Eddie Izzard, one of my favorite British comedians did a bit about California some time ago. It was about that states decision to ban smoking in restaurants. His punch line was:
Soon there’ll be no talking. (You had to be there).
Eddie (Nostradamus) Izzard was onto something. With an increasing number of politically correct rules surrounding each word, we are starting to have less to say.
I am musing the recent controversy between Rahm Emanuel and his comments that something (shouldn’t we care what specifically was the object of his statement) was retarded. Without spending too much time following this news item, the next name I heard thrown into the arena was Sarah Palin, famous mother of a clinically retarded child.
So, here we go.
- I don’t like rules surrounding verbal expression.
- I don’t like offending the disabled; especially children.
I hear the word retarded used often. In fact yesterday, I wrote about an experience with a lovely old saleswoman who used the term. I don’t think she was trying to be offensive. I believe she was expressing herself. Had I not written about it, and perhaps even though I did, (who’s reading this anyway 🙂 ), nobody could have heard to be offended. Intention should matter too. Along with a hundred other things, like the personality of Rahm Emanuel or Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh, (I heard he joined in the fun at some point).
I don’t know the kind of people they are, only how they are written by the media. My personality isn’t one that’s often offended by strangers, but then again, I am not retarded. What do I know?
Perhaps, the answer is we should use a new word to describe the thing that means you are acting like you are not mentally average, without meaning to offend those that legitimately and helplessly are. An answer to a real-life problem easily solved by a really funny episode of Family Guy, called Petarded. How amusing.