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All The Meaningless Words

My Friends,
   I recently read an article in the March 23-25 edition of Metro which I found disconcerting.  The story, “Cops on hunt for armed-robbery suspects,” detailed how Toronto police have begun asking for the public’s help in identifying two bank robbers who held up a Bank of Montreal on Lakeshore Blvd. on February 23.

These fly dudes

The part of the article which troubled me was the remarks from Toronto Staff Inspector, Mike Earl.  And I quote: 
“These individuals are urban terrorists.  They need to be taken off the streets before another robbery like this occurs.”  Mike Earl .. not sure if stupid or trolling
Urban Terrorists.  Think about that for a sec.  Now I realize it must take some doing to vilify bank robbers who didn’t kill anyone and who only robbed an institution which most people, on some level, feel robs them every day…

I’ll just leave this here

… but urban terrorists??  Let us examine the various levels at which this ill-wrought comment betrays its stupidity.
   First and foremost, the inspector has confused the names fo two vastly different crimes.  Terrorism and Robbery.

terrorism |ˈterəˌrizəm|nounthe use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
robbery |ˈräb(ə)rē|noun ( pl. -beries)the action of robbing a person or place he was involved in drugs, violence, extortion, and robbery an armed robbery.• Law the felonious taking of personal property from someone using force or the threat of force.• informal unashamed swindling or overcharging.
This is an egregious misnomer which attempts to whip up public sentiment by hearkening back…
…to this.

To attempt to play on people’s emotions like this is a cheap and disingenuous ploy which is frankly insulting to anyone who has ever lost a loved one to bank robbers terrorists.  
ULTIMATEBANKROBBERY!!!
Not to paint an unwarranted sheen of nobility on a bank robber, but they’re not all necessarily mass murderers, and as far as crimes go some are less severe than others.
   Second, and this is a trifling point, but to call someone an “urban” terrorist seems a tad redundant.  Would there by corollary be rural terrorists?  I don’t think so simply by virtue of the fact that there isn’t as much shit to blow up in the countryside…
except these decadent western bitches and their cows.  
ALLAHU AKBAR!!!

Methinks this “urban” distinction was related to the “unique Rocawear hoodie” worn by one of the suspects, which was explicitly mentioned in the article.  So “urban apparel” (code-word for clothes made by black people and marketed to white people) such as Rocawear automatically bestows the appellation urban to whatever criminal activity the wearer participates in?  What if Al-Qaeda, Hamas, the PLO, the IDF or any other terrorist organization decided to rock Rocawear, Wu-Wear, FUBU, et al?
Urban Jihad, nigga!

   The third and final point I would like to make relates to the title of this post.  Certain words…we’ll call them sexy words, have gotten too sexy for their own good and have become overused to the point of inanity.  Here is a brief, inexhaustive list:
Terrorism, Freedom, Liberty, Democracy, (The Creation of) Jobs, (Suffering from) Exhaustion, 9/11, and the list goes on.
These words had a meaning, then at some point it got blurred, and in some cases these words now mean the opposite of their original definition.
Oh yeah, that “freedom” we were fighting for…

My homie, George Orwell kinda predicted this liberal use of the English language a while back, but its still sad to see how right he was.  I can’t help but tune out these words when I hear some talking head say them on television.  Furthermore, I automatically assume that the person who says these words is lying somehow about something.  
   To get back to Staff Inspector Mike Earl, I really wish he could use his powers of inspection to find better and less misleading words.  It reflects poorly on him and the police force when he uses the word terrorist in an alarmist way to drum up feeling in the hopes of solving a cold case.  To those who find this criticism harsh I would respond that if you want to wear the fancy hat and the shiny badge you gotta hold yourself to a higher standard.
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo




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"I Hate the Word"

 “Peace?  PEACE!?  I hate the word.  As I hate hell…all Montagues…and thee!
-Tybalt

My Friends,
   Last night I had a round-table discussion with my woman and her parents about a great many topics.  At one point we talked about naughty language and my use of it and acceptance of its use by others on my facebook account.  Particularly, my woman’s mother, Bev, was concerned that people who knew me only superficially would formulate a negative opinion of me based on my use of profanity, and worse that they would judge her and her daughter negatively for associating with me.

 She had a problem with this image I reposted a week back and its unapologetic use of the C-word.
Unfortunately she missed the Star Wars joke which may have ameliorated her disgust.

This didn’t bother me too much, as I explained that if this hypothetical person got to know me they would probably like me, and if they wanted to judge me for my good-natured use of profanity then they probably weren’t the type I wanted to associate with anyhow.
   Now I don’t want to get into another rant about how people miss the point or message when they focus too much on the words used to convey it, as I had such a rant very recently in my post, “Don’t Judge a Book by RAPE BITCHES KILL PEOPLE” (2 February 2012).  Instead, I want to discuss how this conversation turned into a discussion about words which simply should not be used.  In addition to cunt, some other candidates for banishment were fuck, retard, faggot, and nigger.
  For the record I am very much against any kind of censorship.  Many of my opinions on censorship as it pertains to language specifically were inspired by Orwell’s 1984, and the Ingsoc government’s implementation of Newspeak.  There is a great line in Orwell’s essay on Newspeak which was included as an appendix to the edition I read, which states, “The goal of Newspeak was to limit thought insofar as thoughts depended on the words used to formulate them” (paraphrase).  By corollary I believe the opposite is also true; more words will lead to a greater ability to express more subtle and nuanced ideas.  For this reason we should not deride newly-created words and slang as bastardizations of once-pristine languages, but rather celebrate them as new evolutions of the language to express new ideas.

 “Crunk;” for when “crazy” and “drunk” simply aren’t expressive enough

    Similarly, the re-appropriation of words which have fallen into relative disuse must also be tolerated because they often express things in such a succinct way that to use other (perhaps less offensive words) would simply not get your point across.  A classic example would be the widespread use of the word gay to describe much more than homosexuality.  Still, the word gay is relatively inoffensive and can be used with impunity.  On the other hand, faggot and its derivatives are much harder to defend.  But really its such a perfect pejorative in the same way that gay is except that its more emphatic.  No other word really cuts the mustard when you want to describe the faggotry of bigots, furries, scientologists, newfags, etc.
   I could go on and on with examples of why we need certain words but that would be tiresome.  The main idea is that we need every word because each expresses something, but in a slightly different way than its closest synonyms.  Bill Maher and Seth McFarlane talk about this on this clip from Real Time.  At 3:39 Bill basically states my exact opinion on the matter, but much more eloquently so you should check it out.  In closing, I will say that words don’t have the power to oppress you any more than you let them.
Stay Thristy,
-Andre Guantanamo

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