Archives for category: anger

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Uh huh…

There’s been a lot of hullabaloo lately about hurtful words. Paula Deen (one of my favourite Food Network chefs) has been raked over the coals for her use of the “N word”. She has lost her job on the Food Network, millions of dollars in endorsements, and probably millions more in sales of her own products. She has been insulted and ridiculed more than any celebrity in recent memory. Why? Because she admitted to using the “N word”. It doesn’t matter that the context in which she says she used it in was a lifetime ago. It matters less that she claims to have used it in reference to a man who held a gun to her head. All that matters is that, in this age where political correctness is more important than honesty, she used the “N word”… many years ago.

Show me a person over the age of 40 who hasn’t used the “N word” at least once in their life and I will show you a liar. Show me a person in the south over 40 who has never used it and I will show you the second coming of Christ! Okay, there may be a handful of people exempt from that statement, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the people who are raking her over the coals are just as guilty as she is in using the “N word”, and probably a lot more than once. The only difference between her and them is that she is honest about it.

For the record, the “N word” is nigger. There, I said it. Does that make me a bad person? In my opinion the use of the word nigger (specifically in a negative context) insults the person using it much more than the person it is directed at. It is a vile word filled with venom and hatred, but it is just a word. Unfortunately it is a word that has been given so much power that it transcends verbal usage and can almost physically hurt someone. People have an automatic reaction to the word that is tantamount to being stabbed with a bodkin. Why? All of the people who use it and MOST who it is used against have no physical connection to slavery, where many believe the word originated. Many believe it relates to the Niger River, or Nigeria, from where many slaves were shipped out. But the actual word originated as a neutral term referring to dark skinned people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, which is a descendant of the Latin adjective niger (“colour black”). In British history the word nigger simply meant a dark skinned person, and could mean an African, or an Indian, Saudi, or anyone else with darker skin.

Living in Vancouver, I have heard as much hatred spewed in the word “Chink” as in any other insult, yet that word has not been given nearly as much power and is, therefore, generally brushed off as the rantings of a mental midget. Surely many people of Japanese descent have heard the word “Nip” lobbed at them, but the significance of that insult is minute. Muslims are referred to as “Muzzis”, “Turbans”, and “Camel Fuckers”, yet that borders on acceptable compared to the word nigger. Muslims and Sikhs were assaulted and even killed in America after 9/11, and the uproar against that was minuscule compared to what Paula Deen has had to endure. Again, why?

And in this day and age, who is more attacked, insulted, and demeaned than the gay community? Fag is a term heard far more often than any other pejorative, yet there is very little uproar when it is uttered. Gay bashing is an every day occurrence,  but is rarely brought to light. In fact some churches, politicians, and public figures make a lot of money from gay bashing. Where are the outcries against them? Alec Baldwin was the target of some mild attacks recently after he tweeted “[I’d] put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much” and “I’m gonna find you George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck you up.” This is far more angry and hateful than what Paula Deen has admitted to, but the backlash against him was barely noticeable. So minor was it that he even followed it up with a call out to “all my followers and beyond to straighten out this fucking little bitch, George Stark.” But Capital One, who pays him a lot of money to endorse them, has remained silent. Why?

One of my all time favourite quotes comes from Eleanor Roosevelt. She said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And she is right. What if we stopped giving the word nigger so much power? What if people simply stopped reacting? Like anyone else, I’ve been the victim of some pretty nasty insults but I have learned to let them go. I just consider the source and see their attacks as reflections on their intellectual short comings, not mine. One of the great things I have learned is that, apart from those I love, the opinions of others mean absolutely nothing to me.

Jews were called “kikes” for generations, but  the word has now almost disappeared from use. The use of the word “Wop” for Italians (which actually meant “With Out Papers” originally) is rarely heard any more.

I am not an African American, and I will not pretend that I understand the sting of the N word. But I do know it’s just a word. I also know that hatred and bigotry is much more rampant among the uneducated and the downright stupid. I’ve surmised that the size of a persons brain is inversely proportionate to the size of their mouth. Getting angry at an idiot is like getting angry at a cloud for dropping rain on you; it accomplishes nothing. Elizabeth Kenny said, “He who angers you conquers you.”

I am, by no means, condoning what Paula Deen said or did. I just don’t think she is a bigot. I think she may be lacking a little in class and education, but I really don’t think she is hateful. She was, once upon a time, but she has grown up. Who among us hasn’t done or said something we regret? But she has done an awful lot for diabetes awareness, human rights, and the homeless & hungry. She supports “Blessings In A Backpack” (look it up) and the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. I will judge her more on these more recent triumphs than on something that was said a lifetime ago.

While I will never use the N word as an insult and I will never judge the person it is intended for, I will judge the person saying it, for they are the ones society should ridicule and ostracize.

Ask anyone who knows me well, and I kick butt at Jeopardy! I know A LOT of useless information, and although it rarely serves me any actual benefit, it sometimes makes me look rather intelligent. However, there are a lot of things that I simply do not understand. If you can answer any of these questions for me, please do!

Why is Kim Kardashian famous? For that matter, why is any Kardashian famous? Well, excluding that dad, but he is more infamous than famous.

Why are Jews so universally hated, historically? Seriously, I don’t know… and I don’t get it.

Why is it that the only time you pick your nose in public is the one time a good-looking woman (or man) is looking at you?

Why are so many people opposed to same-sex marriages? It doesn’t really affect you in any way, and the truth is that, even if they don’t marry that person, you still don’t stand a chance with them! And if you are opposed on religious grounds, does not the Bible say “Judge now let you be judged”? There is also something about those without sin throwing the first stones… love and let love, that’s what I believe.

When did yellow intersection lights begin to mean “speed up” and when did red mean “Go ahead, what’s the worst that can happen”?

Speaking of driving, why do automobile manufacturers even install signal lights any more?

Why so many shoes?

My wife was unable to rip the massive chunk of wax, cloth, and hair off her legs because there was a tiny little spider 2 meters away from her. Once the harmless spider was removed, she had no problem ripping hair out of places that God thought needed hair.

WiFi… no clue. But I’m glad it works.

Why do we laugh? No other creatures do it.

Why so many people are so consumed with Hollywood folk: who is dating/leaving who, what they wore to the Oscars, how much weight they lost, etc.

I honestly don’t get most art! When I see something like Munch’s The Scream, I think, “Natalie could do better”.

Rap.

Dylsexia  Dyssexlia Dyliasex Dislexya Never mind

Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans.

Oh, there are other things I don’t understand, but I write as I think, and this is all I could think of.

I also don’t understand why we spend so much time worrying about what everyone else is doing. You see so much anger in the world, and I truly think that if more people worried about being the best they can be instead of waiting for everyone else to improve to their moral level, the world would be a much happier place. A few months ago Natalie had a nasty spill on a Translink bus. The driver had to stop suddenly, and Natalie flew out of her seat and hit her head on the front wheel well cover. A guy sitting next to me got so mad; he was spewing venom about the driver, the bus company, and anything else that pissed him off in that moment. Instead, if he had stopped and expressed concerned for Natalie, or offered to help, the whole situation would have been a lot less tense. Why is it that for many, anger is our first response? If only these people could stop and ponder why they are so angry…

Am I wrong to hope for more happiness in the world, or is it too late?