Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stubborn as a Rahm

Like everyone else, I have my sensitive side (I might well up at the conclusion of "Rocky" and "Old Yeller", I pine for a return to the simpler days of the early Beatles, and I am of course moved beyond words by the beauty of a simple Grecian urn.*

Like everyone else, I guess I have my insensitive side, because I am not always swayed by sob stories that really shouldn't be so sobby ("You need to pity me because I am but a helpless victim of my own irresistible urge to self-flagellate.") And, try as I might, I can't appreciate the haunting melodies of Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute. It always looks like people playing the pan flute are eating a big rack of ribs, to me. Mime, ballet, opera (except for Grand Ole Opry), impressionistic paintings, cubism, modern art, jazz-hand dancing, and movies in which Julia Roberts chortles, chuckles, and/or guffaws: all beyond my reach.

So, I'm neither on the Arts Commission nor a member of Murder, Incorporated. But there is one thing that a lot of people do that, I believe, they wouldn't, if they stopped a second and thought it over. I'm talking about the use of the "r" word to denote a person who is cognitively or developmentally challenged. I believe people who face that challenge have enough going against them, and don't need the off-handed slam that people use at times, such as when someone can't remember where they parked or drops their Big Gulp® or forgets to bring their cell phone. Someone is always quick to say,"What are you, a r------ or sumpin?"

Sorry to bowdlerize, but I will not use that word, even as a negative demonstration.

It's demeaning, and nasty, and the thing of it is I really believe that most people would not do it if they gave it a nanosecond of thought. To hear that Rahm Emanuel uses language such as "f-----g re-----d" is a major disappointment to those of us who believed that the Obama Administration would be free of such insensitivity,
of which we had plenty from 2001- 2009. How sincere are his apologies? How sensitive could he be, if he talked that way in the first place?

* AS IF I knew the difference between a Grecian urn and a Tupperware
® pitcher!

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