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.