Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Dear Andrew: Bite me.
Apparently, Andrew over at Bound by Gravity is a mite hacked off about how those of us who aren't Bible-whomping loons have unfairly co-opted the adjective "progressive" for our own nefarious purposes.
As I read it, Andrew has taken to gazing fondly at that word, wishing he could perhaps sneak a little of it back in his direction. And why does he think he's entitled to it? Why, because he has chosen to define it thusly: "an individual who strives to create social change."
Ignore the hopelessly meaningless and vacuous definition that Andrew is using since, by that definition, anyone who wants to, say, strip gays of any and all rights or who wants to abolish all womens' rights would be considered "progressive." And I don't think we're going to go along with that. But let's think this through a bit further. If Andrew wants to play word games, let's play word games.
Technically speaking, your humble correspondent could be considered a "conservative" since I believe it's important to "conserve" things -- civil rights, non-renewable fossil fuels, the environment. So, on a purely semantic level and using Andrew's logic, I would have the right to call myself a "conservative," wouldn't I?
Of course, that is so not going to happen since all of us already understand what that word means. In Canada, based solely on common usage, it has come to refer to a social class of people who are, for the most part, Scripture-spouting, sanctimonious, closed-minded scientific illiterates. In short, while I might technically have the right to call myself a "conservative," given how the current members of Canada's Right have thoroughly defiled that word, I wouldn't touch it with Ann Coulter's dick on a bet. So what's really going on here?
What's going on is that Andrew, in a sudden burst of lucidity I'm guessing, has looked around and now realizes just what sort of morally and intellectually squalid crowd he's hanging out with over on his side of the ideological divide, and he's not all that happy about it. But that's too bad. Those folks have claimed the word "conservative" and, by God, they're welcome to it.
But now that those folks have so thoroughly soiled their sandbox, we have people like Andrew who are gazing wistfully across the divide and hoping that maybe, just maybe, they can sneak over quietly and steal a little fresh sand so they can have a clean place to play again.
Forget it, dude. That's your right-wing, turd-filled sandbox over there. You helped create it, so you better get used to living in it. You don't get to redefine the discourse by redefining the words. Deal with it.