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Monday, April 25, 2005

Decency Revisited.

I was going to get on to 'hard working' next but no, I'm not finished with decent yet.

I think that the most irritating thing about the use of this word is the spurious inclusivity. That controlling way of saying it that somehow defines the speaker, you and anyone else who agrees with the point as 'us' and therefore 'decent' and anyone else as 'them' or scum. What's even worse though is the way people try to drag you into this decent consensus before they even expound their bigotry. You know? They start off with the 'decent hard working people' bit in a mild tone of voice that makes you the out of order one if you interupt and what can you say anyway?

"Whoa, don't count me in with your preconceived ideas about what's decent."

Well, of course, you can say something like that, but then you've started an argument, right? Or you can let them babble on and then disagree, but then you've committed an even worse sin, because not only have you lumped yourself in with the 'scum', you've thrown what is actually a friendly overture back in somebody's face. You've been invited into a clique and rejected the offer, because bigots don't tolerate dissent, you can't be part of the group and have dangerous liberal views.

Perhaps that is the real function of the phrase, as a sort of initiation test, you Know? If you answer correctly or even just passively accept being defined as 'decent', you're in and thereafter it's a sort of masonic handshake amongst the cognoscenti.

Still, it's time to have the arguments. It's time to stop being counted as supporters of right wing ideas just because we want to live and let live. So say it once and say it loud.

"I'm a disreputable lazy alien and I'm proud!"

Anyway, I feel a bit rough after the weekend's sex and drinking, so I'm going to have a hair of the dog and go back to bed.

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