It had been a rough week for Angie Everglade. Monday’s job interview disaster with some young pup who seemed to equate rich life experience with imminent dementia. Wednesday’s OkCupid date with a man so full of himself she feared he might actually burst, splattering her new outfit with his ruptured innards. And now lab work that suggested a new incurable malady of which she already enjoyed several. After having a ripshit tantrum in the privacy of her own apartment, Angie pulled herself together. Read the rest of this story »
I been killin’ snakes all my life
copperheads and water moccasins, mostly
and every so often, when I’m ridin’ in the brush
a rattler’ll slide on out and spook my mule
Don’t matter what kind, a’course
I shoot ‘em all with my sawed off shotgun
or use whatever else might be handy
shovel works just fine
I kill them snakes without a thought
Man’s got to protect his family
Despite a generation of sensitivity trainings and multicultural studies, an astonishing number of people still feel emboldened to express their misbegotten bigotry in very public arenas. Cops and vigilantes alike are caught on tape throwing down racial slurs before they kill, Rush Limbaugh has no compunction about “slut-shaming” for a national audience, and classroom bullies drive a steady stream of gay youth to suicide. In the face of such madness we may be tempted to question the wisdom of the old nursery rhyme:
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.
That’s what we were taught as children, but as adults we’ve learned a more nuanced understanding of the power of words. We recognize that to call an African-American a nigger, a woman a cunt, or a gay man a faggot is not only insulting and bigoted, it wounds the psyche of the person who’s been verbally accosted.