It's out there. Read back a couple of posts and you'll find I was talking about finding innocence in France. Discovering the possibility of conversations that aren't censored as they occur. Charlie commented that it wasn't innocence lost and certainly not innocence found, as he believes innocence once lost cannot be recovered. He suggested that our state is not one of innocentlessness, but of paranoia. He has since mumbled something about about taking it back, but I secretly and quietly suspect him of just saying that so I will stop calling him mr. smarty pants. Which I will not.
Anyway, we bring up an interesting point. What the heck is it? What makes us focus on the easily identifiable linguistic pseudo symbols of racism, sexism, agism, ethnocentrism to such an extent that YOU CAN'T SAY ANYTHING without someone, somewhere getting offended? (Let alone, gasp, be alone, gasp in an office, gasp, WITH THE DOOR CLOSED, with a member of the opposite, gasp, sex. Are we so out of control sexually that we could never handle such temptation - oh me oh my a man, I can hardly keep my drawers on, alone with me in my office? However will I control myself and overcome my burning shameful desire for all members of the opposite sex? And most importantly, what will everyone think, even if I do manage, through sheer force of will, to not jump his bones in this totally inappropriate and impractical setting?)
And why do we focus on the forme and not the fond? Maybe because it's easier to change our language than who we are? Maybe because we're only interested in that which can be seen and heard? Ours is an ostentatious culture, if nothing else. As Husband pointed out to me at a Starbucks in Seattle, it's not enough to have napkins made from recycled materials - everyone has to know they have napkins made from recycled materials - which is, of course, printed on the back of their napkins.
We'd rather clean up (read sterilize) our language than clean up our...you fill in the blank.