Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Language Cop Rant

I went to the movies last night. Shocking, I know. I had a wild night out - but was home before 10. My girlfriend suggested Contagion and something else heavy and I gave both the thumbs down. I don't get to go to the movies very often and I want to either see an excellent drama or escape completely. I didn't get either.

She had already seen the movies I was most interested in and we settled on My Idiot Brother.  I love Paul Rudd and the SF Chronicle actually gave it a good review. (That should have been my first clue.) Allow me to assist you here. Save yourself the time and money.It's a forgettable piece of junk. The movie should have been called "I'm a nice guy with three sisters who lead screwed up lives and blame me for their problems." I do still love Paul Rudd, though. In this movie his character is kind and so trusting that he's socially clueless. He speaks the truth but won't hurt anybody. There is no disability here at all, he's just sort of a true hippie out of time.

Whey then would I bother you with any information about this movie.

Because a Hollywood movie made in 2011 used the word "R" word at least twice. Really? Still?  Because of his innocence and social cluelessness other characters refer to him as "retarded." At one point he smiles and nods and says "I get that a lot."   I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I searched through my giant bag to see if by chance I had and tomatoes I could throw at the screen but all I could find were feeding tubes.

If anyone still needs a lecture, here you go. Think before you speak folks. Think about the words that are coming out of your mouth and what effect they have on others. If you have to call somebody names, at least use words that make sense.For additional ranting by me on this subject, click on the Language Cop tab at the end of this post. Or for an official viewpoint join Spread the Word to End the Word

The R word is pejorative and hurtful. Don't use it. Correct other who use it. It is a slam against people with intellectual disabilities and puts up another wall that society has been trying to break down for many years.  People who use it as a synonym for "stupid" sound ridiculous, childish and idiotic.  

Because I am sounding so preachy I am just going to re post the link to Stephen Colbert's interview with Tim Shriver, the head of Special Olympics. The two of them say it so well. (I tried to embed the video, but I can't figure out how. There is a short ad first, but this is worthwhile watching. )

Other than that, though. it was a lovely evening.


  1. Me, too. And I saw it with my two best friends. Afterward, I said how uncomfortable that made me and there were awkward pauses and I felt queasy for the rest of our evening together. I hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

    Robert Rummel-Hudson has an awesome post on his blog about the word -- he's really written some serious, edgy stuff about it all.

  2. what I missed it i saw the movie now i have to wait till dvd/ apple tv

  3. Hi Sally, catching up your posts. When I'm golfing with my clients - I've told them they can say just about anything around me - except for the "R" word. I've heard it used on the golf course and they know it's banned when they play with me. Just my little way to spread the word.


Hi Maggie loves your comments. It may take a while for the comment to post, but you will see it eventually.