“Words were originally magic.” At least that’s what Freud said.
Freud, Captain America, and most sentient humans and cartoon characters who haven’t sold their souls, would likely agree that restricting words and language constricts human creativity and potential.
The White House is trying to ban the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from using specific words. Not long ago, a five-year-old I know used the F-word. I put him in time-out. In this case, the CDC will get put in time-out for using the words “evidence-based” or “vulnerable.” Who does that?
It’s hard to find words to describe people who would restrict words, especially the words needed to report scientific findings. Ironically, for this government: Hate speech is fine. Pornography is no problem. Sexist language designed to demean is something you should grab onto and never say you’re sorry about. This is not a government that promotes family values.
Thou shalt not say: “transgender” or “entitlement.”
Who can use words to prohibit words? That’s a narcissistic megalomaniac fantasy.
Government repression of free speech has inspired me to reflect on the power of words. This reflection somehow led me East, into a temporary preoccupation with Haiku. The impulse to create Haiku with forbidden CDC words was irresistible.
Thou shalt not speak truth
No science for you!
Once upon a time, we the people, formed a more perfect union. The purpose of said union was predominately to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For many, happiness happens when freedom includes science and a recognition that the CDC, being a government agency, is funded by me and you and, by design, is all about protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This made me think of Dr. Suess.
The White House is not the boss of me.
The White House is not the boss of the CDC.
The White House should not tell
Its citizens to go to hell.
We will free our words and use our actions.
To remove the man and all his factions.
I could understand the White House restricting use of the “F-word” or the “C-word.” But now the CDC isn’t supposed to use the word “diversity?” That’s a perversely impressive expression of totalitarian suppression. However, as with most totalitarian expressions, it misunderestimates (in honor of George W. Bush) a basic Haiku-truth.
Presidents must obey all
There’s a robust psychological principle called reactance. In case you wondered, reactance is evidence-based. Reactance is resistance that naturally occurs when behavioral freedoms are threatened. What usually happens is: (a) Freedoms are threatened, (b) motivational arousal occurs, (c) efforts are made to restore threatened freedoms. This means we push back to affirm or re-affirm, our freedom. In honor of reactance, here’s a two-part 5-7-5 Haiku:
I: An entitled
Said: Shut the fuck up
II: Instead, we use words
To resist the regime that
Haiku can have spiritual dimensions. It requires slowing down, counting syllables, and ending a story near the beginning. There are several famous Zen Haiku poems. None of which are included here among my amateurish Haiku attempts.
This brings me to this blog’s end, which is also only the beginning of something else. To close, I offer a progressive Christian Haiku prayer for freedom:
Dear Lord Jesus, may
I kneel and say transgender?
Yes, my love, you may.
8 thoughts on “The Psychology of Evidence-Based Haiku and Freedom (#WordsMatter)”
I love this post!
Thanks Nancy! I’ve got Haiku and resistance on my mind.
Thank you, John for sitting down to write your words of resistance. I too feel grateful and loving towards you for writing this post.
Thank you Elizabeth. What a nice comment. I appreciate it very much and am seeking constructive resistance!
Free the word!! Thanks
Thanks Rob! Hope you’re doing well and singing Rubber Ducky on a regular basis.
JSF for President
Thanks Pete. My response in Haiku:
It would be the best
Presidency, of massive