Time for a mini-rant because, like the late, great George Carlin, I don’t have pet peeves: I have a zoo of major fucking psychoses.
I’d like us, as a people, to reclaim the noun “conversation”. To my old-fashioned way of thinking, a “conversation” is an exchange of ideas between two interested and engaged parties. I love a good conversation. They don’t happen often enough. I want to hear what you have to say, and if I have something meaningful to say in reply, I’d like to share it with you. Hurray, conversation.
However, in our increasingly pathetic and politically-correct world, this poor noun has been mutated into something more along these lines:
(Note: I’m not going to get distracted by the article’s reference to “the beauty”, as I’d like to stay on point here).
I’ve seen “conversation” used like this far too often. It’s kind of like the word “community”. Community used to be synonymous with neighborhood. Now, whenever I hear someone utter the word community, I know they are referring to some urban shithole where a murder has taken place recently and they’re trying to pretend the unfortunates who live there have some kind of mutually-beneficial cohesion.
Anyway, back to the conversation: what irks me about the aforementioned usage is the misplaced assumption that I (and anyone else) is an interested counterparty. I, frankly, don’t give a shit what happened to Bruce Jenner’s dick, who he/she is contemplating having sexual congress with, and what his/her ballroom gown looks like. I honestly. Don’t. Care.
My apathy extends all the way to complete non-interference in the rights of such a person. Bruce Jenner has his life to lead, and I have mine. The difference is, if I decide to get both my nipples pierced, have a third leg surgically attached to my buttocks, and legally change my name to Aloicious Pisswhistle, I’m not going to expect you to have a “conversation” with me. You can think what you want (“wow, Tim Knight is pretty messed up”) but no one should compel you to chit chat with me about my deeply personal problems.
How refreshing it would be to instead read “Caitlyn” say something closer to this: “Hey, everybody. Look, I sort of fell out of the public eye once people stopped eating Wheaties, and I’m glad to have a second career as a reality show freak. My show on the E! network has been picked up for another season, so I’m hoping to keep milking my relevance for as long as I possibly can. Thanks for paying attention to me, and drop me an email if you get any ideas for other weird shit I can pull to capture the public’s curiosity.”
Now that would be an interesting conversation.