My final thoughts on Language

Note: I’m off meditating in the woods until April 30th. This post was written beforehand and set to go live in my absence. Feel free to comment and discuss as you normally would. Just be aware that I can’t take part until I come home.

By the time this post goes live we’ll be a week or more away from the whole Don Imus thing. I’m sure people are talking about something else now. The Virginia Tech shooting or the war or something stupid a politician said/did.

I did not comment on the issue back when it was new and fresh and happening. And I don’t plan on saying anything about it now. Not directly. The only thing I have to offer is the words of others:

“Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?” – Rush Limbaugh, host of a radio program syndicated on nearly 600 radio stations nationwide

“Many, many, many of the poor in New Orleans are in that condition. They weren’t going to leave no matter what you did. They were drug-addicted. They weren’t going to get turned off from their source. They were thugs, whatever.” – Bill O’Reilly, host of a radio program syndicated on over 400 radio stations nationwide

“A woman not only who was distasteful physically, but is distasteful mentally. […] This hag, this hack, this brisket maker has the audacity to say that we should be having a dialogue with the Hitler of our time — coming from that hag who happens to be Jewish is a triple disgrace.” – Michael Savage (on former Secretary of State Madeline Albright), host of a radio program syndicated on 400 radio stations nationwide

“She looks like a ghetto slut. It’s just — it’s hideous. No, it’s not braided. It just flies away from her head in every conceivable direction. It looks like an explosion in a Brillo pad factory. It’s just hideous.” – Neil Boortz (on U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney), host of a radio program syndicated on over 300 radio stations nationwide

“I didn’t think I could hate [Hurricane Katrina] victims faster than the 9/11 victims.” – Glenn Beck, host of a CNN Headline News television program and a radio program syndicated on over 250 radio stations nationwide

from 5 Statements Made by Radio Personalities Who Have Not Been Fired on East Village Idiot.

Don’t grok me? How about this:

…the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority.

from Politics and the English Language, George Orwell

Language is Power. What are you going to do with it?

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4 Responses

  1. You missed Limbaugh’s ‘Obama the Magic Negro‘ yesterday too.

  2. One of the best teachers I ever had said that listening to opposing viewpoints is good because going through the process will strengthen your opinion, or expose its weaknesses. In that case, your best bet is to modify your perspective.

    And you have yet to put this teacher’s words into practice.

    You keep rambling on and on about free speech when you don’t seem to realize that that concept does not have to exist in someone’s personal space, i.e. a blog.

    If you piss her off, you get deleted.

    If you say something nasty, you get deleted.

    If she doesn’t like your name, you can get deleted. End of story. Go bitch and moan to someone who actually gives a shit.

    One more thing: You say that the picture above of a Black woman dominating a White woman offends you? Well, Black women have been living the reverse for our entire lives. Boo-freakin’-hoo.

  3. Rabid/etc.,

    Boot!

  4. ::viewing Limbaugh vid:: Crispy crap on a cracker. (Uh, that’s not a racial slur, for those wondering.) Is Rush back on prescrip drugs again? Or maybe he’s gone *off* his meds.

    What I truly don’t understand is why these peoples’ viewing audiences so *enjoy* statements like this. This stuff isn’t even even funny or clever; it’s just the same old shit we’ve been hearing for centuries in some form. There’s a meanness to this form of humor that reminds me, in some ways, of the VA Tech killer. He seemed to feel — irrationally — justified in attacking others because they had something (friends, money, sanity, whatever) that he didn’t. He tried to torment them in small ways and make them uncomfortable, and finally he killed them, because he was jealous of them.

    Is that what all this meanness reveals, about Limbaugh, his ilk, and their fans?

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