I used the word a couple years back on Lakerstalk and got jumped on by some people (friends) who said I was being disrespectful. This morning I read a long article about autism that concluded by observing that "retarded" was no longer an acceptable usage -- the journal "Mental Retardation" changed its name this year to "Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities."
Not saying they're wrong to make the change -- sensitivity is good, and if it takes a few more syllables, I'm OK with that. I'm broadly good with calling people whatever they want to be called -- if "colored people" want to be "negroes," fine. If "negroes" want to be "black people," fine. If "black people" want to be "people of color" ... actually that one sends sparks to shoot out my ears occasionally as the circuitry deals with the overvoltage of having been through that whole circle in one short lifetim, but I roll with it because, end of day, what people call themselves is their call, not mine. "Gay" instead of "queer" or "homosexual" or "lesbian" -- fine. Though I can't keep up with whether they're L&G or LGB or LGBT or GLBT -- I saw LGBTQQ the other day, which stood for "Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual Queer and Questioning" -- if they'll just stick PHATPIML in there -- "Practicing Heterosexual At This Point In My Life" -- I will happily pay dues. Or it could be "IKSRPBOTYAWAYLAB" ... "I've Known Some Really Pretty Boys Over The Years And What Are You Lookin' At, Bub?" (YWAKS? Which is of course: Ya Want A Knuckle Sandwich?)
It does all remind me of George Carlin's piece about how "shell shock" got turned into "combat fatigue" and then into "operationally exhausted" and then into "post-traumatic stress disorder" ... all the while the poor soldiers were suffering from the same damn condition. I understand why "colored" and "fag" and "retard" got shuffled out of the language, and I'm fully behind it all. But where the language has gained shades of gray, it's lost simplicity. That may be a good tradeoff (probably is) ... but the loss of "shell shock" -- and "old people," to borrow from Carlin again, who are now "senior citizens" -- can still be mourned, and I do.
Got some spam recently I think because of that Lakers-related post -- it was "buy tickets and gear" kind of stuff. I've turned on comments moderation for the moment. I'll give it a few days and turn it back off again. Mostly I don't like comments moderation -- slows back and forth down somewhat, IMO -- but if the blog starts getting a lot of spam, I may go to it. Steve Perry moderates his comments, which I assumed was because he was an old guy authoritarian: "shape up and spell correctly or else!" But maybe it was spam after all ...
Boston College lost this weekend, which was good. Unfortunately, the Patriots probably are the best football team in the history of the game. I can still hope, but they whipped one of the top teams in the history of the game, Manning's Colts, 24-20, in Indianapolis, after having being down 20-10 midway through the 4th, and after having suffered from some downright remarkable officiating -- the Pats set a franchise record for penalties in that game and still pulled it out, in the home stadium of the unbeaten Superbowl champions.
I still hate Boston. Most people only hate individual franchises elsewhere -- which would be the Celtics in my case. But after enough decades of pain, my specific hatred of the Celts turned into a generalized hatred of all of Boston. So I do hate Boston ... but not enough to prevent me from enjoying what the Pats are doing.
Every year about this time people start ranting ab0ut the Last Unbeaten Pro Football Team, and how they might end the season unbeaten ... and it never happens. (OK, happened once, 35 years ago.)This is the first time I haven't thought the people calling for a complete unbeaten season were delusional. I think the Patriots might do it. They're angry, motivated, and really, really good.
I'm on the road this week and have a post on that coming soon; I also brought along Devlin's Razor and Terminal Freedom, and should get them out to proofers this weekend.
And in my actual downtime (I'm only booked 40 hours this week, and have no wife or kids to distract me) I'm working on the 2nd half of AI War. Those of you I owe mail to, you should get it this week.