FROG HOSPITAL -- August 1, 2020
By Fred Owens
I don't know about that exclamation point in the title, but hey Dude, I'm the Dude, a slovenly white man who takes advantage of his dwindling privilege to go to the liquor store in his pajamas. He can get away with stuff like that. I was thinking of myself, reviewing crazy, stupid things I've gotten away with over the years. Like why didn't I get arrested, or scolded, or kicked out? Because I 'm smart and good-looking? So I thought. Actually it was just privilege.
Or this nice neighborhood where I live with Laurie in Santa Barbara near the beach. Having few funds amd fewer marketable skills, how did I get included here? Because I fit in. Because I feel comfortable and people don't wonder what I'm doing here. I belong here. That's privilege. Privilege doesn't explain everything. The term is currently being over-used. I'm using it now but I am usually at the tail end of these trends.
The leaders in language reform are way ahead of me. Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC. She is a definer. She gives new meaning to current vocabulary. Her judgment is impeccable, in my view. I liked very much the way she handled Congressman Bloho. And you know he said it sideways, not to her face, but going away, close enough so she could hear it, but far enough away that he could deny saying it. Trump is the master of this sideways slur. What me? I didn't mean it.
Her speech in defense of good conduct was very good. Every word and every phrase held my attention. Not rehearsed, but prepared. The Congressman gave her the set up she was waiting for and she hit it out of the park. The wrong man said the wrong words to the wrong woman at the wrong time. And the world changed. You could feel it. I'll use that word again -- impeccable.
He used the b-word. The vocabulary of nasty pejoratives aimed at women is extensive. That's the low ball. Matched by an often phony high range -- the lady madonna phrases. Her purity of spirit! Her angelic beauty! Good grief.
What is missing is the mid range, the tone of equality. Men have neutral words like dude, buddy, fellow and guys. Some of these words could cross over and become gender-free. Gals doesn't work. Not Babes. Not Dolls. Woman is always right and it is the safe choice. Young man works better than young lady as a term of address. I use Sir or Ma'am a lot. You won't get in any trouble saying those words. All I'm saying is that I deserve to have a place on the committee. AOC can be the chairperson for new usage. I just want to have a say in it. Race is also getting the overhaul, but I am not talking about that today. Like Thug, being ruled racist. I go along with this, but reluctanly.
I forgot Dame. Dame is just right, informal but not pejorative. It was common usage back in the day. Let's bring it back. Like in a detective novel, this dame says to me.....
Batchelor cannot be salvaged. Spionster is much too sad. But we are stuck with Single, a word devoid of color. Are you single? I hate it. Let's come up with something better than Single.
What's wrong with old? Like Old Man, that sounds okay to me. Old Lady doesn't work however. See the problem? But in any case old is good, in my view. I'm old. I was young once, then I got old. Does that bother you? Kiss my grits.
Good Morning America.
Watching Good Morning America with George Stephenopoulis -- it's my favorite TV show. I made the effort to learn how to spell Stephenopoulis. This is a good way to start the day. The news, the weather, a bit of cooking, fashion, sports, adventure. Not too cheerful. They smile, but not too much. And the ads are good too, mostly local businesses in Santa Barbara -- arborists, garage door installers, carpet salesmen --- businesses I support.
Massive quarantined boredom is creeping across the land. I called my brother last night -- we had nothing to discuss. Folding laundry and stuff like that. We're going to need a pandemic pep rally, because people are down, with the serious matter of knowing this will last until Christmas easily, and knowing we might likely lose family and friends.
Cheerful news will happen. Biden will win. We will begin to smile again and have a little zest. Let's get through this.
That's all for this week. Remember, Precious and her family are still in Chembe Village in Malawi. They are communing with their ancestors, so let's give them some quiet. We will hear from them later.
Bye for now,