The above message is definitely NSFW. But contains a more eloquent statement of the truth than I was capable of earlier today. Words are just words: as powerful as our minds want them to be and no less. No, I don’t favor deliberately giving offense, or being ill-mannered, or callous or cruel. But in a classroom or in the public arena, I do favor minimal sensitivity when debating core issues. Why? Well a reader summed it up well:
The poet William Stafford had a habit of occasionally issuing an invitation – around the dinner table, or in the classroom – that went like this: “Let’s talk recklessly!” As his son Kim Stafford recalls: “This meant tiptoeing in polite banter was done. We were to dig deep, gossip freely about our uncertainties and strange beliefs, and lean forward and tumble into the liveliest possible interchange. I always felt this kind of verve matched his habit as a writer: to speak boldly through fear, reticence, or even the need to be strong or eloquent. ‘I must be willingly fallible,” he said once, “in order to deserve a place in the realm where miracles happen.’ And part of such necessary fallibility required trying out wild things in language, and speaking with the tang of zest and adventure.”
When people are afraid to talk about anything in a classroom, the potential of a university is diminished. I’m not talking about deliberate demonizing of others or threats of violence; I’m not talking about prejudice or bigotry. I’m talking about being able to say words freely in order to think more freely. That’s the animating spirit of this blog – and it allows us to discuss subjects like compassion for virtuous pedophiles, as we did today. Or the link between testosterone, men and violence. Or the latest inflammatory evidence throwing doubt on the idea that three simultaneous deaths in Gitmo were all suicides, undetected for two full hours. No one should be afraid of honest, open attempts to figure out the truth. Period. Including about those formerly affectionately known by many as “trannies.” (By the way, it’s a word barely ever used on the Dish, and never without irony or affection. Check out the archives yourself.)
Today, I also felt better about airplane turbulence and worse about our robot future. I gave some unsolicited advice to Hillary – run as a “tough old broad” – and despaired of the American refusal to disown and destroy the Gitmo torture and detention camp.
Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here. You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 14 more readers became subscribers today, and you can join them here.
See you in the morning.