Fireflies and Lightning Bugs

They are neither on fire, nor are they flies. They bear no correlation to lightning and they are simply not bugs. They are bioluminescent beetles, a species of winged insect. Yet we persist, none the less, in calling them fireflies or lightning bugs. We are drowning in an alphabet soup of misnomers and misleading labels of all sorts. There is reality, and above that, a great glossary of names and descriptives that, for the most part, intellectually deceives and misleads.

Much of this linguistic stupidity is simply passed on from generation to generation and never questioned; and even if it were, we are creatures of habit, and it would take serious personal effort to purge our speech and thinking of all logical error.

It seems everywhere I look these days, I see absurdities.

Sometimes this lost world of words is deliberate; like referring to a used car as being “pre-owned”. What? Was it kept on blocks or in a garage for the past ten years?

Christopher Columbus had no GPS; and it’s doubtful he even had a magnetic compass. He thought he’d reached India and so called the indigenous people Indians. Wrongo, Chris; And yet we persist.

I am, linguistically speaking, a Native American; which means I was born in America; yet no indigenous tribe would embrace me as one of their own. Anyone born between Alaska and Patagonia is, linguistically speaking, also a Native American. If both your parents are Japanese and you’re born in America, you too, are a Native American.

Humanity evolves and language is a part of that evolution. As astronomy debunked astrology and as chemistry debunked alchemy so too must language be thoroughly debunked.

I would be an ardent racist if there was any logical or scientific basis for it; but I’ve found none because there is none. Racism (a belief) as a concept, a categorization or classification is only about 300 years old. The whole of human history played itself out on a tribal level. The Romans against the Gauls, The Israelites against the Philistines, The Spanish against the Dutch, just to name a few. Tribes and coalitions of tribes warring against each other. Take a hard look at Africa today and you will see inter-tribal warfare. Look at Asia, the Middle East, Central Europe, South America, Afghanistan (a place, not a nation) and you will see inter-tribal warfare. They are all the same color – but different tribes. The great Genghis Khan promulgated a coalition of disparate, antagonistic tribes into the mighty Mongol hordes. Tribes – not races. Racism is pseudo-science that waits to be debunked and purged from our language, yet it is still carved in stone; it is taught in schools and permeates the law of the land.

Do enough research, following the paper trail, and you just might discover precisely who it was that conceived of the notion of race. It may well have been T. B. Johnson and others of his ilk and era. These precursors, these pseudo-scientists, who believed in phrenology but knew nothing about genetics.

You would perceive me as white and classify me as such; yet there is no such thing as a white person. The Census Bureau of the United States and many other public and private entities still want to categorize me as a Caucasian, a thing I really bristle at. You classify and you categorize; you sort and you pigeon-hole me. You aggregate me, lumping me together with the great banking houses of Europe – of which, truly, I have no part.

Our language and laws are shot through with foolish linguistic and logical errors. But we are a proud people; we are proud of what we think we know; what we assume to know.

We are drowning in an alphabet soup of misnomers and misleading labels of all sorts.

You like to blame others, including myself, for your oppression.

But what have I to do with you?

Your greatest oppressor is your own ignorance.

People come to blows, even kill each other, in defense of their own ignorance.

About The Twentieth Man

Age 69
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