Up & Coming Weekly

June 05, 2018

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 5 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JUNE 6-12, 2018 UCW 5 Roseanne Barr (left) and Samantha Bee (right) should be embarrassed not only for what they said about others but also by the sheer mediocrity of their choice of words. MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Edi- tor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Rodney King's plain- tive words echoing across the decades are more on point than ever in the wake of our most recent national shouting match that leaves everyone sullied. First, comedian Roseanne Barr re- ferred to two educated, professional African- American women who served key roles in the Obama administration as "apes." Within hours, another comedian, Sa- mantha Bee, called the daughter of our current president a word that cannot be printed in a community publica- tion, if anywhere. How on God's green earth did we get to this low point? Years ago, when I was an adolescent, I – like most young people just beginning to feel their oats – tried out a few forbidden words, including some with meanings I did not fully comprehend. At some point in my linguistic rebellion, my mother got wind of it. A grammarian, a lover of the English language and a proper Southern mother, she was appalled and, as we say in the South, "was having none of that." She and I had a sit-down on the topic of being kind and respectful to others and using the beauti- ful flexibility and versatility of the English language both properly and with care. I came away from our conversation understanding something I had not considered before … that unkind, uncivil, and "dirty" language reflects more on the speaker than it does on the intended target. Name-calling is cheap and easy, revealing a mind that either does not know or is too lazy to search for a precise and insightful word or phrase that actually means something. Referring to oth- ers as "apes" or with a four-letter expletive is not creative. It reveals minds too challenged or too lazy or both to come up not with scattershot but with words that have express meaning. Barr and Bee should be embarrassed not only for what they said about others but also by the sheer mediocrity of their choice of words. Clearly, our nation is as divided politically, geographically and educationally as we have ever been during my adult lifetime. I would have a dif- ficult time scanning my circle of family, friends and acquaintances without being aware of which side they take. In other words, no one is neutral. ere are next to no true "independents." Virtually all Americans are in one camp or another. We agree with Barr or we agree with Bee, though we might not have used their cheap words, and no end to our current vitriol is in sight. Whatever else they may be, Barr and Bee sym- bolize two deeply disturbing aspects of American culture in 2018. An alarming percentage of us no longer value civility in our everyday lives or in other people. Courtesy matters less and less, as a trip down any roadway in the country quickly demonstrates with fist-shakers and finger- waggers abounding. We barely notice profanity in person or in various media. Instead of shocking us as it did a generation ago, it has become the wallpaper of daily living. Barr's and Bee's language is so common that this column – a week or so after their utterances – may well be the last you hear about either of them. We also value language less. Finding and using the words that match what we want to express seems too hard for many of us, so we take the easy route – simple and overused words that have no clear meaning and "dirty" words so overused they have little meaning at all. In my dreams, we would all take Rodney King's heartfelt admonishment, "Can't we all just get along?" to heart. We can agree to disagree as we obviously do, but we do not have to speak like Barr and Bee. We could all learn from Winston Churchill as well. Churchill did not call names, but he was a world champion at the clever and targeted zinger. When Harry Truman remarked that Churchill's re- placement as prime minister "seems like a modest sort of fellow," Churchill shot back, "He's got a lot to be modest about." at puts all expletives in their proper uncreative and below average place. Can't we all just get along? by MARGARET DICKSON OPINION one year special $ 15 for UP & CoMING WEEKLY rEadErs oNLY you save 89% off Tv GuIDe MaGaZINe Get A GreAt DeAL from tV GuiDe mAGAzine start Your subscription online, By Mail or Call online: tvguidemagazine.com/newsoffer mail: complete order form below call: 1-800-365-1940 WHeN CaLLING use PRoMo: K6fNsWPZZ Every issue delivers inside scoop on your favorite shows Breaking news keeps you in the know Highlights help guide you to what's worth watching Your favorite stars take you behind the scenes 28 Pages of easy-to-use primetime listings GrEaT rEasoNs To sTarT YoUr sUBsCrIPTIoN

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