Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘language

Trigger Words

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It’s so transparent, the malevolent words inserted as a preface to the targets of his greatest fear in any given moment. It’s a glaringly obvious tactic that is an essential weapon in every middle school bully’s arsenal.

“…radical Democrats!,” he emphasizes, striving to make them universally synonymous.

“…China virus,” he repeats in hope of deflecting blame as far away from his shoulders as possible.

He wants everyone to hear these trigger words, sympathizers, and nemeses alike.

He wants the descriptors to provoke. Who wouldn’t? I’d like to win the middle school war of words, too. Then you wouldn’t need to actually proceed to the playground fistfight that is the next result, if it came to that.

When I am tired, behind the wheel in the long commute at the end of a grueling day at work, and a soundbite plays on the radio before I can react to mute it, I am triggered to anger over the disingenuous conflations that sorrowfully smear the citizens of this democracy whose constitution he took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend.

“…anti-American protestors…” he rails while conspicuously and purposefully avoiding mention of the victims of the racially unbalanced excessive use of force by white police officers across the country that is sparking marches in the streets here and around the world by such wide cross-sections of populations as to be beyond grouping any more specific than “citizens.”

I know that those citizens are not being “anti-American.” I understand that he is tarnishing the masses to bolster his own weak attempts to garner favor with an outdated mindset that is in lock-step agreement with the false portraits he is ruthlessly painting.

Imagine, if we could only see what his other hand is doing to the pocketbooks of the 99% while he keeps all eyes and ears on his latest tweetstorm or disinformationbook post.

I urge all voting citizens of the United States of America to look beyond the partisan rhetoric, be smarter than any social media misdirections, and give your attention to the question of where the money is going. What is the national deficit? How will you afford health care and housing and transportation when an unmanaged pandemic is raging? How will our government address the maintenance needs of our aging infrastructure in the face of a changing climate?

Vote sensibly. Don’t fall for the trigger words our middle-schooler-in-chief is trying to sell.

There are blue skies out there if we can find a way to all reach them together.

That’s the place our chickens want to go, I can tell by the way they all look at it when they settle down on the roost at dusk.

Well, that is, except for the ones that are determined to perch upon the highest possible spot they can fit on for now…



Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2020 at 6:00 am

Language Barrier

with 4 comments

It appears that I continue to be hampered by my limitation of being monolingual, when it comes to communicating with all our animals, and none of them are showing any signs of understanding a word I have been saying.

I kind of expect that from the cats. They are naturally aloof. Although, I haven’t tried too many phrases on them. Mostly, they just hear me repeat, over and over, “What do you want? What do you want?”

Delilah sometimes responds to single syllable commands, but she is inconsistent about it, so I don’t have much faith that she is actually interpreting the words or sentences I have used.

IMG_3143e2With the horses, I know I should be trying to move out of speaking just from my head, into trying to use my gut and heart energy more, but sometimes the message feels time sensitive and my words are the quickest tool I have. Most often, it is Legacy who I find myself face to face with, and my words have been eliciting a blank-stare response from him.

He seems as frustrated with me, as I am with him. I expect he is probably transmitting his messages to me loud and clear, but they aren’t coming through in plain english, so I am at a loss as to what he is trying to say.

Yesterday, he showed up at the other side of the fence while I was cleaning the ground in the paddock. For some reason, he started chewing on the fence post above the electric wire. Now, the wire is there to discourage them from chewing on the wood fence, so I was half-hoping that he might get too close and feel a shock that would teach him to leave it alone. He may have been just trying to show me that he could, that he was that good, he could work around our little deterrent.

I didn’t want him to do it, so I was feeling peeved. At first, I tried ignoring him, so he might notice it would gain him nothing with me. My frustration got the better of me, when he continued, so I walked over and told him not to chew on the post, and I slapped my hand on the top of the post a few times, to emphasize my point. When that didn’t alter his behavior, I stepped up again and pounded on the post and then told him I was angry. I wanted him to know in his language, so I put my hands on my head, to mimic horse ears, and I pinned them back, telling him, “See? This is how I feel about you chewing on the post. I am angry!”

He didn’t show obvious signs of reacting, so I brought my ‘hand-ears’ forward, so that he might understand they were supposed to be my ears, and with that, I startled the heck out of him! He pulled his head back, and took a couple of steps backward. I pinned my hands back again and told him I was angry!

It was funny, because the part he reacted to wasn’t supposed to be the threatening gesture. Regardless, it seemed to do the trick. I went back to scooping up manure, and he went back to grazing.

Apparently I know more horse language than I realized.

Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2013 at 7:00 am