Words. Those seemingly innocuous things rolling off the tongue bringing to life thoughts, ideas, laughter, hope, faith, despair, and every manner of emotion. Some words enlighten, some encourage, some offend, and in the English language there are words so deeply offensive to some, they can never, ever be spoken.
The "N" word.
The "F" word.
The "C" word.
We abbreviate offensive words, you know, in the interest of decency and decorum. But so ingrained into society, these abbreviations need no secret decoder ring. We know what they are. We know the devastating impact they have when hurled like a Nolan Ryan fastball at someone's head.
This weekend I watched a re-air of The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe. And with jaw agape, I sat stunned as panelist after panelist unleashed the "C" word 19 times at fellow "roaster," Ann Coulter. No abbreviation. The full word, in all its misogynistic glory.
No decency nor decorum here.
Yes, a roast, by nature, is void of decency and decorum. That's what makes them fun. It's good-natured teasing, at least it was when Dean Martin held them. But there's good-natured teasing and then there's disgusting, mean-spirited diatribe tossed around by witless hacks too tired, lazy, or morally-corrupt to come up with a more intelligent insult.
Look, I'm no big fan of Ann Coulter. The ire she attracts, she invites. Truth be told, I'm not sure whether she has a permanent seat on the 2:15 crazy train from Union Station or if she's just a genius at guerrilla marketing her books.
No matter. No woman, regardless of whether she tries to prove she is one, should ever be called a "c*%t."
It's not funny. It's not whimsical. It's not comedy.
It's sexist, vile, and dare I say, offensive.
There are a million ways to levy an insult at Ann Coulter. God knows she provides enough material. Her head is so far up Donald Trump's rear, when he poops it looks like a 6' Cheeto, until he realizes, "Oh, never mind, it's just Ann." Look at that, I insulted Ann Coulter without using the "C" word. See, it is possible. If I can do it, imagine if actual, talented comedians made the effort on Comedy Central.
But this never was about comedy. It was about political ideologists, and not very bright ones, using the dais as a platform for partisan hate.
Can you imagine the widespread vitriol had it been say, Rachel Maddow targeted as a c*%t on that panel? The condemnation of the offending parties would have spewed like a sonic gusher of intolerance. But if the object for insult stands on the other side of the aisle, game on!
To Coulter's credit, she's rebuffed the embrace of the victim mentality, subscribing to the oft-cited mom credo, "sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you." But just because she's tough enough to reject offense, doesn't make a shameful display of hatred and vulgarity in the form of a repugnant word O-K.
This assuredly won't be the last time we see this sort of the thing, in the meantime, Comedy Central, see you next Tuesday.