The featured photo is a screenshot of a t-shirt available on Amazon. I might have to buy one of those…
Good morning, y’all. I feel better this morning than I did yesterday, although I’m currently in the middle of stimulating the economy by making a few major purchases. Yesterday, as I mentioned in my travel blog, I bought a new washer and dryer. And today, we’re going to go to AAFES and, perhaps, come home with a new TV for the bedroom. I already explained what happened with our old washer, and as long as I’m upgrading the washer, I figure I might as well upgrade the dryer, too. The old one works, but it sucks.
As for the TV… the one we have is ten years old. We bought it at a Target in Texas. It was working fine until a few days ago, when the volume bar suddenly went kerfluey. First, it randomly went up to 100, then down to zero. The volume itself wasn’t affected, since I use Apple TV for controlling that, but now there’s a permanent volume bar graphic on the screen that won’t go away. It’s very annoying.
Then, when I try to use the remote to change the settings, it barely responds. We’ve replaced the batteries twice with no improvement, so it seems to be the actual remote that’s the issue, not dying batteries. We paid about $300 for the TV in 2013, so I think we’ll just look and see if we can find another of about the same size, with a similar platform– one in the middle, so it fits on my dresser. We have sloped walls in the bedroom, which makes fitting things like TVs challenging. A lot of TVs have “feet” on either side, which doesn’t work if you have to angle the television. One side’s “feet” will hang off the side of the dresser. And we don’t want to mount it on the wall.
Bill is also planning to brew beer. Yesterday, he ground some barley with a mill someone gave him when we lived in Stuttgart. Our Sunday looks like it could be busy, albeit mundane. I also have big plans to get some more mascara for my rare in person adventures. 😉
Now… on to today’s topic.
Some readers might know that in 2020, when COVID was upending everyone’s lives, I started learning how to play guitar. I joined Fender Play, which is an app that teaches basic guitar skills. I also joined their Facebook group, where instructors answer questions and other new and old guitar players hang out and trade tips, show off new gear, and tell guitar jokes. I don’t participate in the group very much now, nor do I use Fender Play anymore. Now, I mostly go to Chordify and try to play songs that intrigue me.
The Fender Facebook group is usually friendly and encouraging, although sometimes people get political or otherwise offensive. The mods are usually pretty good at shutting down negative stuff quickly. But I did run across an interesting exchange yesterday that continued this morning. It gave me pause.
Some of my friends know, at times I can be a bit of of a spelling/grammar snob. I can’t help it. I do get annoyed by misspellings and grammar errors. However, I’ve mostly learned not to be too vocal about my annoyance, since people tend to frown on it. There are exceptions, of course. Like, for instance, a few years ago, I got irritated in the Duggar Family News group because so many people were claiming to be experts on HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). However, they kept spelling it HIPPA– which makes some sense, since HIPAA is pronounced like “hippo”, only with an “a” at the end.
When I posted the correct acronym (not specifically calling anyone out), someone tagged me and told me I was WRONG… when, in fact, THEY were wrong. All it took to discover the proper spelling was a very quick Googling– not even two minutes. I DO think this is important, by the way. Especially since it takes so little to get it right. Not looking up something before you insist you’re correct is just plain laziness. On the other hand, as I look at all the dust in my house, I guess I can’t speak for too long about that.
So anyway, I ran across this discussion in the Fender Play Facebook group. A guy had run across a pretty blue Squier guitar. Squier is a low priced guitar manufacturer, but this fellow had found a guitar in an unusual color. He wanted to know if the color added to the value of the instrument. And he had the temerity to spell the brand name “Squire”. Someone called him out.
Now… I don’t blame the OP for being annoyed about the correction. The person who called him out did seem a little “pissy”… or “zickig” (bitchy), as they say in Germany. However, I sympathize with being annoyed by misspellings. Some of us just are.
Aside from that, the fact that he discounts her comment by referencing the method of getting children to show how and where they’ve been abused is pretty gross, too. It demonstrates a certain lack of empathy for others. Using a doll to help children report abuse is a serious thing, as is child abuse of all kinds… particularly the kind that typically gets reported through the use of special dolls.
Anyway… the guy didn’t buy the above guitar. Instead, he bought the one below. Apparently, it wasn’t enough to just share the photo of the new gear, he felt compelled to call out the spelling “Nazis”. Note the edit. He got called out again.
Unfortunately, just as people have co-opted names like Karen, Becky, Susan, Dick, John, and Peter to mean something gross or derogatory, the term “Nazi” has come to mean people who are extreme about certain things. But if you think about it, it really is a pretty awful misuse of the word. I suspect people use the word “Nazi” without knowing too much about the history of what happened during the Holocaust and the sheer horror of it. It was 80 years ago, and a lot of those who were around then are now long dead. But the descendants of the survivors are still here… and it is hurtful to them to think about how their family members, loved ones, and friends were systematically murdered just for being who they were.
I can understand people wanting to be able to toss around whatever language they want to without being questioned or harassed. Extreme political correctness can be very annoying. At the same time, I can also understand why the casual use of the term “Nazi” is hurtful. It minimizes something truly awful… and something, which really, if you consider it for longer than a moment, didn’t happen that long ago. And it’s something that can happen again, if we aren’t careful.
A few years ago, I inadvertently upset a former Facebook friend and Trump supporter because I likened Trump to Hitler. She was offended because she wrongly assumed I was comparing Trump’s actions to what Hitler actually did before he died. I wasn’t doing that at all. I was comparing Trump’s rise to the way Hitler rose, and the way he spins up crowds, mainly for the same reasons. Like Hitler, Trump targets a certain demographic– people who are disenfranchised and, deep down, scared. Trump’s tough talk of conquering and being “first” makes those people feel powerful and emboldened. And you can see what happens when people fall too deeply under Trump’s spell. A few people have ended up dead. Some are now in prison. And some will probably either die or go to prison as Trump’s legal fate is determined.
I fear that if Trump isn’t stopped, we could end up with another situation like the Holocaust. Maybe it wouldn’t be carried out in the same gruesome way, but the end result could be the same. Many innocent people could be persecuted, injured, or killed, simply for being who they are. Remember… the Nazi movement started off small and eventually progressed to what it was. Just because Trump hasn’t killed masses of people yet, that doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t… or that one of his successors won’t. Trump himself might be too old, at this point, but he’s emboldened a lot of people who could follow his lead, if we don’t stop him from seizing control of our democracy.
My former friend was deeply offended, and accused me of being disrespectful to Jews by comparing Trump to Hitler. Actually, I think by issuing a warning about Trump, I’m being very respectful to Hitler’s victims, who weren’t just Jews. I don’t want to see another Holocaust, or other genocidal event. It’s kind of like the early detection of cancer. You have to be vigilant and watch for the signs, otherwise, the disease process will progress until it’s too late, and there’s a significant loss of health or even one’s life… or perhaps your country as you know it.
Conservatives consider it “hateful” to compare Trump to Hitler. But I don’t think they’re considering where the comparison comes from. If you see someone spinning up a crowd, using the same language and speaking style as a fascist dictator, the comparisons are inevitable. And they aren’t hateful if they’re based in truth. Trump isn’t a literal murderer… yet, or that I know of… but he’s definitely demonstrated an unhinged and insatiable thirst for power, influence, and money. I fear that he’ll stop at nothing to get back in power, now that he’s had a taste of being the President of the United States. And if he gets back into power, there’s nothing to stop him from trying to change everything to suit his fantastic whims. This is the same man who, when he was told “No” during the January 6 insurrection, allegedly said, “I am the fucking President. Take me up to the Capitol, NOW!” Remember Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony.
So yes… language matters. Sensitivity to others matters. We should kindly and gently encourage empathy toward others, even if it is kind of annoying. And, for God’s sake, learn to spell. It’s so easy to do, especially in the Internet age. It just takes a moment to consult your favorite search engine.
Anyway… I didn’t mean to go so far off the rails with this post. I just hope it inspires some thought. I like a good swear word as much as anyone does, but minimizing and discounting other people’s discomfort is “not a good look”, as Trump would say. Using language to deliberately hurt or demoralize other people isn’t cool. I do agree, however, that people should handle language objections with sensitivity and kindness, rather than hostility and derision.
As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site. I don’t own the above t-shirt, but wanted to provide a link for those who might want one, not that I’m expecting that anyone will.