What a bunch of crybabies we've become! You have many inherent rights, but the right not to be insulted isn't one of them. I frequently remind people that the Constitution does not require other people to live their lives in a way that makes you happy. Get over it!
Recently a video of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry went viral, showing her insulting a woman who worked at a towing impound lot where Ms. McHenry was attempting to retrieve her towed car. Ms. McHenry was suspended for a week for her comments, and many responses on social media were demanding that she be fired. I imagined a vulgar tirade laced with frequent use of the F-bomb. When they finally showed me the incriminating video I was unimpressed. She tells the woman that she has "no education, no skill set" and "So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing". She end her tirade with "Lose some weight Baby Girl".
I was shocked that this civil interaction was the cause of so many people's ire. Are some people over sensitive, or what? Britt never raises her voice. She never utters a vulgar word, and at least one of her statements is simple fact. Namely, that a college dropout could work at a towing impound lot. Her final statement about losing weight has certainly been uttered between girlfriends exchanging beauty tips, so Britt's comments can hardly be considered worthy of suspension.
JFK is reported to have said, "If you make peaceful revolution impossible, you make violent revolution inevitable". In a similar vein, one of the reasons we see so many murders and violent attacks in the news is because we've made it socially unacceptable to insult someone. We mustn't hurt anyone's feelings, now. Is it possible you've never heard "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? Would you rather be beaten and sent to the hospital, or insulted by someone who wasn't happy with you for some reason? (Fergetaboudit! It's a rhetorical question.)
Some of the best verbal exchanges have been insults. Winston Churchill participated in three that are world famous.
Mr. Churchill, you are drunk.
Madame, you are ugly.
Mr. Churchill, you are extremely drunk!
And you, Madame, are extremely ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober.
The second was an exchange between Lady Nancy Astor.and Churchill:
If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea,
Madam, if you were my wife, I'd drink it!
The third was in response to an invitation sent by George Bernard Shaw:
I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend ... if you have one.
Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one.
My favorite talk show host of all time is Dick Cavett. He had an incredibly sarcastic wit, and he could insult you with a smile, and it might take several seconds before you realized you had been skewered. Mr. Cavett says, "I haven't ever found any great writing on that wonderful and often unappreciated art form, the insult. There are two kinds of insult. 'I was bored by your book' is one kind. 'Your book? Once I put it down, I couldn’t pick it up,' is the other." I wish I were personal friends with Dick Cavett so he could help me hone my talent for telling the uncomfortable truth. Here are some quotes by Mr. Cavett. If you find any of them offensive, it may be due to the fact that you believe it to be true of yourself. "If the shoe fits..." the saying goes.
* Every time I nostalgically try to regain my liking of John McCain, he reaches into his sleaze bag and pulls out something malodorous.
* I felt bad when George Bush was booed. But only briefly. My sympathy for that man has a half-life of about four seconds.
* My IQ is somewhere between Spiro Agnew's and Albert Einstein's.
* Do freshman philosophy classes nowadays debate updated versions of the age-old questions? Like, how could a merciful God allow AIDS, childhood cancers, tsunamis and Dick Cheney?
** [Dick Cheney once quipped, "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion."]
* I have yet to see one of those Comedy Central shows with multiple standup comics that doesn't include someone the size of the Hindenberg.
* I confess, I do have to remind myself almost daily that there are people on this earth capable of reading, writing, eating and dressing themselves who believe their lives are ruled from billions of miles away, by the stars - and, of course, the planets.
* Every time someone says, 'You know, we really ought to get together,' if I were really honest, I would ask 'Why?'
* Lawyers work hard and, like us, they're human, many of them.
* As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.
Another person famous for his rapier wit is Mark Twain. Here are some of his more famous utterances"
* I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
* He was endowed with a stupidity which by the least little stretch would go around the globe four times and tie.
* Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
* One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity there ain't nothing can beat teamwork.
* If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
* The trouble is that the stupid people -- who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations -- do believe and are molded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper.
* He wasn't a very heavy weight, intellectually. His head was an hour-glass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once.
* Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.
I don't insult people often because it generally alienates the very people I'm trying to teach. Most of my insults are directed toward those individuals who are "not living up to their intellectual potential". From time to time you'll hear me utter:
You've got the brains of a virus.
I've eaten pieces of broccoli smarter than you are.
My friend, you're swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool.
My point is this. Everyone is going to disagree with someone else sooner or later. Isn't it better to use the intellectual approach and sling insults, rather than engage in physical combat that will result in one person going to the hospital, and the other person going to jail? Intelligent insults are far more sophisticated than primitive violence. So here's your chance to practice! Leave a comment expressing your favorite insult. You are welcome to use me as a target if you want to avoid hurting someone else's feelings. I am trying to raise the intellectual level of our discord. Therefore, all insults risk being critiqued by me, and any vulgar comments will simply not get published. Anyone leaving an excellent insult that I hope to use in the future will get a free copy of Secret to Sovereignty.