When I was young, I used to delight in friends who had wicked senses of humor. I liked to hear them poke fun at others, or be capable of the kind of snappy, sarcastic retorts that have always eluded me. It was fun to sit with them on a mountain of mockery and quietly witness these friends cutting down all comers. It felt powerfully entertaining.
I wasn’t mature enough to realize that their behavior was just mean. I didn’t realize that what I thought of as a rapier wit and a superior intelligence was actually a lot of misplaced anger and the hallmark of being a bully. I also didn’t understand that by being a silent and amused witness, I was being a bully, too, or at the very least, propping one up.
If it’s any comfort, though, I did draw the line at physical bullying. Even I had the sense to know that was intolerable. Physical intimidation is so blatantly wrong that even my clueless young mind couldn’t overlook it.
And I learned my lesson about the sarcasm the hard way. Because there’s one thing you are bound to find out sooner or later: If you have a “friend” who is cruel to everyone but you, even if it is tinged with humor, eventually their wrath will turn in your direction as well. Count on it. I guarantee it.
Now I get that words can hurt as much as physical assault. And I know that if I stand by and do nothing while it’s happening, then I’m complicit. Now, I can’t abide bullies in any form. Now, I surround myself with respectful, loving people. But it took me a minute to get there, to my everlasting shame.
I strongly suspected that America was going down a shabby little side street when penis size became a major topic in the republican presidential debates. Little did I know that was only the tip (sorry) of the iceburg. Things were about to get a whole lot worse.
In the interests of full disclosure, when provoked, I have a bit of a potty mouth. The majority of my adult life I’ve worked in male-dominated career fields, and it’s hard not to have some of the vernacular rub off on you under those circumstances. I also feel that words are words. If you choose to endow them with emotions, that’s your choice. But there are some lines that I still try not to cross. I try to avoid direct confrontations of any kind, and gender-based derogatory terms.
For example, in 52 years of life, I never once used the word “pussy”. Now it’s in the news, on the radio, even in the name for the hats that many of us proudly wear on our heads. It has become part of the vernacular. It doesn’t even make me flinch anymore. I kind of wish that it still did. Thanks, Trump.
I am so far removed from pop culture that when Trump tweeted something about “Easy D” I had to look it up. Oh my. Well, now…
I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d use that term. I’m not even sure he knew what he was saying. (I doubt he does most of the time.) If nothing else, this presidency is educating me. And based on his support of Betsy DeVos, he isn’t even in favor of education!
But I must admit that the latest one made me roll my chair back and howl with laughter. When Daylin Leach called Trump a “fascist, loofa-faced shitgibbon”, I wanted to kiss him on the lips. I had never heard that word before. I hope shitgibbon becomes part of the American lexicon. It just makes me so happy.
This is the world we live in now. If any other president, whether I voted for him or not, had been addressed in such derogatory terms, the nation would have been horrified. How dare anyone soil the dignity of that office?
Well, Trump does it every single time he tweets about SNL or Nordstroms. He did it when he was recorded being himself on that bus. He makes a mockery of the presidency. So when Daylin Leach mocks him, I can do nothing but cheer.
Welcome to 45. May we make it to 46 with our sense of decency intact.