Terrible Words, It’s Okay to Cry

Words used to inspire, to educate, to inform. The world collectively soiled their pants with fevered joy when Gutenberg invented the device to produce printed text. Somewhere between circa 1440 and this morning, large groups of people came to fear words. For their power to make the weak feel further impotent, the sensitive more deeply wounded, and the hysterical to produce stupid sounds of exasperation and clutch their faux free trade shell necklaces.

The bulk of this massive shift as to the morality of words came about in the past couple of decades. What so many fought, and even died for, became a pox for people with indoor plumbing, ceaseless infotainment channels, and an anxiety borne of far too much free time.

Words became terrible. Horrible, destructive, and objects of assault. Not something to unwrap with glee on a Christmas morning, but something to bury in a metal box deep beneath the basement chambers of a Soul Cycle franchise. The verboten.

People who fear words are less intelligent, less interesting, and less informed than those who embrace words. New ideas can not rape you in the shadows. Opposing viewpoints can not rob your virtue. Amid the obviousness of these axioms, we as a culture decided that those who feel most threatened by an unbleached search for the truth ought take up prominent and widespread roles in academia, journalism, and politics. An Orwellian revolution without a single shot fired, but costly all the same.

If words are terrible, then terrible words have tremendous power. A tool to reclaim the world from the censors, reflexive rebukers, and nervous pumpkin-heads. Be the ape that embraces the Spacey Odyssey monolith. Swim in terrible words.