Sunday, December 17, 2017

Things You Can't Say

If you came here expecting to see the usual Poetry Sunday offering, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a few days for your poetry fix. I decided to go with another topic today while it's hot in the news, and Monday's post is already written ... so Poetry Sunday will appear on Tuesday this week. Sorry for the confusion.

This is the time of year when we suffer through the nonsense of the so-called "War on Christmas," in which hypersensitive zealots think their rights are being infringed when you say "Happy Holidays," "Season's Greetings," "Happy Hanukkah," "Happy Kwanzaa," or anything other than "Merry Christmas." I've always been fond of this approach to the issue:

Unfortunately, there are people who believe in using language as a cudgel to impose their political agendas on the rest of us. For today's example, I call your attention to this news article that appeared yesterday: CDC Gets List of Forbidden Words: Fetus, Transgender, Diversity.

Yes, Dear Readers, the Trump Administration has directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure that politically-unapproved scientific concepts, words, and ideas do not find their way into government announcements. The officially-banned words are:









According to an analyst who participated in the briefing at which the new rules were introduced, the phrase “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes” should be used instead of “science-based” or “evidence-based.”* A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services** issued a statement claiming that the report was "a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process."***

A complete list of the GOP-approved terms to replace the seven blacklisted ones has not yet been released, but I expect it will look like this when it does:

Instead of Vulnerable, use Whiny and Complaining.

Instead of Entitlement, use Unearned and Undeserved Government Handout.

Instead of Diversity, use Unwarranted Government Interference in Population Distribution.

Instead of Transgender, use Unnatural.

Instead of Fetus, use Baby or Child.

Instead of Evidence-Based, use Supported by Fake News.

Instead of Science-Based, note that Scientists Disagree, regardless of how many scientists disagree, whether the scientists who disagree are in relevant fields, or the nature of their disagreements.

Consider that the CDC - the federal agency that's supposed to protect us from global/nationwide epidemics - is not allowed to say evidence-based or science-based. What could possibly go wrong?

I hope you're taking notes for the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Because, of course, community standards and wishes - particularly conservative ones - are more important than medical science in protecting you from disease.

** Not one of the GOP's favorite cabinet agencies, to be sure.

*** Tomato, tomahto.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Holiday greetings, in whatever form they take, should be accepted as welcome. This whole War on Christmas thing is just to pull some peoples' chains.

Mike said...

CafePress already has a tee-shirt with the seven banned words.
On sale!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

At least George Carlin's Bad Seven Words You Can't Say on Television was more understanding.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Regardless of one's position on abortion, the final stage prior to birth is the fetal stage.