I read a lot of other people’s blogs for a lot of reasons. As an old writing teacher and retired Grammar Nazi, I love to see where writers are on the talent spectrum. I have read everything from the philosophy of Camus and Kant to the beginning writing of ESL kids who are illiterate in two languages. I view it like a vast flower garden of varied posies where even the weeds can be considered beautiful. And like rare species of flower, I notice that many of the best blossoms out there in the blogosphere are consistent with their coloring and patterns. In other words, they have a theme.
So, do I have an over-all theme for my blog? It isn’t purely poetical like some of the poetry blogs I like to read. I really only write comically bad poetry. It has photos in it, but it isn’t anything like some of the photography blogs I follow. They actually know how to photograph stuff and make it look perfect and pretty. It is not strictly an art blog. I do a lot of drawing and cartooning and inflict it upon you in this blog. But I am not a professional artist and can’t hold a candle to some of the painters and artists I follow and sometimes even post about. I enjoy calling Trump President Pumpkinhead, but I can’t say that my blog is a political humor blog, or that I am even passable as a humorous political commentator.
One thing that I can definitely say is that I was once a teacher. I was one of those organizers and explainers who stand in front of diverse groups of kids five days a week for six shows a day and try to make them understand a little something. Something wise. Something wonderful. Something new. Look at the video above if you haven’t already watched it. Not only does it give you a sense of the power of holding the big pencil, it teaches you something you probably didn’t realize before with so much more than mere words.
But can I say this is an education blog? No. It is far too silly and pointless to be that. If you want a real education blog, you have to look for someone like Diane Ravitch’s blog. Education is a more serious and sober topic than Mickey.
By the way, were you worried about the poor bunny in that first cartoon getting eaten by the fox and the bear? Well, maybe this point from that conversation can put your mind at ease.
Mickey is tricky and gets good mileage out of his cartoons.
You may have gotten the idea that I like Bobby McFerrin by this point in my post. It is true. Pure genius and raw creative talent fascinate me. Is that the end point of my journey to an answer about what the heck this blog is about? Perhaps. As good an answer as any. But I think the question is still open for debate. It is the journey from thought through many thoughts to theme that make it all fun. And I don’t anticipate that journey actually ending anytime soon.
Yesterday’s post got me thinking about how words and the power behind words can actually hurt people. They can you know. Words like “brainiac”, “bookworm”, “nerd”, “spaz”, “geek”, and “absent-minded professor” were used as weapons against me to make me cry and warp my self-image when I was a mere unformed boy. I do not deny that I was smarter than the average kid. I also recognize that my lot in life was probably better than that of people assaulted with words like “fatty”, “moron”, “loser”, and “queer”. Being skinny as a child, there was actually only one of those deadly words that was never flung my direction. Words like that have the power, not only to hurt, but even to cripple and kill.
We all stand naked at times before a jury of our peers, and often they decide to throw stones.
I try to commit acts of humor in this blog. Or, at least, acts of verbal nit-witted goofiness that make at least me laugh. I have been told by readers and students and those forced to listen that I only think I am funny, and I am a hopelessly silly and pointless old man (a special thank you to Miss Angela for that last example, used to tell me off in front of a science class I was substitute teaching years ago.) But those words do not hurt me. I am immune to their power because I know what the words mean and I am wizard enough to shape, direct, and control their power.
I have stated before that I don’t approve of insult humor (usually right before calling Trump a pumpkin-head, or otherwise insulting other members of the ruling Empire of Evil Idiots). And I don’t mean to shame others or make them feel belittled by my writing. But sometimes it happens and can’t be helped.
This blog isn’t about entertainment. I am not a stand-up comedian working on joke material. I use this blog as a laboratory for creating words and ideas. It is mostly raw material that I mean to shape into gemstones that can be used to decorate or structurally support my crown jewel novels. I use it to piece ideas together… stitch metaphors and bake gooseberry pies of unusual thinking. I use it to reflect on what I have written and what I have been working on. And sometimes, like today, I use it to reflect on how readers take what I have written and respond or use it for ideas of their own. That’s why I never reject or delete comments. They are useful, even when they are barbed and stinging. I made an entire post out of them yesterday.
I try hard myself to be tough in the face of hurtful words. You have to learn that essential Superman skill to be a middle school and high school teacher. It is there in those foundries for word-bullets that the most hurtful words are regularly wielded. The skill is useful for when you need the word-bullets to bounce off you, especially if you are standing between the shooter and someone else. But I can never feel completely safe. Some words are kryptonite and will harm me no matter what I do. Some words you simply must avoid.
Anyway, there is my essay on hurtful words. If you want to consider all of that being my two cents on the matter… well, I probably owe you a dollar fifty-five.
Filed under angry rant, blog posting, commentary, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, William Shakespeare, wisdom, word games, wordplay, writing humor
Tagged as humor, hurtful words, insult humor, resisting hurtful words