I’m sure you have all heard about the controversy over Ben Stiller’s new movie – Tropic Thunder. Advocates for the mentally disabled (I’m not sure if my reference here is PC or not, but I’ll risk it), have requested we boycott the movie because of its gratuitous use of the word retard or retarded.
Sometimes it amazes me how people can manipulate a mere word and turn it into hateful language that if uttered, could destroy a person’s soul. I’m pretty sure that the origin of the word “retard” was never intended to be used as a derogatory term in order to describe mentally disabled individuals. It was also not expected to become a slang term for something that is ridiculous, stupid, or unnecessary, but unfortunately, it has. I sometimes enjoy throwing out “retarded” here and there, but I never use this to be hateful or perpetuate discrimination toward disabled individuals.
It’s more like…Wow, Shirley Phelps sure is retarded.
(I regularly use hate speech to suppress my undying lust for Ellen DeGeneres!)
Therefore, I propose we don’t completely abolish the words – retard or retarded from our language, but instead, we work to distance its meaning away from the mentally disabled. Everything can be redefined…just look at Madonna. Personally, I do not refer to mentally disabled individuals as “retarded.” I just don’t agree that this is the true meaning of the word. Instead, I think we should all try to only use the words retarded or retard to describe things that are truly idiotic like, the Bush administration and insanely high gas prices. And let’s get off Ben Stiller’s back and allow our comedians to create…
Comedy is often funny because it doesn’t abide by the rules of political correctness or social acceptance. Unlike in real life, in comedy any subject or language is open game. Not everyone may like that, but that’s life. There is a freedom to comedy and humor and that is why I believe most people need it. Comedy is often offensive, shocking, and its language can sometimes bring your grandmother to tears. Because of those reasons, I don’t want my comedy censored. As Americans, we are free to choose what we watch…for the most part. Some of us are still pissed off at the cable companies and their ridiculous prices and live a life without cable (Yes, I said WITHOUT…not even basic cable) and are forced to watch only the “regular” network channels, which gives us VERY FEW options (thank God for the Internet or my life would be much less meaningful).
Since we have a choice in what we entertain ourselves with, if something offends us, we can turn it off. I practice my right to choose what I entertain myself with everyday. And it’s great. So if Ben Stiller makes a movie that uses the word retard or retarded and that is very offensive to you, you don’t have to see it. That’s the beauty of the system.
I understand the power and often harmful effects of some words when spoken by hate mongers, homophobes, racists, sexists, sizists, etc. And there are words that I choose not to use in my vocabulary; however, sometimes I think this country enjoys creating its own drama. Which (like I’ve said in previous blogs) only distracts us from any REAL issues. Why are we again protesting the entertainment industry (and thus making them more $) when we live in a world where political leaders and the self-proclaimed religious are often the most intolerant, hateful, and immoral people? We have to quit expecting that the ENTERTAINMENT industry be our moral compass…no matter how much we love them…that goes for Mr. Clooney too!
In my little pale gurl opinion, it’s time we stop giving words, people, and non-issues so much power and attention. I propose we spend less time worrying about what Ben Stiller says, writes, or acts about and spend more time laughing and studying geography (America’s worst subject – besides economics of course).
PS…Ben Stiller called and he wanted me to thank all of the protesters for the FREE publicity. He is now on his yaht in Saint-Tropez reflecting upon the current state of the word “retard.” Where is Saint-Tropez you ask, Google it.