Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A silent crusade

 I find myself on a bit of a crusade. As with crusades it is a moral one. Surprising, even to myself, it is a crusade against a choice of words. More specifically the foul mouthed, guttural language that has invaded everyday life. Having spent twenty years in the Navy I have ben guilty of this. It is no stereotype to make that statement. In my Navy days it was a mans' world and all that implies. I joined in , heartily, as most young men do. It was a combination of peer pressure and some misguided thinking. I felt there were expectations to be met, a standard to uphold. I did my best ! But that was still in the time when you didn't talk like that in the presence of the ladies. You cleaned up your act, while implying otherwise. With a wink and a tossing back of a beer you hinted at your manliness. Nowadays they call it swag. Sailors invented swagger, probably because it took a while to get your feet under you once on shore. Sea legs they call it, but you needed them at sea not on shore.
 That language was used to show the other guys how tough you were. It was a sign of your moral depravity and something to be proud of. Nobody wants to hang out with a goody two shoes. No sir, I was one of the roughest, toughest, two fisted, foul mouthed sailors in the fleet. Why I had been everywhere and done everything. And that was after graduating boot camp ! While in the fleet it only got worse, or better, depending upon your view. I lived in two worlds. As I said you didn't talk that way around the ladies or children. My crusade began a while back but I wasn't aware of it. It began when we first got women on the ship. Now, my world wasn't the same. A lot of the young ladies began to adopt the attitude we young men held. They wanted to be " sailors. " They used our language and adopted our ways. I found it unattractive and unflattering. A sexist attitude ? Perhaps you could call it that but I just found it unattractive. Not the girl I would take home to mother. Of course, I did expect the good girls to take me home.
 Now this language thing spread to the civilian world. Not that it hadn't existed there before it always has. The lower working classes, it has been noted, is associated with this gutter language. It was offensive and everyone knew it. Among the menfolk offensive is a sign of strength. Well the things that offend you define who you are in the pack. You can call me names but don't speak badly of momma ! Inappropriate references to body parts and the like are just friendly ribbing. Hearing that from the ladies is just a turn off. When I hear children say stuff like that I have to hold my tongue. And so my crusade has begun to eliminate this trend. There are sayings and expressions that are used all too often today that bother me. I feel uncomfortable hearing them in polite company. I guess that is the crusade, the restoration of polite society. Some would say that polite society has always been a façade. On some level I can see that analogy and the truth in it. I prefer to think it is more of a temperance. I do believe we should temper our thoughts, actions and words. That is being polite. It is not dishonest, rather it is considerate.
 This crusade is a crusade of silence. I will do my best to refrain from the use of this language. I will not be reasonable for the perpetuation of its use. I can not undue the past and so have to live with that memory. I will forever be guilty. But it is a new day. There is much talk today of how our country is divided. I hear tough talk from all directions. Maybe we should just try a little polite conversation instead. A restoration of society as it once existed. It takes no restraint and no knowledge to just blurt out expletives. Little can be accomplished in that fashion. Passions may flare up, but that is all. A flare up ! What is needed is a long term thing, a slow burn. Temperance and knowledge are requirements to a stable society. The voice that is heard is the voice that sounds differently. I will sound different by being silent. There are plenty out there screaming, streaming obscenities together in a never ending assault on civility. I will remain silent thus lowering the din.