Freedom of speech, to speak as we will without fear of consequences or repercussions, the strange thing I suppose is that this is considered revolutionary, it seems to be a natural thing, but when you really look at it how free is free when it comes to words? Obviously there has to be some sort of limits, like how should you greet your friend Jack that you meet unexpectedly on a plane? Do you say “Hi Jack” or might that cause more trouble than its worth for a simple greeting? George Carlin once noted it was unwise to yell movie in a crowded fire house, but I suspect he was being facetious.
Words and meanings and implied meanings and inferred meanings and did that mean what I think it did or am I being too sensitive? Can a politician do something immoral if what they did was only immoral from say a religious point of view? After all, there is separation of church and state, so is there a secular view of morality or perhaps there is a better word. One person’s tax is another’s thievery, one intoxicant is legal but another isn’t. Then again there is the argument that “man created alcohol and God created pot, who do you trust?” But I don’t see adherents of this philosophy smoking a bowl of poison ivy during their coffee break.
I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it, but just about the time someone says that they jump on somebody else for saying something they disagree with, which really seems to dash the whole sentiment aside because you have to wonder if that’s what they meant in the first place. Did I really say all of that in one sentence? Irrelevant! Or is it, because is what each individual person considers relevant the metric that we gauge relevancy by? Or does relevancy vary by the setting we find ourselves in?
Truth is a funny word, we can tell the truth, swear to tell the truth, but is truth a word with a fixed meaning, or is it in the realm of the philosophers? What is accepted as truth today might be found false tomorrow, so does that place truth and moral on a special plane of meaning? If you ask two people what color the car was than ran over old man Smithers and one says green and the other says blue does that mean one of them is lying? How can two people under oath give two completely different colors and neither of them be lying? So then we have qualifiers, lawyer words, “to the best of my recollection,” and “as near as I can recall.”
You can give your word, speak your piece and still have somebody tell you to take it back, not how is that supposed to work? Probably the same way that two people can look at the same event and take exactly opposite meanings from it. A law is passed and one says good and another says bad, because now we’re right back to the whole moral, truth, good and bad thing again that really seems to trip everyone up at some time or another. Look at the way someone can put a little jiggle on something that somebody has said and give it a whole new meaning. “I needed my tired rotated,” she said. “I’d like to rotate her tires,” he winked knowingly. The poor lady was worried about tire wear and suddenly its been hijacked by a double entendre.
If there is a single entendre I think that would only confuse things irreparably at this point. Its like one event can have completely different meanings, a house burning down is a sad thing, unless its your house then its tragic. There is no problem with unemployment if you are employed, and a difficult pregnancy is no trouble at all if you aren’t pregnant, because even a embryo is one of two things, if its wanted it’s a baby and if it isn’t then its an embryo, in much the same way that a strident person becomes a jerk when they’re not on your side.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and behind every successful man is… well that sort of depends on where they are at the time. A Corvette in the driveway of a neighbor is male menopause, but a Corvette in your driveway is a reward for living a good life, but if beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes to the bone its no sweat because beauty is in the eye of the beer hold after all. Some men will tell you that women get old and men get distinguished, apparently these men know of a tribe that venerates ear hair, if you find out where it is let me know I might qualify to be a bishop among them.
“Lets do it on the beach,” is a proposition and a preposition.
Even time can play against us, you can be so tired that you sleep till noon, or you can be so lazy that you don’t wake up till noon. It’s the same time, the same bed, but a whole new spin. And speaking of spin did you know the special relationship between fertilizer and filibuster? One is bullshit in congress, the other is bullshit in the garden, and speaking of consistency, how exactly does one react when in the heat of passion an Atheist calls out to God? I can tell you that asking about it right then is a bad idea.
They say that there is no such thing as an Atheist in a fox hole, but to be honest I never thought to ask on those occasions I found myself in a fox hole. I have run into a preacher in a barber shop though, which made me wonder just how seriously to take that Samson story. So if you part your hair, and a fool and his money are soon parted, does that mean that the barber groomed the person and their wallet, or just took a little off the top of both?
And we have enough trouble with language without using confusing expressions. I’ve used a brick outhouse, and didn’t find anything about the structure that I’d consider beneficial to the female form, although after losing a flashlight down one I know what they mean by its getting deep.
Its like the story of the two hobos, they are wandering the tracks and its cold, but they see an outhouse and rush to avail themselves of the facilities. A shout of dismay brought one to help the other. “What’s wrong?” the first said. “I dropped my money down the hole, have you got any money?” the second replied. “I have a five dollar bill is all,” the first said sadly, showing it to him. The second snatched the bill and tossed it down the hold and started undressing. “Why did you do that?” moaned the first. “Because I ain’t climbing down there for just a dollar.”
There is no truly profound point to all of this, its an exercise in free speech you might say, and you’d be free to say it. Not every word we utter is fit to be passed along to the ages, some I utter aren’t fit to be spoken within a country mile of a human being. Say what you will and let the world think what it may, but no yelling fire in theaters unless there is one, and don’t shout a greeting to Jack at the airport. Oxymoron is one of my favorite words, it fits many expressions quite well, but the best just might be common sense.
© 2007 – 2014, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.