The Dreaded “R” Word-

-and the equally offensive “G” word.

Ours, is a world too concerned with being ‘politically correct’, and too little fazed by actual ignorance.  Pray, tell, you say…

I’m happy, as always, to elaborate and so, I’ll tell you what I mean by this. Words have evolved (or, devolved, as many have) throughout the ever-interesting and rarely intellectual plight/history/saga of Wo/Mankind. Countless examples spring to my mind, such as, “mad”, changing from crazy or insane, to, deranged (and likely violent), to, just plain angry or annoyed. As I mentioned, this is only one innocuous example, of many.

I grew up with a Dad who worked at countless nursing homes, traveling with him on occasion, to visit the elderly, or other (supposedly) incapacitated people, whose relatives were just too shitty or too lazy to care. Most of the younger charges were mentally challenged and, some of the funniest, sweetest, smartest (oh, yeah; it’s true) people I have ever known. My niece has Down’s, and I’ll be walking for the cause, next week. One of my favorite ex co-workers was attributed with the same diagnosis; a dishwasher, at my first waitressing gig; what a great kid. He loved the fact that I called him “Hon” (a tendency I possess; you can blame the New England, in me) and hated washing the silverware. I can’t blame him, it is, after all, a damn tedious bit of business. I would have hidden it every day, too, if I’d thought of it.

All this and, yet, I can’t seem to extricate the dreaded “R” word from my vocabulary. Why; you ask? Because, I tell you, I call people who can’t help it, “mentally challenged”. I call the assholes who remain stupid, by choice, because to be so, suits their tastes, “retarded”. Honestly, it seems an insult to the mentally challenged, to lump them in with the latter. I grew up saying it this way, differentiating the two, as such, and none of my friends seem to mind.

On the second note, I picketed for gay rights, when I lived in Atlanta, working for the HRC. I stood on street corners, I knocked on doors, I walked the sketchy nights of Edgewood (without a vagina for sale, and, let’s face it; that’s plain nuts) all, in the name of civil rights. I don’t see where there is any “sin”, committed out of love. And, likewise, no evil can be born of love, regardless its society-based “taboo”. Same problem. After all that, the “G” word remains. Again, I grew up with it (in a context unassociated with the Gay and Lesbian Community), and can’t seem to shake the version that has nothing to do with the physical act accompanying it.

Actions, always louder than words, should catch our attention, far sooner than these turn-of-phrases. But, alas, in a world who celebrates superficiality and strives for nothing more than mediocre and fleeting fame, what else, can I expect?

Dare I hope, to change it?

Dare you,

join me?

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