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jimgoad.net :: thrown under the bus
Thrown Under the Bus
Everywhere I go these days, it seems as if people are getting “literally thrown under the bus,” and yet nobody seems to be worried about it.
“Bush was literally ‘thrown under the bus’ by his Republican colleagues.”
“Naturally, a big scandal ensued, and several supervisory officers were punished, literally thrown under the bus by LA’s hack police chief, William Bratton.”
“I understand we have had our share of slack donors, but they should have been treated with respect and dignity. Instead, they were literally thrown under the bus.”
“At last month’s special board meeting, coaches (Ted) Suttmeier, Slate, and myself...were literally thrown under the bus by our central administration and a panel of so-called experts.”
“Has anyone dealt with the FOP in a legal capacity over the years where they were promised the world and literally thrown under the bus?”
While all these are real quotes from real people, what’s exasperating to any earnest student of the truth is the fact that in none of these casesnot ONE of themwas anybody LITERALLY thrown under a bus. If they had been literally thrown under buses, they would be dead or at least limping along with some serious signs of disfigurement.
“Literally” is one of our language’s most frequently misused words, and since I always assume that most readers are congenitally stupid, let me break it down for you: It means the same thing as “factually.” It means in real life rather than symbolically, OK? So you can’t say you were “literally in stitches” over a comedian’s standup routine unless his jokes actually induced a flesh wound requiring a hospital visit. You can’t say you were “literally walking ten feet off the ground” unless you were actually walking ten feet off the ground, and nobody in history has ever actually done that except, perhaps, Jesus. And I bet if they get around to doing an updated version of the Bible that’s more attuned to modern street argot, it will say that Judas threw Jesus under the bus.
I know it seems as if I’m splitting cunt hairs here, but this is why I’m upset at all this figurative throwing of people under busesit’s highly insensitive to the poor dead and crippled souls who HAVE been literally thrown under buses, pushed in front of cars, and shoved in front of speeding trains. What about their feelings? Unlike the rest of the world, I haven’t forgotten about their pain.
Telling someone you’ve been “thrown under the bus”when in fact you haven’t been thrown under a busis highly insensitive to the silent victims of this annoying new catchphrase. If your jawbone was missing and you were confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life because some thrill-seeking thug pushed you in front of an oncoming Greyhound, you might not find it such a cute cliché.
It’s not cool to throw people under buses, and it’s definitely uncool to trivialize their pain.
It’s like telling a black person that your boss is working you so hard, you feel like a slave.
It’s like telling a Jew that it’s so hot today, you feel like you’re inside an oven.
It’s like telling the parents of a Down Syndrome child that the new Fall TV lineup is retarded.
It’s like telling Stevie Wonder that justice is blind.
I feel that if we honestly want to perceive ourselves as a sensitive and progressive nation, we need to ensure that our slang terminology is duly sensitive to the suffering of the unfortunate and disadvantaged. Like black people with the “N” word, the only people who should be permitted to say they’ve been “thrown under the bus” are those who can present conclusive physical evidence that this event has indeed happened. Likewise, I would support legislation declaring that if anyone claims to have been “thrown under the bus” when this is proven in a court of law to be a patently untrue statement, that person is guilty of a hate crime.