Reality Check: On the Word "Retarded."

Greetings puny Earthlings....

I noticed something while cruising the blogs of Dirty Harry, and Vox's friend the pop-culture maven Furious D, that there's a controversy brewing over the movie Tropic Thunder and it's use of the word "retard."

For the uninitiated the movie is a satire of movie stars and the movie business, and features Ben Stiller as a movie star with a sinking career who tries to get an Oscar nomination by making a film called "Simple Jack" where he plays a mentally handicapped farm hand, spewing the sort of holy fool treacly wisdom found only in Hollywood movies about the mentally handicapped.

Now the object of the satire is actors, their insensitivity, ignorance, egos, and hunger for awards, and this point is made by having the characters use the word "retard" in discussing their attempts to land Oscar gold.

Enter Timothy P. Shriver.

He's a Kennedy who inherited the leadership of the Special Olympics from his Mom, and he wants the movie boycotted, and the word "retard"* banned from the language by government fiat.

He's even bringing out some of the mentally challenged to protest the movie, the general injustice in society, and what I think is more important... INCREASED GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS.

I'm not questioning his motives, he might honestly be misguided into being offended by something meant to offend actors, but when you look at how the Kennedy clan operates, you can't help but think the word "ulterior" doesn't somehow fit into this situation.

We are talking about the same family where Joe Kennedy promotes Hugo Chavez's Citizen's Energy like it was a grand charitable gesture of noblesse oblige when in reality, he's pocketing $400,000 grand a year, and he had to take a pay cut, because his predecessor, Michael Kennedy, was pocketing over $600,000 a year in babysitter money.

I'm not saying that Timothy Shriver is up to anything wrong, at least not outside of destroying the right of free speech, I'm just saying that the way he's acting; the grandstanding, the manipulation of the intellectually challenged, the attention whoring, and the desire to tear up one of the fundamentals of western freedom, is just making me a tad suspicious.

Keep watching the skies, because we're watching you.

*(BTW: "Retard" really means "to hold back or delay" and was brought into the language to describe the mentally handicapped because it seemed nicer than "stupid" or "idiot" which were deemed cruel and malicious)


RT said...

Another case of people hearing about what is in a movie rather than seeing the movie and understanding the context, which as you pointed out, is the movie's satire of actors who do things just for the awards (like Sean Penn and his portrayal of someone with disabilities).

I'm going to see the movie tomorrow...looks funny as heck.

Marvin said...

Whatever one chooses to call mental retardation, the name will soon take on scorn. I was in school when the word special started being used for those poor disadvantaged souls, and minutes probably did not pass before everyone was making fun of special ed, and using the word special as a substitute for the word stupid.

We should just keep using the words, as ugly as they are, and instead of spending energy coming up with new names, try to educate about the need to be sensitive. The best place to learn that is Sunday School, but then hardly anbody sends their children there anymore.

Damian G. said...

Actually, my parish has a thriving Sunday School programme. The problem is it is very structured and by-the-book, not attendance.

Hello Birdy said...

I saw the movie last night and it's not great, but has a few good lines.

Meanwhile there may be more to this movie than just a bit of outrage by the retarded leftist ass-wipes who monitor our most minute activities and language.

Check it out here.

Anonymous said...

Tim Shriver IS a retard...