Sticks and Stones

My writing career began with criticism. In Catholic grade school I was reprimanded for using the word ‘crummy’ in an essay about school. The nun explained, less than kindly, the word wasn’t in the dictionary and therefore couldn’t be used. The word crumbly wasn’t a fit substitute so my essay was deemed a failure. I somehow got the nerve to ask if I could read it out loud to the class and perhaps over confident in my impending doom she allowed me to proceed. Every kid in the class knew exactly what I was talking about and my crummy paper suceeded in undermining both the education system and Webster’s as the final authority on lingo.

 

Fifty five years later the current administration is applying a censoring approach to official documents that might befuddle even my sixth grade grammar teacher. It seems the words ‘scientific evidence’ have fallen out of favor with the ruling class and will no longer be tolerated in official documents, especially the ones proported to deal with the effects of air pollution on the health of infants and young children.

 

What a marvelous time to be a writer. The pen is being challenged in it’s long assumed primacy over the sword, or what ever blunt instrument that serves ignorance is currently in vogue. To be a powerful writer these days one simply must write a letter to a member of Congress. Perhaps include some scientific evidence in your letter, and as one thing leads to another it might not even matter which scientific fact you include as they are probably all on the short list of being naughty or nice.

 

My mother used to say, “Don’t believe everything you hear, about half of what you read, but believe everything you smell.” When it comes to fossil fuel lobbyists and a mis-representational Government trying to disguise the quality of our air and drinking water by discriminatory word choice I’d suggest what we’re smelling is a rat.