After much delay and frustration, acquired and installed a air conditioner that will work with SO’s uniquely tiny windows in NYC apartment.

Then read manual. “If unit has been tipped on side for any reason, wait 24 hours to turn unit on.”

Oh, no.

God, no.

Anyhow. Picking up from the latest rounds of crazy-baiting, i had to stop and think about words for a bit. I was writing my fun entry, and stopped myself when i got the words “I love thunderstorms, the crazier the better.”

Did sly just violate his own linguistic sensibilities? Would i attack an unsuspecting blogger for saying the same?

No…i concluded that it would be unlikely that my ire would be raised. And i worded it differently, just to avoid the whole thing anyways.

What is this magical difference in terms of what Sly raises his hackles over?

Ain’t that easy. I know it when I see it, and i won’t promise get out of jail free cards just for showing up early and asking for rules. That’s a good step, and i’ll tip the hat to you for it. But a whole lotta things matter. Context, attitude, reception, and perhaps last of all, intent.

What has been a common factor at the references that really dig me and have gotten my strongest fire has been the reference of a negative stereotype or image.

Language that goes beyond a casual reference to crazy and elaborates to “clinically insane” or talks of folks need straight jackets. There is a power in such images and you damn well know it. That’s why you chose those words to denigrate your rhetorical Other. But, sad to say, they got used on us first. They continue to be used against us. And anything that makes those words stronger, the fear of us more entrenched…

It hurts. It poisons. It kills.

Simply, it infringes upon the right of my community to exist. And I for one, do not stake a claim to that right based on the largess of political correctness. I declare it because we exist, whether you like it or not, and I will not stand by while our lives and dignity are made cheap.

These rhetorics can and will be deflated, shown to be without substance. My advice?

Don’t hide behind ’em.

-sly

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