Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
Nobody has a monopoly on the truth.

2004.03.01

Thoughts on the “T” Word

As reported by CNN, Education Secretary Rod Paige told a room full of governors that the nation’s largest teachers union, the NEA, is a “terrorist organization”. I’ve certainly had dark feelings in regard to positions taken by the NEA, however, terror is not one of them. This, and other abuses of the “terrorist” label, have reminded me of those odd occasions where, for what ever reason, a particular word just strikes me as goofy. I say it over and over in my head wondering just what was it about that particular word was so important. What collision of human experience created this word and where has it’s meaning gone?

The Security Theater currently showing on Pennsylvania Avenue has, it would seem, thus crippled the word “terrorist” and all it’s permutations. The abuse and over use of the word has beaten the poor critter green and white and yellow and orange and red, to a final terror alert status of black and blue.

Well, being an average bear, I thought it would be better if I explored this word in hopes of discovering what all the hoopla is about before getting left behind. What I notice is that the “terrorist” moniker is most frequently applied to people, places and things that inconvenience or irritate us from time to time. They probably always have, it’s just that now we get to vent a little extra by using the “T” word. So now to experimentation.

As an example, I’ve taken to calling my dogs “terrorists” when they misbehave. They are terriers, after all. The terrorists terriers, apart from being an excellent name for a band, don’t seem to behave any differently to my elevated rants regardless the color. They’re still terriers, just more confused than usual by my behavior.

My conclusion is that splashing “terrorist” colors around and tagging anything or anybody that gets in our puny little way as card carrying members to the “axis of evil” club is making it harder to find a solution – much harder. Nobody notices anymore. When the terrorist in sheep clothing shows up again, he’ll sneak right by because we’re too busy dealing with the “terrorist” cable guy, or the “terrorist” city counsel person, or the “terrorist” [fill in irritation here].

I certainly hope you agree with my observations. If not, well, don’t be sending me any or your terrorist objections.


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