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Monday, July 26, 2004

Beware the F words

A letter to the editor from yesterday's Ann Arbor News:
An attention-craving vulgarian and a sensitive institution have given the amusingly notorious F-word remarkable attention locally. My position on the F-word is tolerantly neutral while favoring the view that real pain comes from sticks and stones, not words. I can respect the little obscenity's fight over centuries to get in dictionaries and out of public speech. In the Navy, I had a wartime captain who used a version of the F-word to modify practically every noun he spoke. He was a terrific skipper. My personal stand is that the word is harmless and also that it is adolescently boorish, bullying and exhibitionist to use it publicly where it isn't wanted.

This brouhaha has reminded me of two F-words that do great harm and matter much more than the tiny outlawed verb. Fascism as a description of anti-democratic, totalitarian brutality is the F-word that still merits maximum opprobrium and relentless resistance.

The other F-word, fool, which snugly fits so many who can't question authority or face the truth, may do even more damage at voting booths and elsewhere.

These F-words I fear fit many contemporary Americans. Fascist or fool will apply to those in the coming election who vote to let an illegal president installed by a right-wing cabal continue in office to abuse power and insult good sense. Let's avoid those F-words, restore the nation's sanity with a regime change, and reconnoiter again with a nice little F-word, fun.

Roy E. Meador, Ann Arbor