Words Matter

I was planning to write a longer post last night, but that was before the shower drain announced its sudden but inevitable betrayal.  So you get the short version.  Maybe that’s for the best.  My recent blog posts have been a bit on the long side.

I’ve been thinking a lot since the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gifford on Saturday, but I haven’t written about it.  At first, I was waiting for information to come in.  And then it was because, as upset as I was by the attack, so much of the “conversation” simply made me feel worse.

There’s a lot I’m not going to get into right now.  But there are two points I wanted to make.

1. People often use words for the emotion and passion they evoke, many times without really thinking about their meaning.  “Feminazi” is a good example.  A powerful word, and one which is obscenely inappropriate.  To the politicians and pundits and various media personalities, if you use the language and imagery of violence and insurrection against those you disagree with, then Saturday’s tragedy is exactly the kind of thing you’re referencing.  And if you don’t want to build a campaign on imagery of attempted assassinations and murdered children, then maybe you’re using the wrong goddamned words!

2. Accountability means owning your words.  Not hiding them or making excuses.  Not cowering behind “The other guy did it too!” or “Everyone’s doing it!”  Not whining that “They’re picking on me!”  Grow the hell up and take responsibility for what you’ve said.

Discussion welcome, as always.  Excuses and bickering, not so much.