Saturday, December 28, 2013

CELEBRATE THIS @*&%$XO^!!

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Not that I am in a foul mood or anything - just time for a bit of a curmudgeonly rant.  I get quite put off by trendy phrases that are PC code, meaningless inanities, or simply stupid.  Having read several in one issue of the local paper, I cannot hold back!!

Celebrate - Publicly acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.  "They were celebrating their wedding anniversary at a restaurant".   Perform (a religious ceremony) publicly and duly, in particular officiate at (the Eucharist).  "He celebrated holy communion".  Synonyms - commemorate, observe, mark, keep, remember, memorialize.
However, it is often used as code for "you should embrace, or accept, X"  And if you don't, you are a bigot, idiot, close-minded [pick your pejorative] person.  Well, call me what you want, but I will limit my celebrations to birthdays, certain holidays, and very special events.

DiversityThe state of being diverse; variety.  "There was considerable diversity in the style of the reports".  Diverse - Showing a great deal of variety; very different.  "A culturally diverse population"  Synonyms - various, sundry, multiple.
Obviously the word has been around for a long time, but now a primary definition has become the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization. And in this context, it is often joined with 'celebrate'.  Pardon me if I don't feel like partying because we are different.  Basically, we are all different from one another, and some more different than others.  I certainly appreciate many of the difference I see among folks, but I certainly see some differences that are assuredly not a reason for celebrations.  One of my favorite lampoons of the extremes of the diversity-talk is Dilbert's take on 'diversity of opinion' - a guarantee that no one will agree, consensus will not be achieved, and nothing will be accomplished!!

Vulnerable - Susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.  "We were in a vulnerable position".  Synonyms - helpless, defenseless, powerless, impotent, weak, susceptible.
Amazingly, it has become hip to 'celebrate', 'embrace', and even find 'power' in being vulnerable!  Excuse me Ms. Brown, but that sounds a lot like an oxymoron to me.  It seems to me as though the psychobabble has co-opted the simple interpretation of the word to construct an idea that our imperfections equate to our vulnerabilities, that we either try to hide, ignore [or heaven forbid, try to improve on] such weaknesses, and that the way to address our vulnerabilities is to 'embrace' our vulnerabilities in order to ......????  Admittedly, I have no truck with much of psychology, but my take is to either improve on my weaknesses or hire folks who can cover them for me!! :-)

Breakthrough - An act of overcoming or penetrating an obstacle or restriction; a military offensive that penetrates an enemy's lines of defense; a major achievement or success that permits further progress, as in technology.  Synonyms - turn of events, quantum leap, discovery.
My most recent encounter with the annoying use of this word was President Obama - he recently promised that 2014 would be a breakthrough year.  Now, exactly what the H does that mean?  He was referring to the wonders of the AHCA, unemployment, the economy, and maybe his dogs - but breakthrough??  He sounded an awful lot like the prosperity gospel preachers who are always promising a financial breakthrough, the charismatic preachers who always foresee a spiritual breakthrough, the cancer researchers who are always announcing a treatment breakthrough, and so on  For me, real breakthroughs are rare, as in the synonym, quantum leap.  Things like flying machines, Einstein's work, going to the moon, and many other major steps forward in various disciplines.

I could go on for a while, but it is likely not good for my blood pressure!

16 comments:

Bizzy Brain said...

We need to celebrate our diversity and affirm the vulnerable, which will result in a breakthrough in societal progress.

hoosierdaddy said...

Bizzy - nailed it! Another much-too-used phrase :-)

Phil L. said...

Am trying to figure out what "affirm the vulnerable" means, Biz.

Bizzy Brain said...

It means "protect the vulnerable." You may have to use your imagination a little bit to get to that meaning. BTW, another word for vulnerable is "at risk," another phrase that makes me want to puke, along with "multiculturalism," "politically correct," and "equality."

Bizzy Brain said...

I might add "diminished" and "excluded" to the list. They relate to equality. For example, if a God-hater feels "diminished and excluded" because of prayer at a graduation ceremony, the insane liberal mind translates that to mean the atheist is less than equal because he FEELS less than equal, thus the prayer has to be dispensed with in order to honor the holy grail of equality. Honestly, that is how their minds work, folks.

Bizzy Brain said...

"Autonomy" is another one that drives me batty. There are people who are totally deranged who hold professorships at prestigious universities who advocate complete autonomy. They are the crackpots who teach that there are no differences between the sexes, that gender is simply a "social construct," and that a totally free and "autonomous" individual should be able to chose his or her own gender (they don't use the word sex) and go about as a male or female, whatever tickles its fancy. Horny male? Identify as female and demand the right to use the women's restroom, which is being permitted in some places now. That's how crazy it's getting.

Douglas E said...

Phil and Bizzy - I think that you are missing the point on 'vulnerability' - the users are generally talking about one's self - "I am vulnerable and that's just great!" There are indeed vulnerable groups that do need protection and/or assistance, but it sames that we have now reached a point were greater than 50% of the folks think that they need assistance of some sort.

Douglas E said...

BB - hate to rain on your rant, but sex and gender are not equivalent terms. I teach this in my science and religion class, and it's always an interesting discussion. Here is a nice summary from the WHO:

"Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.

"Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.

To put it another way:

"Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories.

Aspects of sex will not vary substantially between different human societies, while aspects of gender may vary greatly.

Google sex vs gender and you will find some interesting stuff :-)

Bizzy Brain said...

Rain away, Douglas E. Lol! Am vaguely remembering that the question on forms that require one to indicate whether one has male or female plumbing simply said "Sex" and one would check the M or F box. And am vaguely remembering that the GLAAD and LGBT groups were unhappy with that simple designation and preferred gender. I don't remember why they preferred gender and am thinking the definition of gender got changed somewhere in the process.
BTW, thanks for keeping my brain busy and the blood pressure strong!

Sandor said...

Off the subject, but have you ever heard of Urban Darwinism? Some radio guy in a big city was analyzing murder statistics and noted that in his city about 80% of murder victims had an average of 3 or 4 previous convictions and murderers had about 3 or 4 previous convictions. His point was he did not "view with alarm" the murder rate since it was basically thugs killing thugs.

Douglas E said...

Sandor - I have never been a fan of non-biology disciplines transposing the theory of evolution to their particular field - e.g. social darwinism, economic darwinism, urban darwinism. However, I must say that I do enjoy the Darwin awards for stupid antics that remove stupid folks from the gene pool. Evolution is change over time due to random processes and selection. I think that it has been appreciated for some time that a high percentage of murders is criminal on criminal, spouse on spouse, etc. and I suspect that the Freakonomics take would affirm that as thugs kill of thugs, there will be less thugs to kill; perhaps one of the reasons some big city murder rates are going down.

Douglas E said...

Bizzy - sexes - male, female, true hermaphrodites; genders - endless.:-)

Bizzy Brain said...

My head is spinning. Think I'll go curl up in a fetal position and listen to Rush.

Douglas E said...

Great way to send New Year's Day!!

Bizzy Brain said...

Back to sex. Let's see, male and female has to do strictly with the plumbing, but gender has to do with masculine and feminine traits, which can run the gamut. Then the psychotic feminists come along and clamor for "gender equality" or "neutrality" or some other inanity and seek to tear down all barriers that block that fairness, which means a woman can now get her ass blown off in combat for the sake of gender equality.

Douglas E said...

Bizzy - on the right track. As you and I both appreciate, there really is no such thing as absolute equality. Women can now indeed get their asses blown off, but the majority of female Marines cannot do three pushups. I'm an OF but can still do at least three "male" pushup. Equality under the law and equality of opportunity do not equal equality. I am still thinking of suing the NBA for my 'right' to at least be the 12th man :-)