December 20, 2016
If I’d known, as a teenager, that Lake Superior State University existed, maybe I’d have bothered getting a degree after all.
For one thing, these guys usher in spring by burning a giant snowman. (It was “a Snow Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iran hostage crisis”). When the school’s Environmental Awareness Club tried to halt the “toxic” tradition in 1992, that didn’t go well.
LSSU also issues “Unicorn Hunting Licenses.” (“Only one Unicorn per month. A success ratio higher than this often results in a form of euphoria, which of course requires a mental truss. This is highly undesirable….”)
And none of their degree programs have the word “queer” in their names. The weirdest-sounding B.A. they offer is in “Fish Health.”
Speaking of words, though, Lake Superior State U’s biggest claim to fame is their year-end List of Banned Words, now in its fifth decade:
“Overused words and phrases are ‘problematic’ for thousands of Queen’s English ‘stakeholders,’” said an LSSU spokesperson while “vaping” an e-cigarette during a “presser.” “Once something is banished, there’s no ‘walking it back;’ that’s our ‘secret sauce,’ and there’s no ‘price point’ for that.”
This year’s list, based on hundreds of nominations, just came out, and (along with the words pointedly employed in that whimsical press release, above) it includes “conversation” (Gayle from Cedarville, Mich., wonders if “‘debate’ has become too harsh for our delicate sensibilities”); “manspreading” (“A word that is familiar to those in bigger cities”), and the phrases “Walk it back” and “Break the internet.”
As we wind up a year for the ages and enter the Era of Trump, I’ve compiled a list of our own:
Dumb stuff we right-wingers can and should finally stop saying.
For instance, even if President Trump can’t do so (in public), the rest of us need to cease and desist from pretending to agree that “Of course, bullying/global warming/discrimination/pretty much everything is unacceptable.” No more accepting the other side’s dubious premises.
I’m really sick of “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” too. Isn’t it more accurate to say that minorities frequently disappoint the high (or even modest) hopes that the well-meaning left (and right) entertains on their behalf? (See: “Obama, Barack.”)
No, not all cops are heroes, and frankly, a lot of them don’t deserve my respect, Mr. Trump.
And as I’ve bitched before, Conquest’s Laws are patently false.
But there’s one expression that’s been in heavy rotation of late, for obvious reasons, and this one especially has got to go:
People on the right think that most people on the left are wrong; people on the left think that most people on the right are evil.
I, for one, think most people on the left are evil, not just the useful idiots, well-intentioned twats, and downright dupes the polite right always wants to provide cover for, for whatever weird reason.
If you prefer a less abrasive word than “evil,” then try “sinful” on for size. What else do you call those who want to steal your money and destroy your life? Who compulsively lie? Who are fine with Muslim slime raping other men’s women (or even their own) as long as nobody calls them “racist”? Who consider abortion a secular sacrament?
For too long, William F. Buckley has been held up as the aspirational standard. He famously counted among his friends and acquaintances individuals on the other side of the aisle. But why? If you believe, as Buckley allegedly did, that abortion is murder, how can you in good conscience entertain anyone who believes otherwise? Unless you’re just a careerist phony and possibly on drugs oh wait…
In Buckley’s magazine, Dennis Prager recently opined that cutting ties with family and friends who supported a candidate other than your own is almost exclusively a left-wing phenomenon.
But that’s actually one thing the left gets right.
Conservatives like to tsk, “Who would shun someone just over their politics?”
But it isn’t “just politics” unless you consider elections nothing more than a sort of team sport.
If, on the other hand, parties and candidates reflect your core principles and values (more or less), then why would you want to chum around with those who find said principles and values—that is, who find you—abhorrent, and who even work to undermine them at every turn?
I’m continually amazed by the number of otherwise intelligent, staunchly right-wing men I’ve heard about whose wives voted for Clinton (or, up here, Justin Trudeau). Why did they marry these females? Men are supposed to be the smart ones, but if you picked your wife based on her bra size instead of the setting of her moral compass, then you’re not as bright as you think you are. I never would have continued dating my now-husband if our core beliefs didn’t line up. That’s just Marriage 101.
It’s not that life is too short, it’s that it’s too long—too long to waste time being “friends” with people who, deep down, hate who you are.
So let’s stop pretending we think leftists are just “wrong.” Come on: We all know they’re actually stupid and dangerous. Can we stop playing nice at long last?
(Oh, and if anybody at Lake Superior State University has snagged this column in their Google Alerts: Should your Creative Writing department ever be in the market for a guest author, I’ve got my unicorn hunting license right here.)
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