Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inflammatory language (AKA Don't take the First Amendment for granted)

These days some folks use inflammatory language to attract attention to themselves.

I do not think keeping quiet about it does us any good.

Me, I am not big on raising my voice unless I have a damn good reason. You might mistake that for a lack of an opinion.

In truth, I have deep opinions on most everything however I do not believe it is my job to impose my thoughts on others.

Everyone needs to do their own thinking. The people I admire most do their own homework, get their own facts and form their own opinions.

Don't leave it to figureheads and people on TV to tell you what to do with yourselves. This is why I rarely vote along one single party line. I weigh each candidate individually. But this isn't about politics.

When someone like Pat Robertson spouts outrageous crap like he did yesterday regarding Haiti... you have to speak up.

The thing is, folks like Robertson actually get stronger when you don't denounce them. When you let such comments go unanswered, it sends a message to their followers and would-be converts that maybe this guy is right.

The sad truth is, some people are waiting for their heads to be filled with any kind of explanation that feeds into their own insecurities.

The world is a scary place that doesn't always follow a logical order. Some of our calamities come from forces of nature. Some of our troubles come from human foolishness. Sometimes unintended things happen that we can't find a cause for.

But we like delineating things in terms of good and bad. It makes it easier to process the events of the world.

It's no excuse to spout off wild notions that foster paranoia and fear. That's worse than shouting "FIRE" in a crowded movie theater. It's like shouting "FIRE" after the roof has collapsed and rescue teams are trying to save people from the rubble.

Find solutions rather than pour gasoline on the problem with your words.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away