There Are Words in This Life That Have a Visceral Thrust

Words that, in the proper context and the proper place, can open eyes and touch lives. Are meant to. Vile epithets meant to teach a moral lesson that transcends the time frame of the work it appears in. So what happens when political correctness tries to smother an American classic? When political correctness tries to tidy up the ugly sentiments expressed so eloquently in order to move hearts and right wrongs ~ to stare hatred and ignorance in the face?
Well, it becomes “To Kill a Mockingbird“…without ‘nigger’.

Controversy Over Actual Words In ” To Kill A Mockingbird”
…It’s a story about racial injustice during the great depression.
In the story, the “N” word is often used describing African Americans.
School leaders feel the message of the story is the same without using the “N” word.

A pivotal moment from the play…

Scout: Atticus, do you defend niggers?
Atticus Finch: [startled] Don’t say ‘nigger,’ Scout.
Scout: I didn’t say it… Cecil Jacobs did; that’s why I had to fight him.
Atticus Finch: [sternly] Scout, I don’t want you fightin’!
Scout: I had to, Atticus, he…
Atticus Finch: I don’t care what the reasons are: I forbid you to fight…
Atticus Finch: There are some things that you’re not old enough to understand just yet. There’s been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn’t do much about defending this man.
Scout: If you shouldn’t be defending him, then why are you doing it?
Atticus Finch: For a number of reasons. The main one is that if I didn’t, I couldn’t hold my head up in town. I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do somethin’ again.
[he puts his arm around her] Atticus Finch: You’re gonna hear some ugly talk about this in school. But I want you to promise me one thing: That you won’t get into fights over it, no matter what they say to you.

…loses it’s punch at the very beginning. There’s no need for Atticus to display revulsion when the substitute vile word pops out of Scout’s mouth, nor any need to sternly correct her. So why waste his breath on the rest?
Or Bob Ewell’s twisted visage ~ his malicious maw saying that word over and over, flung like the filthy spittle that eventually finds its way to Atticus’ cheek. Use the substitute word and…the audience wonders what all the fuss about. Ewell’s innate, monstrous inhumanity ~ the tangible baseness of his character ~ is stunted. As written, no one wants to be Bob Ewell! No one leaving the theater wants to be seen as a Bob Ewell. That’s the power of Harper Lee’s writing. But Bob Ewell with her words tidied up for modern, delicate ears?
He’s just another cranky guy in overalls.
Who spits.

7 Responses to “There Are Words in This Life That Have a Visceral Thrust”

  1. Gunslinger says:

    The same clowns who want to ditch the word nigger from “To Kill a Mockingbird” would probably go batshit if someone wanted to remove the word fuck from “The Catcher in the Rye”.

    Anyone who wants to “sanitize” the classics like this should be beaten in public with a hardback copy of “War and Peace”.

  2. It’s like George Carlin said. It’s not the word, it’s the racist bastard behind the word.

  3. And I trust they will do the same to all those rap songs?

  4. I would hope they wouldn’t do them as a school production, regardless of the sanitation level.
    If there’s hope they shoot them down at the copyright level, since they have sent a “may we please change the words for our production” letter. Hopefully, once the powers that be wipe the tears of hysterical laughter from their eyes and form a reply, it consists of “Leave it the fuck alone. Or don’t do it.”

  5. Skyler says:

    Another reason why we should abolish public schools and all forms of involvement of the government in education.

  6. memomachine says:

    What an absurd debate.
    I demand we replace every instance of the word “the” with “and”.
    Might as well considering how debased the writing would be.

  7. nightfly says:

    What and hell are you talking about, memo?

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