Coleman Young, the late mayor of Detroit, upon being told by a Japanese interpreter that the same word in Japanese could mean many different things depending on how the speaker said it, Coleman Y. replied, We have a word like that in English -- it's motherfucker. Long-time Detroiters know Mr. Young's fondness for this word; dare I say it was probably his favorite? When asked what my favorite word is, I used to say melancholy. As a child, I loved telling people how melancholy I was, how melancholy the world felt, and so on. But if my grubby little feet were held to the fire, I'd have to say that my favorite word is evil. I use it to mean almost everything: happiness, disgust, delight, sympathy. You're so evil, I might say. If I hit you and laugh, this is a good sign. But if I say it with a flat intonation, like death not even warmed over, I think you're an asshole.
Stephen King wrote that if night didn't exist, horror writers would have to invent it. So it goes with evil even though I don't hear many people use the word anymore. I fear it's fallen out of fashion, like shoulderpads. One of my pet peeves is watered-down clinical language, although I'm as guilty of using it as anyone else -- ie, What a passive-aggressive motherfucker! I have to admit a fondness for old-fashioned language; nobody had poor boundary issues --they just got into your shit or fucked with your head. They were, in a word, evil. That's the kind of thing I like to say -- it can mean anything or nothing or everything. You can bring your own burdens to the table; there's enough food for everyone.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Silence may be as variously shaded as speech." Edith Wharton
Drinking music suggestion: Magic Potion The Black Keys
Benedictions and Maledictions
21 days until The Sopranos airs!