Sinvergüenza (pronounced – seen-ver-GWEN-sa)
1. n. one who is entirely without shame, perhaps born this way or contracted through exposure. Jury’s still out.
2. adj. used to describe person(s) or behavior(s) demonstrating a lack of appropriate decorum, taste, and/or decency for the situation in question.
3. adj. what your mom called you most of your life and what the ladies on Univision shout at their philandering partners.
4. a complex individual who deserves further study and by gosh, you’re about to get this further study whether you want it or not.
Unable to provide a definition for pornography, a Supreme Court Justice once said “I know it when I see it”. The same can be said of sinvergüenza behavior. Admittedly, there is a little sinvergüenza in all of us. However, then there are the true sinverguenza masters—the third degree black belt Jedi types leave the rest of us in their dust. These impressive characters embrace it, nurture it, and end up with a hulking, drooling beast who lives within and consumes logic, common sense, and modesty like soda crackers until there’s nothing left but a human shell filled with ideas and actions that leave the rest of us shaking in disbelief—and absolute horror. These fascinating specimens often show indisputable evidence of their brazen disregard for conventions, morals, ideologies, rules, and their fellow man early in their development. This leaves many experts to speculate that a certain evolutionary parking brake has evidently been applied and perhaps a total reversal is evident through this not so silent minority. However, the indisputable presence of prominent sinverguenzas throughout human history – from Ancient Rome’s Caligula to The Mongol Empire’s Genghis Khan all the way to Russian Czar Ivan the Terrible (“Terrible” tends to be rather blatant sinvergüenza giveaway, but most sinvergüenza are brazen enough to brand their status on their foreheads) and finally up to modern examples like Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera and his sinister, shameless mustache – underscores that sinvergüenzas can be found in every society at every level. There’s nothing new. They are insidious. They live in our homes. They cook our food. They run our country. They sometimes look at us seductively from the bathroom mirror.
But it is too simple, too dismissive to say that sinvergüenzas hold nothing sacred. That they are better left ignored – like that STD you picked up on Spring Break. That we should throw sharp objects at their crotches. However, sadly, you can hope and hope, but they will not go away and the more you struggle, the more the sinvergüenza noose tightens around your neck.
The sinvergüenza carries his/her own ideologies, his/her own code much like the samurai or a Jedi (except not at all similar to either a samurai or a Jedi in that they (sinverguenzas) do whatever they damn well please and are willing to wipe their asses with any rule book).
They are a complex and enigmatic bunch worthy of profound study.
Let’s get to it.
Your handsome and humble servant-
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