My Blog Week: September 20 to September 26

Posted by ractrose on 27 Sep 2020 in The Latest

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

All the Latest from Torsade!











Cartoon of angel with Covid army

Cartoon of the Week: Weighed in the Balance





A Word on the Week


Clip art photo of pigeon

Hold the Bird



Chuck Grassley, the senator from Iowa, tweeted this week about a pigeon found dead on his farm. This narrative somewhat incoherent and persistently ill-spelled, flashed for a while in the pan of the Twitterverse. Whether Grassley has believed lifelong that the bird is a pidgin, or whether he is striking an attitude for the voters, the incident raises a question, worth the weighing.

What kind of error is a spelling error? Is it harmless and easily fixed? Is it likely, in nonpolitical circumstances, that anyone misspells with malignant intent? Is, “Thanks, I’ll fix that”, the better response, or “I don’t need your elitist bulls**t, Libtard!”?

But then is, “No points off! I just thought you’d want to get that”, the better way of indicating an error, or “Har har! What a moron! Where’d you go to school?”

As a culture we should ask.

Let’s for the sake of definition say that a mistake is something that can’t be repaired, only atoned for. An error is something reversible. Not taking coronavirus seriously has been (on the part of the current U.S. administration) a mistake. It’s instead of its is an error, put right in a jiffy.

Why should it be, then, that while few human beings have done anything in the category of an error that resulted in anyone’s death, ruination of their business, destruction of their home life…or other assorted grim fates…millions of people have painful memories of being scorned and/or ridiculed for spelling, grammar, punctuation errors? And other small things: unpolished table manners, bad fashion, naïve comments. 

Errors are easy to spot, but why is the mistaken habit of gloating over them, humiliating someone for making one, so densely rooted in our culture? We would like people to feel bad for doing bad things, we would like feelings of shame to be natural corollaries to shameful acts, but overvaluing the petty, inducing the worst of human discomfort for the least of costs, means that when bad people defy principles of decent, compassionate governing, they can cheaply access the huge, hurting core of our self-pitying nation—the paper worked on for hours, bumped down to a B-minus for a missing comma; the appointment cancelled for a five-minute’s late arrival (and so many more examples)—and conflate the calling for accountability in the face of gross mistakes with nitpicking, unfairness?




On Monday, a new Yoharie, Giarma and Trevor learning what Todwilow can get away with. Tuesday, The Mirrors (part nineteen), a trip in and out of the mirror world, then back in. Wednesday, a Jumping Off poem, “Ash”. Thursday, part ten of Shine!, by Mathilde Alanic, a crisis that alters Annie’s household. Friday, a flash fiction piece, “May Day”; and Saturday, a fresh run begun of the novella “Celebrated’.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.





My Blog Week: September 20 to September 26


Yoharie: Because Society (part six)
September 21


The Mirrors (part nineteen)
September 22


Ash (poem)
September 23


Mathilde Alanic: Shine! (part ten)
September 24


Flash Fiction: May Day
September 25


Celebrated (part one)
September 26



1 Comment

  1. A well written article. It is hard to accept the fact that human tend to make mistakes, may be because since our childhood we are “wired” not to make any? The one who accepts is brutally scrutinized. That is why everyone is scared to make any mistake, in fact to accept if they did.

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