Friday, June 22, 2012

Upside Down

Remember when the word bitch referred to a female dog or colloquially, to a female human who wasn't very nice?  Remember when it was a one syllable word?

Today it seems odd to apply the calumny only to a female.  To many it conjures up a sexually submissive prison inmate and it seems odder to pronounce it without the usually grotesque attempt to mimic the grossest racially stereotypical dialect. 

It's as though our popular culture, while avoiding proscribed words, none the less has become a racist minstrel show with white people in baggy pants, backwards hats and thousand dollar shoes, calling  each other "ho."  Hispanics covered head to foot with gang tattoos and young, black men with oversized, beltless pants all striving to illustrate the basic shiftlessness, ignorance and propensity to steal  so dear to the heart of racists everywhere.  How far have we come from "I am a man" to "I am a bee-otch."  Do young people still dream of being able to say "I am a doctor, I am an engineer, I am a professor, I am a poet, I am a president?"  Or is it all about conformist, commercial self expression through self mutilation and degradation? 

Am I old fashioned or clueless when I cringe at the echoes of "whasssuuuuuup beee-otch" in places filled with white teenagers?  Sure, the trend across the entire ethnic spectrum of  our "culture" is to dress like a bum, talk like a jailbird and make fun of  'da soots' but I can't think of a nation that has had a desirable outcome to such a cultural inversion. China's Cultural Revolution comes to mind and I can't help wondering how the ever immaculately dressed Dr. King might feel about his sacrifice if he were here to see this confirmation of the idea that a black man's place is in jail or at some level far below dignity and respectability.

Of course it's probably only one facet of America's infatuation with the low-life and contempt for civilization and its values. Anyone not part of the beggars opera must think he's better than the rest of us, after all and God knows, the rest of us are all about beer, dope, payday loans, unemployment and parole officers -- bee otch.

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