It’s Only Ugly Because It’s New and You Don’t Like It

It’s only ugly because it’s new and you don’t like it… pretty brilliant statement that I need to at least attempt to hear. It’s only ugly because it’s new and you don’t like it.

How many of my current opinions, dispositions, or judgments fall under that rubric: same = good, change = bad? And, isn’t that always what the powerful tell themselves in order to create the rationale for why they must continue to run the world? Isn’t that also how every oppressive hierarchy ensures that the way things are is the way things have to be?

I’m sure this could be said of the music my kids listen to, the shows on network television prime time, or the ever-changing English language. How about theology? Doctrines? Isn’t this simple idea the whole basis for why art and music is so powerful?

Language is powerful stuff. It’s good to love it. It’s healthy to care about words and sentences, ideas and form. However, it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees.

Stephen Fry goes on a bit of a rant here, but it’s lovely and I like it. He challenges me and my penchant for rule following and conformity to conventions. He reminds me that working with words is really good work – important work. If you are just a snobby-logophile, an English teacher, a book reader, or even just a rule follower, I think his admonition is worth considering. I’m trying to let it challenge me today.

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