Diary

Devil Words!

Does anybody remember…well, let me phrase it more delicately for all you aging sensitive snowflakes…back in the many decades after World War 2, when “Racist” was still just a word in the dictionary, to be labeled with the word “Communist” was the kiss of death for countless reputations and careers.
Way before “Racist”, “Communist” was the Devil Word.
(And, I suppose, long before that, “Devil” was the Devil Word!)
Anyhow, Communist was the word that killed. Senator McCarthy used it on network TV in his Senate executions of the Hollywood elite and other troublemakers. It got America into the useless Vietnam war. Any dot on the map country that could point to a “Communist insurgency” became our military partner and a recipient of millions of our taxpayer dollars and our soldiers blood..
Que pasa? As the Cubans, who have endured the fury of “Communist” and now fall on the good side of “Racist”, might well ask.
Well, whats going on is times have changed and “Racist” is the new devil word.
Oh sure, there is also “Sexist”, but face it, any word with “sex” in it is kinda soft around the political and cultural edges.
Strange, huh? Words words words. Like the age of legal consent, they rise and fall and bring awful force and trouble in their wake.
Do people need a Devil Word? For the Germans, it was once Jew.
Do people need Good Words? Like global citizen, compassionate, and the new labeling of illegal immigrants as “Aspiring Americans”.
Well, obviously the omnipresent American media contributes to the strength of words. We may be a visual media culture now, but words are still how we library catalog our realities.
Is there something about humans, some mental hard-wiring that requires Devil and Good Words as north south points on a emotional compass?
Words words, words!
The next time one of those suckers arises in your mind, jump on it and see what it’s up to!