Tony Deyal | Blind Mice and Monkey Business | Remark


In Trinidad, unlike other Caribbean countries, a “mop” is not “a person employed to clean surfaces with a tool consisting of a bundle of thick string or a sponge attached to a handle”. Lise Winer, in her Dictionary of English / Creole of Trinidad and Tobago, says that a Trinidadian mop is “a person who likes to have free drinks.” What other English speaking countries call a scrounger, bum, mooch or cadger is a “mopper” in Trinidad because it begs for free alcohol and then wipes or cleans the last drop of rum in the bottle and, when it gets home ” drunk and messy, ”as the Mighty Sparrow would say, his wife mops with him.

In fact, it is Sparrow who, in his calypso Well-spoken moppers, led me to the language of “cleansing” and its global consequences. He sang, “Half the problems in today’s world / Comes from people who don’t know what to say / They like to use words that big and long / And they don’t know when they use them badly. ” For example, after enjoying their host’s hospitality and wiping off all the alcohol, the Mopper ends his farewell thanks with this farewell blessing and proper praise. , “May his friends bring him joy and frustration / Impose on him and raise him to degradation / He is a good, cheerful boy and a nice outcast / Unscrupulous and always inconsiderate.”

In his own way, even if there is (we hope) a huge gap between what he sings and what he wants to say, the “mopper” is a “sesquipedalist” or a person who loves words so much. very long that he uses them instead of small, more understandable and, most of the time, more appropriate words. There is a theological joke of a Jesuit priest who taught a college course on the New Testament. He said, “Jesus was walking along the Sea of ​​Galilee when he turned to Simon Peter and asked him, ‘Who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered him: “Why are you the Christ, the Son of the living God?” Jesus was so pleased with Peter’s response that he promoted Peter to lead the disciples. Then Jesus turned to modern day theologians and asked them, “Who do you say I am? And they replied: “Why are you the eschatological manifestation of the foundation of our being, the kerygma which finds its fulfillment in interpersonal relationships?” And a stunned Jesus replied, “What? “


Fortunately, unlike me and others of my ilk, Jesus stuck to a four-letter word. I certainly would have used more, not as a drunken mop when the rum runs out but because I love the English language. For me, the best example of its power is the King James Bible which illustrates what we call in the field of communication the “KISS” principle: Keep It Short and Simple. Unfortunately, new constraints on language, political correctness and political obscuration, modify it far beyond recognition and even logic.

In the new world of political correctness, “a person of color” is someone who is not considered “white”. It is wrong to say “fat” unless it is from beef, pork or an edible animal. The term politically correct when applied to people of substantial substance is not even “stout”, it is “horizontally disadvantaged”. “Ladies and Gentlemen” is now “Everyone”; “Lost” is “geographically disoriented”; a “man in the street” is an “average person”; and “labor” is “labor”. What was once a problem is now an “opportunity,” a “challenge,” or both, and a “gender reassignment” is gender reassignment surgery (SRS). Even if you do not agree with me, what I just said here is not “wrong”, it is simply “otherwise logical”. I can no longer scratch the few strands of hair that remain on my bald head until I come to terms with the fact that I am now “madly challenged” and if I thank the Almighty at all, it is not. not as a “senior citizen”, but as a senior citizen.

Not everyone has adopted or accepted this new political correctness environment. English actor and comedian John Cleese reckons, “The idea that you need to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely disagree with.” Lee Kuan Yew, the former president of Singapore, seems to think, like us in the Caribbean, that “right is not always right”. He admits that he has always tried to be correct but not politically correct. Chris Rock, in an interview with Vulture magazine, explained why he stopped doing college shows. He considered them “too conservative” not in their political opinions but “in their social opinions and their desire not to offend anyone.” He pointed out, “You can’t even be offensive to become harmless. “


I believe that very soon we will have to resort to obfuscation even when telling stories outside of school. For example, a human female, extremely captive and prone to opposing and ambivalent behaviors, was questioned about the dynamic state of her cultivated land used for the production of various types of flora. Tract components have been enumerated as producing agents of silvery tone, a rare species of oceanic growth, and young female pulchritudinous cells located in a linear orientation. It all comes down to the answer to the question asked in the Nursery Rhyme: “Marie, Marie, quite the opposite / How does your garden grow?” / With silver bells and seashells / And pretty maids all in a row.

These changes, demands and insecurity in plain English remind me of a story I once read in my first year of primary school and 40 years later saw this politically correct version. A triumvirate of murine rodents completely devoid of ophthalmic acuity has been observed in a state of rapid locomotion in pursuit of an uxorial auxiliary of an agronomist. Said auxiliary therefore performed a triple tail docking using a sharp bladed instrument generally used for the subdivision of edible tissue. In other words, “Three blind mice / See how they run / They all ran after the farmer’s wife, / Who cut their tails off with a carving knife, / Have you ever seen such a thing in your life, / Like three blind mice? “

Tony Deyal was last seen saying that political correctness reminds him of the three blind mice looking for three wise monkeys to teach them to see nothing, hear no harm and say nothing. Send feedback to [email protected]


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