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Friday, January 9, 2015

Biting words and images bound to piss off someone

Does this picture of a "damned" place in Missouri make you want to shoot somebody?
While in California, my friend's six year old son told me his mother didn't like the way I used "curse" words around him. I informed him that a Catholic nun had chastised my 4th grade classmate who thought "SHIT" was a bad word. "That's just dodo," she said, and that revelation coming from her gave me the impression that I could use any word I wanted - weak, strong or otherwise. Years later, I was elated when my French teacher taught me the slang word "Zut" meant "damn."

Yes, words and images do matter and they can hurt more than sticks and stones. Words and images, however, should not be construed as deadly faux pas leading to murder. As we recently witnessed in Paris, even strong images in cartoons kill. Unfortunately, those types of repercussions will not stop communications on a global scale, in bedrooms, or in church.

While at worship, I sat on some crumbs in the pew. "Is there something on my butt?" I asked the woman sitting next to me. She gestured her displeasure by rubbing one finger over the other, a sign that I had said a "no no."

My mother often related the story of a man in town killing his friend in a card game for calling him a name. While drinking and losing badly, he called him a "son of a bitch" which led to a lot of sadness in a small West Virginia town. Playing the dozens is wrong in some circles and comedic in others, but let's be civil regarding our response to what we hear.

Even related to my blog, my brother-in- law told me to stop writing because what I was blogging could have a negative effect on my career. To be honest, everyone is a critic which leads you to distrust any and everything you read and hear as not being truthful but the result of what editors want you to believe.

In this time of rapid communication -  talk radio, blogging, texting, and tweeting -  may we do so without killing ourselves. Look out into the cosmos and figure out what really matters.

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