Monday, April 21, 2008

On Decency

Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, “Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for ’spiritual counseling?’ THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!

But no, Obama won’t throw that at her. It wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t be decent. She’s been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.

--Michael Moore, of all people

Darlings, Pretty Lady is well aware how shamefully she's been neglecting you. Truthfully, there are many days these days when she wonders if she's said all there is to say; there are days, many of them, when she would rather sit in silence.

Because sometimes, the decent thing to say is nothing at all. Especially when people are flinging mud in one's face.

Not that Pretty Lady has sustained such a great deal of such flinging. Most of her dear readers are generally quite civil. But now and then, a feuding acquaintance of hers will so far forget him or herself as to launch a fusillade of ad feminam remarks as would make her grandmother's ears blister. It is at such times that she wonders--not if she ought to respond in kind, but--did this person, this vulgar mud-slinger, ever have a grandmother of his or her own?

Because Pretty Lady learned, from the cradle on up, that there are certain things that Are Not Said. We do not say these things because we are thinking them so loudly that we are momentarily deafened to all incoming traffic; we do not say them because they are so hugely, tragically obvious; we do not say them out of sheer human compassion. And if we are pressed so hard that compassion vanishes, there is still Basic Decency to restrain us.

The irony of such decency is that it largely comes into play when dealing with persons who are a stranger to the notion. Civilization is not for the weak, nor for the faint of heart; it was designed to combat the juvenile tantrums of those whose passions are stronger than either their character or their intellect. For there to be any hope of carving a bit of peace and harmony out of chaos, those who understand what it is to be civilized must do their very best to be so. Even under Extreme Provocation.

So if you are, perchance, wondering why Pretty Lady does not respond in kind, when those people say those things, when she very easily could, you must know it is because she won't. Period.


Chris C. said...

Amen, sister.

Wollf Howlsatmoon said...

And...if I might be so Bold, the "surname" you have chosen for your Nom de Plume precludes thate you would not respond in kind to "unkindness".

Heh. Unfortunately, some of those "unkind" people do not respond to gentle persuasion....

Good, Very Good to have that Peace from Chaos. The Shield of your Civility is Prescious.

Always Honor the Sword that allows that Shield to work.

*sorry*, I can use metaphors to extreme sometimes. Suffice to say, I agree with your post....but some people need to be spanked.

Pretty Lady said...

You see, dear Howl, this is where karma comes into play. Pretty Lady has observed, over and over, that if she stringently adheres to standards of decency, courtesy and unilateral integrity, eventually, some day, those who do their best to assault those standards just..get spanked. Somehow. Somewhere. By someone.

Maybe that's why she's such a compulsive Googler of past acquaintances, come to think...