Comment Of The Day: “The Jehovah Paradox Strikes Again!”

I confess, I’m stalling.  I’m really sick of writing about the oozing unethical pustule that is the assault on Brett Kavanaugh, and I’m just as sick of reading wildly irrational justifications for it from once-intelligent and fair people who once were capable of better. It is times like these where I regret my relative insignificance in the nation and the culture. It’s like seeing a crime being committed right in front of me, and knowing that no matter how much I jump up and down, point, yell, and call for assistance, nothing will happen. I know lotsof American feel this way.

I felt like that through all of 2016, now that I think about it.

Luckily,  Ethics Alarms has a backlog of excellent Comments of the Day, including this effort from Steve-O-in NJ, who was writing about  the cnstriction of language and thought in an era where verbal and conceptual taboos are proliferating.

Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, The Jehovah Paradox Strikes Again!:

When sports mascots are considered insulting, and seeing a statue is considered harmful, the idea that even speaking a word is an unforgivable sin is the next logical, or illogical step. Presumably all who are enlightened know which words are considered taboo, and, even when discussing them, know appropriate alternatives. If you know them, you need to use them, or risk being labeled someone who is unenlightened. “Nigger” is simply a word that’s not permitted under any circumstances.

The ancient Greeks referred to the mythical god of the dead as Plouton (the rich one) or Clymenus (the notorious one) because they feared that if they actually spoke his given name of Hades they might attract his attention and he might send for them. In one city the fire department’s engine companies are odd numbered by battalion, so in the Second Battalion you have Engine 21, 23, etc. up to 27, but in the First it goes Engine 11, Engine 15, etc., because 13 is considered bad luck. Growing up I bet many of us begged off the dare to light a candle before a mirror and say “Bloody Mary” three times, because the thought of the consequences was just too awful.

Come on here. Objectively almost nobody believes in the Greek gods anymore, the idea that a fire engine would be in greater danger simply because of the number it bore is pretty silly, and no evil ghost is going to leap out of a mirror no matter what we do. Yet we have to actually think about this, because we learned these superstitions as kids. We got brainwashed, and now its hard to get it out of our systems.

I was at the PA Renaissance Fair this past weekend, which I know has been mentioned here. As part of the finale of the day’s story the kings of France and England and their knights joust. If you were seated on the English side you were supposed to participate in a “call and response” cheer where the king’s servants would yell “We are…” followed by all yelling “England!” and also salute by raising your hand in the “sign of the king” (index and little fingers extended, presumably to look like a crown).

Of course it was all good clean fun, but I couldn’t help but think “is someone going to find this offensive?” Has someone from an Irish family been taught to hate the English? Has someone from a Jewish family been fed a little too much on the bread of the Holocaust to where this cheering and gesturing is going to freak them out? I bet you’re agreeing that this thinking is nonsense, but I’ve heard so much damn political correctness that I couldn’t help thinking of it.

Now someone’s lost their job because she dared utter a taboo word, presumably the thinking being that if even one person is offended by this forbidden word it merits the employment death penalty. This is worse than superstition changing a number on a truck or putting a dumb fear into kids. This is making mythology reality and attaching real consequences to it. The ironic thing is, as you pointed out in the post about the Pope, the left is usually the party against religion or any kind of supernatural belief, however, they are happy to use this secular mythology to get and keep control of yet another aspect of everyone’s lives.

 

12 Comments

Filed under Comment of the Day, Etiquette and manners, language, U.S. Society

12 responses to “Comment Of The Day: “The Jehovah Paradox Strikes Again!”

  1. Steve-O is correct. In the past, racism, prejudice, hatred were gauged from the objective intention of the speaker, actor, participant; now, the subjective understanding of the recipient controls.

    Case in point: This weekend I took The Pooch (and a very charming one at that) to the groomers. He was panting and out of breath. The fellow behind the counter joked about Remington looking tired and panting. I said, “Yeah, we just played a long game of Chase the Red Dot”.

    You would have thought I desecrated the very Holy Grail right then and there on his grooming counter. The fellow looked at me and asked, with eyebrows raised, “Uh, ‘Chase the Red Dot’? Did you just say that?” I, being obtuse and a bit dense, said, “Yep. He was chasing the red laser pointer up and down the hall for about 30 minutes. He loves that game. It’s a good game.”

    Whereupon, the intrepid counter-clerk breathed a visible sigh of relief and said, “Oh. I thought you meant something else entirely.” Continuing in my everlasting obtusion (is that a word?), I asked, “Why? What did you think i mea . . . Oh. Really?!”

    jvb

  2. dragin_dragon

    OK, I confess…I’m ignorant. What does “chase the Red Dot” mean?

  3. Priceless, Steve-O! Your comments just get better and better.

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