I was only half-listening to the radio this morning when a word caught my attention:
So I paid attention, and found that the newsreader was talking about this morning's Rose Parade, and the "stormtroopers" marching in the parade had something to do with the Star Wars movies -- I've only seen the first of the series, and that was many years ago -- and the fact that George Lucas was Grand Marshal of the parade.
I may be showing my age, but the word "stormtrooper" does not have particularly healthy connotations for me. I think of Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich, war, misery, extermination camps and millions of dead human beings.
Therefore, I find it offensive that the name is now applied in a benign way to a bunch of geeked-up Trekkies in uniforms. No doubt they are fine people, in no way interested in joining the departed legions of Hitler's S.S., but that makes no difference. The name, like other names that drive certain people crazy, has been corrupted to an extent that it can no longer be properly applied to "fun" groups like George Lucas's "stormtroopers."
I never thought I would see the day when people would be laughing about "watching the stormtroopers parading down Colorado Boulevard."
What the hell. There are lots of words and phrases that infuriate and offend me. Like "comprehensive," as applied to so-called immigration reform, otherwise known as "let all the illegals flow freely across the border." Or "stay the course," as in "don't confuse me with the facts about Iraq." Or "diverse," as in "let's give some people preferential treatment, because we want a diverse society." Or "free trade," as in "it's okay to screw American workers, 'cause we can make bigger profits for ourselves."
Still, we supposedly have free speech in this country -- though I notice, more and more, that those who yell most loudly about it are the ones who want to purge certain words from our vocabularies, and make it criminal to use them -- and if these pimply faced Star Trek fanatics want to call themselves "stormtroopers," that's their right.
But it's my right to find this offensive, damnit. And I do.
10 hours ago