Nasty language – the feel good vice of politicking
My favorite research of the past ten years – mainly because it, at least to some degree, defends my verbal reaction to spilling hot coffee – is the finding that using foul language has health benefits.
“The words themselves don’t help us to better tolerate pain – but the emotional and physical reaction that we have by saying the words triggers the fight or flight response, which then gives us that burst of energy to make it through the difficult or painful task,” Dr. Amy Cooper Hakim, psychologist and author of Working With Difficult People, said in a recent interview with NBC News.
Painful tasks – such as not liking someone or, in celebrities’ case, living under a President Trump.
If talking nasty didn’t make them feel better, Bee, De Niro, Barr, Peter Navarro, even the president, and countless others like them would be less likely to continue doing it publicly, despite the personal consequences of having to apologize or getting fired, or the corporate consequence of inciting more intramural, American hatred.
In a recent “Meet The Press” appearance, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan offered a compelling take on the Rosanne/Samantha Bee story that extends and addresses the recent comments of Robert De Niro about President Trump and of Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who said “there’s a special place in hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I would think, look, part of the problem is public figures having a hard time being public figures,” Noonan said.
“When you are lucky enough in America to be a public figure your celebrity is not only your pleasure it is your responsibility. What is that responsibility? Don’t make it worse. Don’t make it ugly or don’t make it sicker. Samantha Bee doesn’t seem to understand that responsibility. Roseanne didn’t understand it. I am very glad to see a certain amount of backlash against them almost as if the American people are saying, ‘Stop it already. This is terrible. You’re making it worse.’”
Rather than attending to that responsibility, these figures attend to their feelings and, no doubt, the feelings of millions of other Americans.
In that course, they make it all worse, make it all nastier.
The base opinions that Trump is a bad president, or that Trudeau did a bad thing, are not necessarily entirely objectionable.
It’s the manner in which those opinions are expressed that is objectionable … even if it feels good to express them.
@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News