Monthly Archives: February 2014

Writing Life: The Harmful Effect of Words

© 2008, 2013  by Raymond Alexander Kukkee

[caption id="attachment_119" align="aligncenter" width="300"]another story on paper... Harmful words waiting to be written?[/caption]

"The power of language is highly variable, even unpredictable "

In the course of your writing career, have you ever used the wrong word by mistake, a sharp criticism —a foul invective,  the 'f'-word, poorly expressed, unnecessarily  uncivilized language,  and perhaps too late concluded a far better, less damaging choice of words could have been made? Welcome to the harmful effect of words.

As writers, our use of words is fraught with traps and treasures. Words from the heart, off the tip of the tongue, or withdrawn from deep in the mind can do many things, both positive and negative, at times unexpectedly.

From any perspective, words used effectively can delight, make the human spirit soar to ultimate happiness, joyand enlightenment, or reduce an already barren, downtrodden human being to extreme depths of despair and helplessness and ultimately, destruction. Words may also initiate,cultivate  and exacerbate the darkest, intractable hate.

 Harmful effect of words: the unpredictable

The instantaneous power of language is highly variable, even unpredictable.  Words by themselves may be completely innocent, innocuous, or in the other extreme, wickedly pointed, savagely powerful and dangerous.  Unknown to us, the derivative effects of words may be even more so.  Caution is required. Why? Interpretation, although normally  'routine', can result in the unexpected.

The listener, the reader, the condition of the  recipient mind —may be unknown, undefined,  and unpredictable;  in that respect, words are virtually unlimited in interpretation.  We do not know what thought, feelings or actions words taken out of context may precipitate.   Eloquent, specific and careful, even gentle use of words —both written and spoken is clearly a worthy goal if the potentially harmful effect of words is to be avoided.

Writers may benefit greatly from thoughtful word usage, or equally, find themselves subject to severe criticism for using words that inadvertently result in pain. Even using gentle, ordinary words without malicious intent may, in interpretation, appear to describe traits, savage the character of individuals, alienate, or colour an individual group with an indelible stain.  Inadvertent or careless reference to  ageism, gender,  race, or a miscellaneous classes of people in an  indiscriminate manner can be damaging,  hurtful —and unnecessarily so.

Used with offensive context,  indeterminate interpretation of simple truth as criticism, the wrong words can wreak havoc unintentionally, invoking stress,  negativity, and at times, unwanted backlash, warranted or not. The wrong words can dethrone kings and destroy careers. At times it may be difficult to avoid foul language and four-letter words, achieve a reasonable balance in wordsmithing without succumbing to the stupidity of excessive "political correctness gone mad,  especially where topics and issues invoke outrage, bloodlust and passion. As writers, thinking thrice before writing once can certainly —at least at times, be extremely helpful in avoiding the potentially explosive and harmful effect of words.

We try, but may not always succeed. Should we feel bad about it if we fail upon occasion?  No. Yes. Maybe.  Perhaps all we can ask of ourselves as we relay a blistering message important to our hearts and the well-being of humanity  is to be aware, and ultimately do our best in applying pen to paper.  Let's have coffee and think about it.

Is that Incoming I hear?

Posted in Business, Ethics, Life, Publishing, Reflections, The Human Mind, Writing Life | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Major issues: America has Energy to Waste?

© 2014 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee

In Wonderland Logic is Essential

Where is Forever?

Let us call this meeting to order....blink and  see if we have this right,  Alice.... ' In thoughtfully contemplating the ludicrous state of affairs reported in the media of late —there is a 'gas shortage' in the 'news'....Do tell...

"Perhaps some  double-double reinforced  rabbit-hole magic tea, Alice?  Some ear-plugs for The White Rabbit,  and some blood pressure medication for the Mad Hatter himself might be a reasonable suggestion? Why? You didn't notice?  There's not only our Mr. Dormouse and the honorable Cheshire cat here in the rabbit-hole,as  you imagine..... there's a guest elephant too.

"Tongue-tied, are you Mr. Elephant? ...(silence)

"'s a fine fellow Alice,  alas, he will not tell the truth anyway    not say anything lest he proves government-approved corporate anarchy  in North America is out of control alive and well ..."

The Cheshire cat smirks, reminding Alice of  one Stephen Harper.

"Off with his head" the Queen shrieks, pointing at the cat.

 " the minutes of the last meeting, Alice, "

The U.S. State Department has approved and further reports it sees nothing wrong with  President Obama approving the Keystone XL pipeline  that would potentially carry crude oil from the Athabasca Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada to the Gulf coast refineries.  The 'smart and empowered'  people involved in warm and fuzzy discussions involved in producing this report,  Oil in Wonderland, are apparently unable to read scientific studies.They appear to be conveniently convinced  approval of that pipeline would not increase the environmental impact of the Tar Sands projects.

"Do tell, Alice  no comment necessary,  Stephen knows that already, and intends to follow his agenda selling tar sands to oil to China no matter, environmental disaster or not anyway  let us move on..."

" Yes,  those same dirty oil projects which are already, one of the biggest environmental disasters on the globe. "Oh, but that's  a Canadian problem, so  no problem, Alice.  It's Stephen's Legacy.  Isn't that convenient?  It's Canada's problem, hahahaha! "

Oil Sands mine  near Fort McMurray   photo  Mark Ralston

                         , yes....But Mr.Mad Hatter, sir....did you know that...

[caption id="attachment_2580" align="alignleft" width="275"]Athabasca Oil Sands Project  Athabasca Oil Sands Project[/caption]

The tailings ponds at the Tar Sands--you know, those oily, toxic lakes of poison leftovers  being created by the upgrading process  —are releasing polycyclic aromatics, benzene compounds and other volatile gases  into the atmosphere but that doesn't seem to  count, either, unless you happen to get cancer from these known carcinogenics?

No matter, Mr. Dormouse, they'll be diluted by the apparently-approved increase in carbon dioxide and other assorted greenhouse gases in the  " allowed carbon budget" already surpassed   "Enough to suffocate an elephant, isn't it?  Mr. Elephant snorts in derision.

"Let us bite our tongues as we suffocate, and ducks land, death guaranteed  in oil-covered toxic ponds simply because there will be no longer be pristine lakes on which to land on their hundred-centuries old waterfowl migration routes.  "So what"  Mr. Elephant snorts again.  Poison mutant fish will also be available for the poor people to eat. Oops.   Should we tell Stephen?   "Shut up, Mr. Dormouse!  He knows that already.  Out of order!   We digress, Alice, this meeting shall  be restored to order!" 

What does this have to do with America having energy to waste?  Read on  and weep, Alice,  as you pay your  natural gas bills that have been gouged jacked-up as the same industry claims 'shortages'.  Pulling gas from "storage",  cold weather and all that. You've heard the  industry lies and  B.S  it before.  You get the idea, Alice.

Now, Apparently America has Energy to Waste

The Dormouse wonders out loud (on a point of order)  if some magic joy-juice has  been double-double-dipped into the  morning coffee at the State department,  since the latest  government report suggests pollution from the Tar Sands has been, not surprisingly,   discovered to be 2 to 3 times HIGHER than previously reported.  Do the math, Alice, the State department apparently ( unconfirmed by  Mad Hatter & Co).  borrowed a magic lying 'calculator' from, you may guess,  the Petroleum Association in North Dakota."Out of order, Dormouse!"

"Off with his head!" Shrieked the Queen yet again,. "Stifle yourself, Queenie" the king shouted. "Shut up,   "Order, order!"

Now, Alice,  don't be upset, but you must know by now the  oil barons in North Dakota are raping exploiting the  world class Bakkan  oil  deposit at a projected rate of a million barrels per day--and are, a this date, flaring millions of dollars worth of natural gas DAILY.   Burning "excess waste" natural gas off into the environment, unnecessarily producing guess what, Alice?  millions of tons of carbon dioxide.  The approximate value of the gas "flared"figure is, —oh, ho hum, piggy-bank cash for the petroleum industry. Ridiculous!

[caption id="attachment_2583" align="alignleft" width="584"]"Waste gas" flaring at Keene North Dakota  photo by Jeff Brady NPR "Waste gas" flaring at Keene North Dakota                  photo by Jeff Brady /NPR[/caption]

Ridiculous?  "Not so," the Mad Hatter roars,  "according to state petroleum kings,  the "waste" gas is burned off because the greedy "industry" needs to get at the "more valuable" oil  for bigger, instant profits.  No ' gas collection superstructure' or gas liquification plants  have been built,  because it is not profitable  —the capture of natural gas not being a legislated  priority. The gas is discarded as waste,  burned off  into the environment as has been done-unregulated-- since the first oil well was drilled in North America.  The record is less than stellar. Got that, Alice?

The elephant remains silent.

Now that the outrageous  issue at hand has been exposed, the industry promises to "do better".  Isn't that convenient, warm and fuzzy  nice, Alice? 

''If we are forced to"  says the elephant, arrogantly. 

  Keep that in mind as you keep hearing "America is short of energy" and  "gas shortage"  and you are gouged forced to pay outrageous, inflated bills for natural gas simply because —according to the industry bed-time story, there's an industry-wide manipulated and choreographed shortage.  Got that, Alice? 

Remember, Alice,  this SAME elephant greedy industry  delights in gas fracking at a horrific cost to the environment and  promises safety while  contaminating water supplies everywhere.  This is ALL  essential so America can produce more gas, so they can have some more manipulated 'shortages' and flare some more gas. Got it, Alice?

 Apparently, America has energy to waste.  Got that, Alice?   Who's running this rabbit-hole anyway?

  Oh, never mind, Rabbit,  just blink, It's just magic anyway.

"Meeting adjourned."

Is that Incoming I hear?

Posted in Business, Economic issues, Ethics, Major Issues, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments