You Don’t Suck — Unless You Want To.

A Muslim group in Florida has recently started buying billboards that say “Hey, ISIS, you suck!” to emphasize the difference between regular Muslims and radical ones.

However much one may agree with that sentiment, it makes me uneasy. Not because of the religious part, but because of the growing use of “you suck” and “that sucks” as public, casual conversation.

“You suck” started as a anti-homosexual slur. It was used against men to imply that they gladly engaged in oral sex with other men, which was seen as unmanly and somehow wrong. After dropping the object of the phrase, the thing that was sucked, it came into more general circulation meaning something substandard.

I’ve never liked it, and I will not use it. But I hope that others who care about the meaning of words will avoid it also.

Life-blessing, wall-destroying, heart-changing…

“Listen . . . listen to what this world is telling you, for it is calling for your love, your rage, your beauty, your sex, your energy, your rebellion . . . because it needs YOU in order to remake itself. In order to be reborn into something else, something maybe better, more godly, more wonderful, it needs US.”
This new world is a world of black and white. A place of freedom where the two most culturally powerful tribes in American society find common ground, pleasure and joy in each other’s presence. Where they use a common language to speak with . . . to BE with one another.
A “human being” proposed this, helped bring it to pass, a “boy,” a nobody, a national disgrace, a joke, a gimmick, a clown, a magician, a guitar man, a prophet, a visionary? Visionaries are a dime a dozen . . . This was a man who didn’t see it coming . . . he WAS it coming, and without him, white America, you would not look or act or think the way you do.
A precursor of vast cultural change, a new kind of man, of modern human, blurring racial lines and gender lines and having . . . FUN! . . . FUN! . . . the real kind. The life-blessing, wall-destroying, heart-changing, mind-opening bliss of a freer, more liberated existence. FUN . . . it is waiting for you, Mr. and Mrs. Everyday American, and guess what? It is your birthright.”

— Bruce Springsteen, in his autobiography “Born to Run,” on Elvis. But speaking to a way of living to which we can all aspire, no?

How will you claim your birthright today?