Tuesday, July 01, 2008

You Just Can’t Say That Anymore


I was reading a book this morning.

In this electronic age of the internet, book reading is becoming a lost past time, unless you are my wife – drilling through volumes of romantic novel drivel in a single afternoon.

I was reading a collection of writings by my all time favorite writer - Lewis Grizzard. Lewis was the sports editor and weekly columnist for the Atlanta Journal. In University I would buy the paper every Thursday only to read Mr. Grizzards column.

It struck me this morning, as I read one of his stories, that I envied him for his free and easy way of describing a person, condition, or situation. There were no holds barred. He could call things as he saw them.

In one particular passage, he is describing his honeymoon night with his beautiful new second wife. They had travelled four hours by car to Savannah Georgia after being married that afternoon by a Texaco gas station attendant that his brother Ludlow had hired to pretend to be a minister.

Once at the train station, the newlyweds are told they had no reservations for a sleeper car on the Amtrack to Orlando, Florida. And in typical Grizzard fashion, Lewis informs the frail elderly train attendant that unless a correction was made, he would "come behind the glass, and punch you and hit you, and pull off your raccoon hair toupee and tell everyone that you are a bedwetting communist homosexual …".

And … well ... you just can't say that kind of thing anymore.

If you did, the National Organization of Bedwetting Communists would complain about being called homosexuals.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. No, not at all. Some of my best friends …

But in this electronic age of posting immediate news and celebrity humiliation video, it ironically goes against the grain to call anything as you really see it.

Now at some point in our lives, we have all had the occasion where we have woken up on a soggy mattress and maybe even had our sheets hung out to dry for all to see. And it is not unheard of to have considered the position of Karl Marx and wondered if it weren't for the fact that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, that in some conditions communism might actually be a feasible means of governing.

And that would just plain upset the homosexuals. Not to mention the political right.

But we are not allowed to talk about such things now.

Nobody likes to be offended. Not the bedwetters. Not the communists. And certainly not the homosexuals.

And far be it from me to ever cross any of those lines.

Some of my best friends were bedwetters, and others I know are actually former communists. And for all the homosexuals I have known, there have only been a few I didn't like, and the reason was not their choice of alternative lifestyles.

They were just not very nice.

It's probably a blessing to Mr. Grizzard that he passed before seeing the content of the internet be so controversial, yet the language that we use be so dumbed down as to be sure we don't offend.

But I do not have the luxury of writing in a time of such a more simpler age.

So I make my solemn promise to you all that I will do my best to not offend anyone by the postings on my blog. And I will do my part to stand up for the rights of all readers.

Even bedwetting communist homosexuals.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Lewis Grizzard – former columnist and sports editor of the Atlanta Journal.

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