From December, 2016.
I hate the word too. It makes me cringe. Certain words do that to me. Maybe I am grossly synesthesiac. I get a physical reaction to the utterance of some off color words. “Chunk” has the same effect. My muscles tighten. I visualize the word as a big square box and myself pushing it away. My sister and I made up a word when I was nine. “Balooka”. We were saying it all day long and that night my grandfather died. It was then I understood that words have power. A lot of power. A single word killed my grandfather. I imagined the awesome effect of whole phrases let loose on a population.
And day after day, all over the world, bad words are uttered carelessly. Innocent people suffer. Somalia could become a safe and happy land if wrong words were outlawed. “Boeing”, or “army” would be a start. Eliminate “general” from the vocabulary and local children will one day enjoy a worry-free ice cream cone on Secondo Lido Beach. Take out “warlord”, and not only do mothers look forward to motherhood, but some arrogant, ethnocentric English or American journalist gets his mouth washed out with soap.
Last night on the radio before Barack Obama spoke about why being a U.S. President is hard work killing people for the Pentagon, an NPR reporter named three nations’ governments: Russia, Iran, and then, with mention of Syria, spoke the word “regime” in place of “government”. Ah! There it is! Another word to make me cringe. I have been pushing that big box away ever since George W. Bush began his campaign to shrapnel embed every Iraqi child north of Basra that his toy night vision goggles could spy pleading for mercy.
Now “regime” is a perfectly normal word, unlike “dingleberry”. However I believe the press as well as the President know its cringing power over Americans. We have heard its negative connotation more times than the people of North Korea have heard their equally powerful word “leader” spoken of in the positive.
I believe for the majority of people, words, even bad words, spoken over and over, can eliminate the initial cringing effect over time. Hence North Korea, and the dribbling idiocy of its people. And also America, where HBO and Donald Trump have made the word “pussy” as commonplace as “shit”—two words that I believe should be kept under one’s breath while scolding your cat for having her “diarrhea” miss the litter box. Those words make me cringe. One is a cat. One is so obvious and therefore unnecessary to talk about, and the last, in my mind, reveals the image of U.S. Civil War prisoners in Andersonville lined up on a plank suffering their dysentery onto the Georgia sand.
Finally, this week I have heard the word “homeland” uttered twice on the radio. Our executive leader in Washington thinks Americans are losing faith in their government because of “partisanship”—another nasty word. Maybe for some. Especially the behavioral wanna-be North Koreans. Not for me though. “Homeland” is the big white box I am pushing away and away. In it are all the foul-mouthed fascist lawyers pontificating an unlearned patriotism, agreeing on the common usage of more cringing words to aid an American regime in the further dissolution of a peaceful humankind.
NPR, my government radio station, likes to use the word “homeland”. Nazi radio used “Vaterland”. Both have already amounted to the same thing. Hitler and his foul-mouthed dingleberries used it to kill lots of people within old and new German borders. Likewise, our “homeland” dingleberries use it to kill lots of people outside United States borders, and set its own peoples intellectually against each other like starving rats in a cage.
Some words make me cringe. My modern Presidents, their “generals” and “intelligence” officers just don’t get it. They do not represent anyone at all. We have been disenfranchised. I did not want to vote for Hillary Clinton because as my senator, she voted to shrapnel embed other people’s children. Likewise, I did not want to vote for a New York City billionaire who is obviously so discombobulated as to not know how to behave around a naked cat.
You curve your arm and pet from the head downward. You’ll know by the top of the spine if she’ll let you continue down the tail and up.