Saturday, February 11, 2006

The X word

What is it about American culture that makes us blind to our own ridiculousness? How is it possible that the congressman who proposed renaming "French fries" "freedom fries" didn't turn red as a beet and shoot himself in his big, empty head? How is it possible that people manage to take themselves seriously while getting all worked up over Janet Jackson's tit, gay cartoon characters, and brain-dead Floridians while simultaneously ignoring American torture, bombing of innocents and the continued transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest? Where's the outrage? Where's the shame? Where's the common fucking sense?

Which brings me to another example of this bizarre deflection of consciousness. American culture has accepted the very strange use of "the N word" or "the F word" instead of saying "nigger" and "fuck" -- as if we were speaking in the presence of 3 year-olds. Now, you might say these words are offensive and I'd respond with a diatribe about how absurd it is to be offended by words, which are nothing but symbolic representations of something supposedly meaningful. Being offended by words is as absurd as being offended by cartoons -- attention towel heads! In any case, whether or not the words are offensive is not the point. The point is that WE ALL KNOW THAT THE F WORD IS "FUCK" AND THE N WORD IS "NIGGER!" So precisely how are we evading the offense here? Whether we call it "bullshit" or "BS" it still stinks.

As Shakespeare put it, "An R-word by any name would smell as sweet."

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