won’t misunderstand it and if you make sure that the rest of your body language is that of complete and utter support and commiseration. Better bet in those situations would be to use the more common “I’m so sorry”, “bless you” or just “G-d bless.” It’s much safer, because even if the person using the term is somebody very close to you, it’s still no guarantee that it’s not at the very least meant mockingly in a gentle fashion. Example: You overdo the fire starter on the grill and singe your eyebrows and your loving wife says “aw bless your heart.” This is not meant as an offer of sincere sympathy if your belle is a southern one. Just saying, is all. “You silly dumbass” would be a more accurate translation. Not an insult, but certainly meant mockingly.
We know, for reasons we shan’t elaborate further on here. But we deserved it.
One thing is for sure, if it is ever used by a male in reference to another male, it is not in any way sympathetically meant because, even in its supportive usage, it includes a measure of pity and no southern male ever wants to be pitied by anybody for any reason.
And if it is further used by a male about another male that it can be safely assumed that he is not in the least sympathetic towards in general, it simply can’t be used as anything except as an insult, and a grievous one at that.
Some, ourself included until we learned just how much of an insult it is when used properly, think that it’s the equivalent of “poor guy just can’t help it that he’s stupid”, and that’s part of it, but it’s the least part of it when used as an insult. In those cases, it is so heavily laden with condescension and patronization that it’s the equivalent of patting a grown man on the head and telling him to go wipe his widdle tears away while the grownups take care of business for his dumb little ass.
Which, to a southern male just hit with the “bless your heart” by another male, is the equivalent of a slap in the face with a glove and an immediate appointment at sunup the next day. It’s not merely an insult to your person, it’s an insult to your personal honor, which is far, far worse down he’ah.
We guess that’s one more of the reasons why we love the South so much. It’s just like home. Where we come from, manners and honor matter a lot too, so you become quite good at the understated (manners) slash deep inside the psyche of your target (honor). Anybody can say “oh yeah, well fuck you and your momma too!” and L-rd knows that we enjoy doing that too on this site, but there is a certain art involved in sneaking a knife in between your opponent’s ribs, leaving him wondering just what the fuck you just did to him. Killing them with kindness or, as Cap’n Mal would say: “Shoot them. Politely.”
It would be hard for us to give you examples in Danish since you probably don’t speak it, so we’ll use a British one instead as we’re quite similar there, culturally speaking. Let’s say that somebody offers you what he certainly sees as a positively brilliant insight on some issue or another. You can reply, if you really think that it’s brilliant, “that’s remarkable!” with stress on “remarkable.” You can use the exact same words but leave out the stress if it’s something that ought to be blindingly obvious to anybody but the mentally retarded and everybody else in the audience will know that you just stepped on his junk but he most likely won’t, or you can insert a short, very short pause between the “that’s” and “remarkable” and even he should know that you’re doing a Riverdance routine on his most tender parts. Yet the words are the same. ‘Tis a thing of beauty.
All of which, of course, will be utterly lost on the Stuttering Clusterfuck of a Miserable Failure since the only kind of “culture” he knows of is what grows in a Petri dish after a swab of his genitals.
But that only makes it all the more delicious. Those of us who know what Romney just did relish it, and we relish it even more because the dumb, bezkulturniy fuck who just took it to the nuts is still standing around with a dumb expression on his ugly, jug-eared mug wondering why his testicles are suddenly hurting.
Bless his heart.