The other night my teenage son #2 and I were watching Last Man Standing. For some reason, he started trying to sing a tune but he couldn’t quite get it. “What’s that song that goes ‘Pretty Woman, pretty woman…?'” I realized he was trying for Roy Orbison’s tune, Pretty Woman. I started singing, “Pretty Woman, walking down the street. Pretty Woman–”
And as I’m about to belt out, “The kind I’d like to meet,” he, with the supreme confidence of the Ultimate Being (AKA, a teenager), jumps in with, “Lookin’ at my feet. Pretty woman, don’t take my sheet.”
I thought I was going to die.
Literally, tears of laughter came from my eyes and I couldn’t breathe. Then he started laughing because he knew he’d somehow royally goofed up. And that made it worse. My son has a laugh that sounds like the needle got stuck on a .45 rpm of Farm Noises.
I nearly passed out from oxygen starvation.
After I dried my eyes, though, I got to thinking how fragile history is. I think Reagan said liberty was only one generation away from extinction. I was horrified and humbled by how much my children don’t know and how self-absorbed they (and this generation) are.
No wonder God’s Word regarding his law says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut 6:7
I think we should also make the effort to teach them about the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Before it’s too late. Violence across America is, in my opinion, being carefully orchestrated. Yes, there is a good cause in the mix, but it’s being used like a chess piece to accomplish a nefarious goal.
Suddenly we can skip social distancing to protest, but some of us still can’t go to church?
I think our country and everything we value is under attack. Teach your children about the Lord, but don’t forget to teach them about the blessings of Liberty–how precious and fragile they are!
As a nation, not only have we become deeply divided, but we’re divided over stupid things. Maybe–here’s a crazy thought–if we were a little less sensitive we’d all get along a little better. Instead of scouring the universe for something that hurts our little feelings, maybe we could be more concerned with things that matter.
So, here’s the reason for my rant. I recently read an article (Writing with Color Description Guide Part One) that said writers shouldn’t use words like chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, cocoa, etc. to describe a Person of Color. Such descriptors are, according to this article’s author, fetishizing, dehumanizing, and my favorite (and I quote): these words are about aggression and appropriation and have links to colonialism.
You can’t, according to the writer, use coffee, for example, to describe someone’s skin color because it refers to slavery. You’re microaggressively trying to show your European dominance. I have to quote the writer again: “Cocoa. Coffee. They drove the slave trade. They still drive the slave trade.” (Underline is hers not mine.) In short, you are obviously a racist if you use the word coffee to describe an African American’s skin tone. Give me a break.
BUT, we can use words like peachy and milky to describe whites–because, according to the article’s author, whites aren’t people of color. Furthermore, she says it’s okay to say Olive-toned (Olives have no historical connection to slavery?). She also says it’s okay to use other foodie descriptors like wheat, soybean…wait, what? Soybean?
I’m pretty sure a stranger would be offended if I described her skin as a warm soybean color. Now THAT is dehumanizing.
And just who does this writer suggest run the Politically Correct Botanical Comparison Police anyway? Her? Frankly, with stupid suggestions like “soybean,” someone needs to take her badge away.
I LOVE coffee. I am pretty sure that’s not because I’m a subconscious racist. Coffee smells like heaven. The texture is gritty and firm. The taste is warm, savory, and comforting. I could sleep on a bed of steamy milk. Anyone who walks into a Starbuck’s and inhales that heady aroma knows exactly what I’m talking about.
My point is rather than worrying about microaggressions or poor cliches in literature, people that live to be offended should try to be more constructive. That is if they truly want to make this a better world.
Instead of complaining about being called coffee, go have a cup with someone who has a different view of life from yours. Instead of acting like your elders’ march for civil rights didn’t break any barriers, let’s march together to end sex slave trafficking. Instead of whining about the way illegal immigrants are treated, study America’s history and look at what blessings members of the “melting pot” have added to the world.
I have a suspicion, though, the writer of “Writing with Color” would rather just go read Mark Twain and strikethrough all the offensive words. Maybe she’ll feel better but I doubt it.
How about you? Do you feel victimized by bad color metaphors or do you even give a rip as long as you can see the scene and the character?
(To be fair, the author in Part 2 she does offer some nice substitutes, but she clearly shies away from metaphors and similes, preferring to just use colors to describe characters).