The “N” Word

I’m going to indulge in another rant, that isn’t necessarily related to art. But I do think it’s relevant to the art culture of Salt Lake City. There is a word I can’t stand. Call me the “c” word if you must, or the “b” word, or fling an F-bomb my way. I can hold my own when it comes to cursing.

But don’t tell me I’m not “normal.”

Let me qualify that. If we are having a statistical discussion, where we are discussing a normal curve, or standard deviations relative to a mean, throw out the N-word all that you want. I understand what you mean.

But if you tell me I don’t dress “normal,” cook “normal,” have “normal “hobbies, or live in a “normal” neighborhood or vote for “normal” candidates – well, then you have just outed yourself as an ethnocentric son-of -a -bitch.

The word normal in these contexts is, in my opinion, relevant to the culture you are discussing. So for instance, if you said, “that isn’t normal in my culture,” I get it. But if you assume that your culture IS normal, and everyone else’s culture is abnormal, then it is time to pull your head out of your ass.

I suggest folks who throw the word “normal” around take a mental trip to Africa, where female genital mutilation is “normal.” Or to Amish country, where electricity and cars are abnormal. Or visit Haiti, where witch doctors are common. Now tell me that your beliefs would be considered normal there.

I declare the “n” word, the new bad word. On the other hand, the word “weird” almost comes off as a compliment.

One Comment

  1. Normal is relative to the person. We are all normal because we all have our own normals. One of my friends is deaf and the grandma said I wish he could just live in the normal world. I said what’s that? (I too am physically disabled, and I consider my life normal) I said being deaf for him is normal… he doesn’t think he’s disadvantaged in anyway. Just accept him and love him for being your grandson. I don’t understand where this word normal comes from and I just wish it would go out the way it came in. No one is normal to the standards equaling perfection or some box that people want to fit in. Each of our boxes are different sizes and shapes, and none is exactly the same as another. Embrace it!


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