Watch Your Language, Honor The Heart


trump fascism

“Foul, coarse language is a first cousin to apocalyptic talk, and nihilism aligns easily — finds a home  –with writers who have a limited and hard-edged vocabulary. Where is delicacy today?” — one of the author’s home schooled teenage charges

I basically like Street’s writing very much, although I’ve always had some reservations about his work and his activism. That said, I want to make it clear at the outset here that he’s heads and shoulders above the vast majority of others who are also guilty of what I’m spotlighting in this article.

Paul Street, using the “bad” word of Trump, is encouraging its use among others. That will, inevitably, contribute — it seems — to making use of “bad” words routine… in circles where they were previously verboten. Where, until now, the language of Trump and teenage boys trying to prove themselves was considered bad taste.

Bad taste? Is there such a thing any longer in most circles? I think  everyone with taste can see how language and parameters and good taste have declined by merely glancing at the regular offerings on Netflix. There’s virtually nothing watchable. And the most popular fare is where the “bad taste” reigns supreme.

There’s another aspect to Street’s use of Trump’s most recent popular verbal indiscretion. That is, the dynamic which almost all writers succumb to, which has them embracing certain language, advocating particular ideas and spotlighting things in general that make them one-up on a certain demographic. The “clever” play with words is one thing, the making fun of the Clown in Office, jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon, being one of the boys in the shower room using the language in vogue. It’s quite another thing, however, to be beating a dead horse without any love in your heart, having your main focus — knowingly or not — be the pumping up of oneself, the embrace of Pride.

No one wants to ride down that road, for doing so precludes being loving. It is not in anyone’s enlightened self-interest, not in the interests of the Collective Good. Which brings me to one last point I want to underscore today.

Almost all the anti-Trump vitriol is delivered without love in the heart. That is an unhealthy place for a start, for any foray into the realms of the electoral arena or direct action. And as horrid as his actions are, treating him in that way is tantamount to dealing with him like the powers that be deal with their opposition.

On Counterpunch (CP) today alone there were two other articles featuring the “bad” word. Mark Schuller is a long time regular contributor to the site, and has enough to say that will pave the way for fresh thought without taking part in the linguistic brouhaha… which, again, will — for sure — lead to a lowering of the verbal bar in and outside of bars all across the country, the world. Rob Seimetz, a relative newcomer on CP, provides an example of what we have to look forward to as a result of this momentum; he uses foul language, unnecessarily, in his piece throughout, even quoting another writer who does the same. Proliferation, proliferation.

Please, watch your language, honor the heart.

Richard Martin Oxman can be reached at [email protected]. This piece was written from the heart in under a dozen minutes and submitted relatively unedited.


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