Isn't 'euphemism' a lovely, phonically satisfying word? I fell in love with it as soon as I heard it in some English class long ago. Later I would also become enamored of it's evil twin, 'dysphemism', but that's another story.
Euphemisms themselves, however, are wretched cowardly lies; the whole of 'em. You can talk about 'friendly fire' all you want, but it doesn't hide all the blood you spilt. At the very least, using a euphemism is an attempt to blur an unpleasant truth somewhere along the line, for the sake of somebody's conscience.
This is how I feel about the word "smacking", as in the smacking of children. What is actually being meant here, is the application of physical pain upon a child, for the purposes of correction. I feel the usage of that word is mischievous to say the least, and hides a troubling truth.
Of course I am - rather belatedly - bleating about the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill 2005. Like it says, it was devised to stop child abusers using the "I was only givin' 'im a smack, like" defense for their crimes. But the right wing, the neo-cons, and all those loathsome types who deride human decency as "political correctness" of course reacted violently to this bill. They, and our obnoxious national media, termed it the "anti-smacking bill". Because they (a) only like it when poor people are told what to do and (b) they deliberately tried to distort the bill for their own agendas. By employing the term "smacking", they willfully and callously disassociated the hurting of children from simple, harmless 'correction'.
Now I've been told by these people - in the most patronizing terms - that I just don't understand the difference between smacking on the one hand, and violence on the other. With a weird, almost Orwellian, doublethink, these people actually think INFLICTING PAIN ON A CHILD does not count as violence.
HOW THE HELL DOES THAT WORK?
Sure, 'smacking' your child is not the same as 'smacking' some yob outside the pub. But they're both still acts of violence. It really boggles my mind that people actually disassociate the two. Pain is pain.
I always though hitting a kid because they didn't do what you wanted, imparted a simple lesson to them : if someone doesn't do what you want, hurt them until they do. Another kid won't share their toys? Fine, just hit them - it works for your parents. And then - then - all these neo-con idiots blame this violence on stuff like video games, or comics, or tight leather pants. Of course, it can't these outdated, idiot philosophies that mess them up, right? These people are often the ones who claim bullying doesn't exist, or that children are treated "too softly". Then they turn around and beg for the brutal execution of some child-killer. There is just no logic.
Anyway, it's far too late in the day for me to bother you with this. For a superb analysis, read the blog of Gordon Campbell, the finest journalist in New Zealand. (The fact he once said I look like Ray Liotta does not mean I'm biased, he really is the best in the land). But more disturbingly, read through all the vitriolic comments at the bottom of his piece. They paint a vivid picture of the creatures who came out of the woodwork during this ordeal.
These same folk are reveling over the resignation of Sue Bradford, one of the hardest-working politicians New Zealand ever had. As a person who needed her political representation back in the day, I value and admire her contribution to our political scene. Of course, she was always far too blunt and honest for the neo-cons to handle, and her attempts to improve life for the Kiwi underclass was always scorned by them.
Where's all this coming from? I had another Sunday shocker of a customer today. Once again, all this rightist bollocks was dangled in my face. Once again, a Pakeha middle-aged trout with her cheap bling and her gaudy Glassons finery had to ruin my day. Her grotesque sense of total self-entitlement actually left me shaking. She lives to be offended - daddy's little princess, and the whole world is her kingdom to tyrannize. Never, for a second, has she reflected that other people have rights too, y'know.
She insisted on a job being done NOW, regardless of other folk who are quite happy to wait their turn. When finished she rejected the work, insisted on a discount or refund, and berated me for ripping her off. So yeah, she kind of bothered me a bit.
What I find most humorous, was that when she first came up she inquired if there was a psychic here in town. I swallowed my scoff and actually mentioned our own local fraud, despite the fact I'd rather have plead ignorance. See? I'm helpful even when I shouldn't be. But the fact she was with the crystal-and-karma set made an interesting accompaniment to her utter self-absorption. There's a reason they always called it "navel-gazing".
Oh well. My man Cary says it all.
Also, I got a hernia today. Ouch. Oh stomach lining, why can't you be more like your older brother the intestinal sac?
And just because I insist this remains a comics blog - even if the world hardly needs another one - let's end with a little moment of recent brilliance. The easily irritable Clint Barton, aka Ronin, has decided he's gonna take on the Bad Guy Avengers all by himself. Hacking his way through them, he abruptly runs into my favorite beautiful blond psycho, Karla Sofen, aka Moonstone; one poisonous piece of cheesecake. (Not many serial killers swan around their lair in their PJs, displaying as much of their appealing physique as possible, so you gotta love the ones who do). They know each other from back in the day; while never being friends, there was a grudging mutual respect. It makes for an interesting encounter:
(Man, you should have seen the seduce-and-corrupt job she did on Noh-Varr; might have to blog on that at a later date).
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