CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Sticks and Stones (and Words) Can Really Hurt

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

The other day I accidentally caught a segment of Fox News. Maybe I should add unfortunately, as well. It came as no surprise a panel of executioners was flogging Obamacare and its namesake. I had an urge to return to grammar school playground days when the brave response would have been, “Liar, liar, your pants on fire!” That urge quickly passed as it would have made me as juvenile as they. But I guess where Fox is concerned, it’s par for the course. No, I ain’t no flaming leftist liberal, but do wonder how and why they are so popular.

CR2S does not think our president is the greatest thing since miso-shiru; but he didn’t start our last two wars and hopefully can forestall what could be two more. I also wonder if any modern-day politician, including state and locals, believe in Lincoln’s  “Honesty is the best policy” policy. Unfortunately, modern-day adages from AD (After Dinosaurs) to BC (By Computers) are more along the line of “Greed is good.”

All of which is relevant to nothing except it gives me subject matter for this 03-12-14 compilation.  I had definitely made up my mind to put the Keiro  Senior Health Care brouhaha aside for at least a week.  Only to receive a message that, among the printable charges, claimed I was “less than an honest journalist,” “a paid mouthpiece” and sigh, a hurtful “pretending to be a know-it-all.” Which immediately brought to mind a most appropriate saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

T’ain’t so, McGee. Words can be as hurtful as a spinal fusion, or maybe worse, dropping a doohickey down your gullet that doesn’t belong there. Of course, pain is relative and differs from person to Putin. Some can suffer with more aplomb and bravery. Once in post-op, I was next to a lady (with a curtain betwixt) who cried “Ten!” in answer to every inquiry regarding level of pain. The doctor told me later she cried “Ten” even when not being probed. Call it whatever you like, sensitivity or thin-skinned, but I guess hurt is hurt whether hit by a foul ball or a foul word. But journalists are supposed to be immune.

There are worse things than being called a know-it-all. That could mean being anything from an arrogant egoist to a conceited blowhard. Someone who thinks his s–t don’t stink, to put it in another context. All of which might correctly define Crossroads to Somewhere. Guilty, but not always. What hurt was the qualifying “pretending to be.”

As you might guess, the bulk of my mail is warm and positive, as are public encounters with loyal readers. [I do have a rejoinder if someone ever expresses a dislike of what and how I write.] I guess if someone is going to pick up pen or pencil or flip on the computer, odds are it would be to compliment rather than condemn. [Unless you watch Fox News.] It’s more the norm to be complimentary; you have to be awfully upset to be mean and venomous with words.

CR2S is ready and willing to confront criticism and deflect detractors because, well, in most cases it’s a simple matter of being right. Accepting plaudits and paeans, on the other hand, becomes very easy. So I guess I’ll continue to muse rather than evaluate, even ponder. I still haven’t confronted the charge of being a “know-it-all,” have I? [Would it further enrage if I confess to doing crossword puzzles with a pen? And then redeem myself by admitting the Saturday challenges are always extremely difficult and I use a pencil?]

As mentioned before, CR2S criticism seems to come only from males. Really not amazing, but interesting. The fairer sex, in the old days, was expected to dash off thank-you notes, send appropriate cards and letters; just another assumption they were  “she” duties. Don’t know why. Maybe it’s considered effeminate to remember a birthday or anniversary. I guess that’s why cards for all occasions were once so popular. [But a question: Why do practically **all** of history’s great writings come from the pen of X-chromosomers? Allegedly.]

Why should being sentimental and emotional be strictly feminine traits? A long time ago, with not much to offer, especially money or a future, I won a wife. [Which admittedly is yet another CR2S never no mind, but it was an accomplishment in mine eyes.]

While in this somber, reflective mood, Confession #88:  Even though the helter-skelter days are over, as is the carousing and gazing at the moon, the desire to write remains intact. A blessing. But as the future grows shorter, the only questions are how well and for how long?

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[Late Bulletin:  I  hate to leave the philosophical mood we’re in — not exactly the lyrics of a Grammy winner — but the backroom activity of some “community-minded” Sansei, purportedly concerned with the future of Keiro,  deserve identity and comment: Due diligence and common sense are suggested before you rise in indignation and protest,  by way of, gasp, class-action litigation. How American! And dumb!] 

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of  The Rafu Shimpo.

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