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Political correctness, terminology, and being retarded

·2981 words·14 mins

I recieved a comment recently from a fan (although I’m not sure if they will still be one after they read this) that took exception to my use of the word “retard” to describe some of the people I deal with on a daily basis.

Short Answer: Deal with it, I’m using retard.  Sorry that you are offended by it.  The site is the ANGRY pharmacist.  If you want political correctness this is not the place to go.  I’m not going to censor or take into consideration the 2% of the population that I might offend using the word ‘Retard’ on a site that is dedicated to venting about the public.  Even then, they themselves probably would not take offense, but people who want to be offended for them.

Long Answer: 
Being all gushy and PC about stuff like this really bugs the hell out of me, so I decided to make a rant about it.  There are a bunch of people who want the word “Retarded” stricken from the English language as a reference to someone who is diagnosed with Mental RETARDation (because the two obviously arent related).  They want to be called “Learners with Exceptionalities” or “Mentally Challenged”.  Yeah, lets call cancer “Abnormal Tissue Growth” – AIDS “Immunology Challenged” and schitzophrenia “Socially Unacceptable Thought Processes”  so we might not offend the people with that either. 

The world is not going to cater and wrap everything in foam and bubble-wrap for you.  Dont try to candy-coat something that is a serious issue.  Mental Retardation is not something that you can just put fancy/huggy words to make it “less offensive” and have it magically be somehow “better”.  I would be MORE insulted by people trying to side-step my condition rather than just call it what it is.  Just say what it is rather than trying not to offend me by blowing smoke up my ass.  A duck is a fucking duck, not some huggy words that I cant think of right now that would describe a duck.  Which brings me to my next point.

Just because I use a word on here does NOT mean that I’m using it in reference to a particular person, class of people, or your crazy uncle (whoops, i meant mentally abnormal uncle).  Nor does it mean that I am putting down a certain class of people.  You would think that some common sense would be implied here since you are reading this from a site called ‘The ANGRY Pharmacist’, but some people would be surprised to see naked boobs and cock on site called ‘HOT TEENS EAT BUTTHOLE’.

In closing, I’m sorry that you were offended, and as someone who (for a living) puts more medication into blister packs for people who are diagnosed with Mental RETARDation than you can shake a stick at (and also sorts them out when they punch out ALL the pills) you can rest soundly knowing that I think political correct terms for things are retarded.  Hey, at least they aren’t called Invalid’s anymore.

Here is a really good post on the issue I found on the LiveJournals.  You can find the original here:

_There’s a reason you aren’t offended: because people who are offended by humour suck.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: when someone tells a joke
that’s potentially offensive and you laugh, you’re either laughing at
the humour (the timing, the unexpected punchline, the fact that it’s
taboo) or the content (rape, murder, racism, sexism, etc.)

me, I assume people are laughing at the humour and not laughing at the
content. Why? Because there’s nothing genuinely funny about any of the
content. Racism itself isn’t funny, but racist jokes can be–and
people’s indignant reactions to them even more so.

However, when
someone draws a line–that is to say, when someone has a “sacred cow”,
like “racist jokes are funny but jokes about rape aren’t”, then I have
to assume that they’re not laughing at the humour. Otherwise, they’d
realise that both are funny. That leaves me with the intolerable belief
that they’re laughing at the content of the racist jokes.

minute you draw a line or decide that some subjects are just not
appropriate for humour, you’re saying that subject is somehow more
important than all the stuff you laughed at. It’s a definite implied
value judgment–AIDS jokes aren’t funny because AIDS is serious, but
jokes about rape are funny because rape somehow doesn’t matter.
Moreover, you’re saying that racist jokes are funny because racism is
funny, etc. These are not the sort of people I care to share a laugh

It’s the same philosophy Trey Parker and Matt Stone
follow. They’ve said over and over again with South Park that the
minute they decide something is off limits, then everything else
they’ve ever done becomes offensive.

In other words, be proud
and happy that you don’t have a “sensitive” issue. It means you’re not
a fucktard. Part of the reason I try to offend the offendable is that I
hope some day they’ll learn this lesson and join us on the side of
humour for humour’s sake.

Comments #

Comment by TAestP on 2008-04-05 23:34:23 -0700 #

Fuck yeah…and who was the first person to tell this jackhole to piss off? ME.
I hate that people get offended to shit. If people wouldn’t be such wussies and get offended to stupid shit, I could finally use my bit about having sex with that retarded midget shooting off fireworks out of her AIDS infested uterus.

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2008-04-06 07:05:24 -0700 #

Verbal political correctness is, to me, thought on a timeline. On old maps of a city I used to live in, the local “state hospital” used to be officially called the “lunatic asylum.” No one thinks of a psychiatric hospital in those terms today, but in 1897, that was the best phrase the state and local governments could come up with. I recall reading that, at one time, official technical gradations of mental retardation were “idiot,” “imbecile,” and “moron.” I even remember reading this list in the 1960s or 1970s, and questioning the use of such terms, since I always heard these words flung as insults, and never as diagnoses. Would someone take their laser pointer during a PowerPoint presentation and utter, “The morons were further evaluated…?”
It’s a timeline. As I get older, I see changes in terminology that seem impractical, but that is based upon my preconception of them. But, some of them I still have trouble accepting because they seem to have been imposed on me without anyone questioning their practicality. The Personnel Departments of businesses have become Human Resources Departments (it makes me picture people packaged in bottles on shelves; it also sounds a lot like the term “human waste;” do they distribute feces?). The name of the Admitting department of my hospital was recently changed to “Patient Access.” George Carlin does a brilliant routine about this tyranny of nomenclature, tracing the term “shell shock” as it became “battle fatigue” and then “post-traumatic stress disorder.” He said that, if we had retained the term “shell shock,” perhaps veterans would get the treatment they need for the malady!
If you are 20 or 25 years old, you may not see this tyranny of words. I’m 56, so I do. The phrase “mentally challenged” is, to me, totally artificial. It seems to be an excuse for the more revealing term, “mentally retarded.” I don’t see a problem with the word “retardation,” but only because I came from a different era than the users of “mentally challenged.” I use the term “retarded” with the full understanding that the person being described has a socially debilitating condition, which I cannot aggrandize. I can’t look upon it optimistically, any more than I can look upon a spinal injury optimistically, without turning to medical research for a hopeful answer. I just don’t like the tyranny of words. I actually had a member of the public call my department looking for “Admitting,” and didn’t recognize it as such when the person in that department answered the phone “Patient Access.” I had to explain that the name was changed, and I still don’t know what the heck they mean by “patient access.” It is doesn’t describe the department entrusted with admitting patients to the hospital: does it refer to the public’s access to patients, or the patients’ access to the hospital? For whom was the name invented? Is the next step changing the word on those red, octagonal traffic signs to “oppose inertia” instead of “stop,” because the physicists in the State Department of Transportation believe that “stop” is some kind of regressive term? Some people can’t even read “stop!”, let alone understand that they have to STOP their damned car at that sign, not just slow down.

Comment by RJS on 2008-04-06 07:57:48 -0700 #

It has been my anecdotal experience that crazy people who know they’re crazy aren’t offended when you use the term crazy. It’s all the people who aren’t crazy who get their panties in a twist over it.
…And that LiveJournal entry was excellent.

Comment by Mellee on 2008-04-06 09:40:14 -0700 #

Huh??? What was the italics about? Was that the comment left or you?? What the fuck is up with the racist jokes, made no sense to me at all! Maybe I am a retard? Oops Mentally challanged…
Wait…. Don’t answer that!!

Comment by slavemaiden on 2008-04-06 21:15:17 -0700 #

Are you a fan of George Carlin by any chance?

Comment by indietech on 2008-04-06 23:46:02 -0700 #

will you please come speak to the housing department at my university? we actually have 2 hour long “social justice” meetings on monday nights (when most of us would rather be doing homework or sleeping…or reading your blog) where we learn about being PC. and we also learn that just because you’re white, means you’re bad and racist. if you’re a white male, you’re doubly screwed, because you’re also sexist. they will turn down excellent white, male applicants for RA positions in favor of “diverse students” who have less than stellar resumes. i’ve been corrected to DEATH this year and have been told more than once that i’m not allowed to use the word “retarded.” i also cannot say “lame” as that is offensive to those people who are in fact lame. so please please please come save a new generation of student leaders from being brain washed.

Comment by Fillstation on 2008-04-07 18:48:49 -0700 #

I think in the case of certain pharmacy customers, calling them “mentally RETARDed” is beyond accurate. Plus, “retard” just rolls off the tongue so much better than “learners with exceptionalities”<–LOL

Comment by angry Male Nurse on 2008-04-07 21:13:13 -0700 #

I hate the word retard. A retard would never call themselves a retard, would they? So you shouldn’t either.
My most favorite, yet completely intolerable word is faggot. Faggot is the greatest most derogatory word of all time. I love calling middle aged snack obsessed back stabbing divorced female R.N.’s “faggot”. They can’t even comprehend how badly I’ve insulted them. They can’t wrap their mind around it.
I also love the word faggot in an adjective sense. Like, “My faggot paycheck sucks dick because I get paid like a faggot slave.” I’ve called everybody and everything I know a faggot, at least twice. I called my dog a faggot. I called my dinner last night a faggot. I told my wife she was a bitch and she called ME a faggot. The only person(s) I haven’t called a faggot are gay males, because they have their own word. “Annoying”
One more thing. Why is it so hard to get comments posted on your faggot blog. I’ve recieved 3 error messages while trying to leave a comment. The last one told me that “The text you entered was wrong.” What the fuck does that mean. Why do you need to verify my shit anyway. It’s a fucking faggot blog. Get over it, no one is trying to hack your blog

Comment by IrritableInternBoy on 2008-04-08 06:52:16 -0700 #

I just wanted to say that your site is extraordinary! You are the inspiration that got our (IISGirl’s and mine) site started! Take a peek, I’m sure you will enjoy some of our blogs!

Comment by on 2008-04-08 17:27:17 -0700 #

I have gone back and forth this evening trying to decide if this warranted a response. It really doesn’t except I wanted to note a few things.
I don’t wish to have the word stricken from the English language nor was I ugly to you about it. However your rant is ugly and personal and directed at those who cannot fight for themselves.
There will come a time in your life when you will want to apologize to me. It will come. I promise you that. The difference between you and me is that I chose to live my life out in the open. I don’t have to hide behind the internet. Instead of being ugly to those who can’t help themselves I have chosen to build a multi-million dollar facility to help them.
Oh and I rant. Although for the most part our doctors and pharmacists take very good care of us. I didn’t even go off when our regular person filled her Zonegran at 100mg instead of 25mg. I didn’t want to make her feel any worse then she already did. She knew what she did and she took a verbal beating from our Neurologist. Larkin is alive because she weighed enough to tolerate it.
I really loved reading here until now. Making it personal and ugly took all the fun out of it. So my friend here are two lessons I wish to impart to you; 1. Pharmacist make mistakes too. 2. You are one car accident away from becoming diabled and receiving a diagnosis of “retarded”.

Comment by Out for Life on 2008-04-08 20:03:26 -0700 #

Hey Angry I know exactly where your coming from with this. Why in the hell do people have to take a generalized statement in common vernacular, and treat it like you just walked up to them personally and issued the statement. In other words to take this statement as a personal insult is the sign of a weak mind, or the sign of someone who expects the whole world to stop because they are experiencing an issue. Well the world didn’t stop when Alexander the Great died and it didn’t stop when Winston Churchill died and it didn’t stop when a whole bunch of other significant individuals died, so therefore, its not going to stop for any mishap to anyone. Therefore, I wish every person who is experiencing personal tragedy the best of luck, but do not use that tragedy or condition as an excuse to tell Angry, myself, or anyone else what they should be saying or how they should be saying it. It was a generalized statement, it is a common statement, and it was used flippantly (as it is about 1,000,000 times a day at least), so grow up and take it for what it was and is rather than trying to read some deep meaning into it.

Comment by MidwestPharmer on 2008-04-08 20:58:30 -0700 #

And in closing… I believe Amy’s comment, is in fact, retarded.

Comment by mbcota03 on 2008-04-28 08:11:50 -0700 #

In regards to using the word retard in your language. I’m not sure if it makes you feel big that you feel you have slam those who can’t speak out for themselves. Have you taken a moment to look up the word retard in the dictionary? Those of you who choose to use this word it falls back on you! Abnormally slow in my medical dictionary which implies that you also are abnormally slow to understand politically correct ways to express yourselves. You must feel so low about your own self esteem that you take a word and direct it towards the defenseless people who can’t speak for themselves to make you feel mighty and strong. I agree strongley with Amy’s view and think that you need a reality check. Life is unpredictable and one day you will have to face up to the words that you choose to use. No you don’t have to answer to me or anyone else but remember when you use the words you use to tear down at the defenseless than remember that you too as educated as you feel that you are are mentally challenged as well. One day you will see when your sitting in a skilled facility and can’t speak for yourself why the word retarded being directed at you could be socially and politically incorrect. You can vent with all the words that you choose to use but it goes to show how much immaturity and worthlessness you yourself feel about yourself. When you reflect your selfless thoughts across to others all the while hiding behind a computer screen goes to show that you yourself are a failure in understanding the rights and wrong of using such abusesive language. Did you create this website because you failed to do the right things or are you just a failure in general. Must be to have to create such an aweful website because you can’t face the light. You could have done positive things with this website for awareness but you didn’t you turned it into a trashy website that makes you look like the fool. You made your bed now sleep in it and face the higher power whom you have offended with your selfless act.

Comment by snyffee on 2008-05-09 19:04:09 -0700 #

mbcota03, all I have to say about your reply is…..blah, blah, blah, blah. Did you go tell your “higher power” (aka excuse for everything) what a bad man TOP is?
You’re retarded.