Blog 1170 – 11.09.2018
Sometimes Just The Right Language
Yesterday, I said Kevin Smith’s use of profane language did not upset me. I know this goes against what many of my Christian conservative friends think and believe. I once believed like them too. But often adult anger is best expressed by adult words.
In the Angelina Jolie movie Changeling she portrays a mother who is committed to an insane asylum in nineteen thirties Los Angeles for complaining to the press that the boy returned to her by the police after her son had gone missing was not her son. The doctor and staff at the asylum tell her that she only has to say that she was mistaken and that the police version was correct and that she will be released immediately. She refuses to do that and is rescued from being heavily sedated by another woman in the asylum, who had lost two children to back alley doctors that she never got to fight for and so she stood up for Angelina because she wanted her to keep fighting for her boy. After the other woman was forced to undergo an electro-shock treatment as punishment for interfering, Angelina goes to her room and tells her, “You should not have done that for me.” The woman replies, “F@$k them and the horse they road in on.” Angelina says that is not something a lady should say. The woman’s response is: “Sometimes it is just the right language to use when you’ve got nothing to lose.”
The reason I could never ever consider being a conservative again is that too many injustices have been done in the past and continue to be done and covered up against women, people of color, and powerless people and so many others in the name of conserving and maintaining the power and preeminence of those in control who do not want their rightness ever questioned. I love the United States of America and even served as a young man in a senseless war in Vietnam believing that I was serving my country’s interests but later learned that I was lied to and only helped serve to make more millionaires than had ever been made at any one time in this country up till then. War is good for business but not so much for the poor and powerless on all sides. Subsequent wars have netted even more power and money to those who profit from them at untolled cost to those who died in and the many more who were damaged, and left behind by war.
We just had a mid-term election where many people made their wishes known by voting. Many more need not only to get registered and vote but also to run for office and get really involved in this government that is supposed to be of, by, and for the people. I was especially encouraged that more women ran and were elected to the US Congress and state legislatures. I am always hoping that more and more young people will vote. General Electric used to have a slogan:
The slogan carrying GE through the postwar boom, “Progress is our most important product,” was actually the pay-off line from the introduction of the program: “In engineering, in research, in manufacturing skill, in the values that bring a better, more satisfying life, at General Electric, progress is our most important product.
It never has nor will ever be enough just to conserve we must make progress and ever be looking for opportunities to be more inclusive in our progress, including everyone in our never ending pursuit of the common good, not just for the rich and powerful, the well connected and the well-spoken but for everyone.
As Marty McFly said to the young timid version of his dad, George McFly, when he was rehearsing his fight to defend and win his lady love, Marty’s Mom. George questions Marty, “Should I swear?” Marty says, “Yes, Dammit, George, Swear!”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
“I swear, by the moon and the stars in the sky, I’ll be there.”
That “I’ll be there” line from an All-4-One song reminds me of Henry Fonda’s great speech in the 1940 John Ford movie version of “Grapes Of Wrath” replying to his Mom’s question:
You don’t aim to kill nobody, Tom?”
“No. I been thinkin’, long as I’m a outlaw anyways, maybe I could — Hell, I ain’t thought it out clear, Ma. Don’ worry me now. Don’ worry me.”
They sat silent in the coal-black cave of vines. Ma said, “How’m I gonna know ’bout you? They might kill ya an’ I wouldn’ know. They might hurt ya. How’m I gonna know?”
Tom laughed uneasily, “Well, maybe like Casy says, a fella ain’t got a soul of his own, but on’y a piece of a big one — an’ then —”
“Then what, Tom?”
“Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ — I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build — why, I’ll be there. See? God, I’m talkin’ like Casy. Comes of thinkin’ about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes.”
I like to tell people that I am “Fine and Dandy” to show that I have an optimistic attitude but I realize everything is not fine and dandy and that it is up to all of us to do our level best to make it so. And maybe raise our voices from time to time doing it. Sometimes even a swear word can be an encouraging word.
Your F and FT,