Monday, November 06, 2006

Words so commonplace they lose their meaning

I saw this today, cancer victim was neither brave nor well liked, from the quite often, quite good Newsbiscuit.

People should say what they mean and mean what they say (without recourse to foul language)I rather liked it as an attack on the way that everyone has to say certain words about certain people. Of course, it's true that people often are brave in the face of cancer - or well loved - but the whole idea that after they are dead anyone would saying anything except these things... well... it's just doesn't happen, and therefore the sentiments become meaningless.

It reminded me of the eighties and nineties when Tories would often appear on TV to tell us how cowardly the IRA were. Now, whether you approve or disapprove of the cause or the methodology of the IRA it was always blatantly false. If you're a coward usually the best course of action is to keep your head down, stay out of trouble, possibly becoming a milkman or accountant. Generally speaking, joining an illegal organisation and planning highly criminal acts that may lead to a life in jail or a slab in the mortuary would be deemed an foolhardy choice to make for a coward.

But because they were slating the IRA no one batted an eye lid - after all who was going to leap to their defence? Once someone has become the pantomime villain then they must hold every vice you can think of and any criticism is legitimate. Words lose their meaning when we cross this line. Likewise once you become affiliated to someone you're not meant to be critical - so that criticism in itself, in some circles, becomes the mark of an opponent rather than a friend who thinks in more than black and white terms.

One of my pet peves is election leaflets or speeches where people call for something to be better. Well, duh. I'm voting for the first candidate who calls for the health service to be worse. I really am, at least they're able to deliver on their promises.


moll said...

>I saw this today, cancer victim was neither brave nor well liked, from the quite often, quite good Newsbiscuit.

Pah! Like always, The Onion did it first and did it funnier.


Jim Jay said...

Lots of people say that Newsbiscuit copies the onion, which it does. But I think that John O'Farrell - who does the site - is adequate for my needs.

I'm not an avid reader of the Onion (although it is very, very good)- so if someone wants to save me internet browsing time by ripping off their jokes that's cool :)