Bad language should be punished

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By Ned Cantwell

William F. Buckley died. He probably would have said “succumbed,” or something fancier.Buckley was a boyhood hero, not for his politics, but for vocabulary and mastery of the language. The guy talked pretty.Buckley was an old man when he died but I will always suspect his condition took a turn for the worse when a grandkid sent him a text message. It was then Buckley might have realized his beloved language was doomed.Accepting a formal dinner invitation, the kid might have texted: Gramps, C U at 8.In honor of Buckley, I want to salute language by dwelling on “feng shui,” a rather elegant phrase of Chinese origin meaning the arrangement of objects to radiate the feeling of harmony.I was introduced to feng shui when a hostess showing her lovely home apologized for a room’s lack of feng shui. I nodded in sad agreement, thinking, at the time, feng shui was Chinese for “no wet bar.”Feng shui, as I get it, is being someplace and just feeling good about it because of how things are arranged.This leads us to the section of the column that will talk about New Mexico feng shui.For instance, a New Mexico place that has feng shui is the State Capitol Building. The Round House emanates a sense of power and security and promise for the future.A place in New Mexico that does not have feng shui is any Department of Motor Vehicles branch office.A place in New Mexico that probably just oozes feng shui but I will never know because I am never invited there is the Governor’s Mansion in Santa Fe. But I will tell you who was invited there.Ted Nugent.This leads us to the section of the column that forgets feng shui and wonders why the hell the governor would invite Ted Nugent to the mansion.Oh, I know, he is celebrity and he is in New Mexico making movies, and we need to pamper visiting stars.This extreme right-wing firebrand engages in hate speech that must not be rewarded with a seat at the state’s official table.According to Wikipedia, he brandished his “trademark AR-15 rifles” and said, “Hey, Obama, you want to suck on one of these, you punk?”Classy.Using the same weapon, he suggested, “Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.”During a radio interview years ago, Nugent referred to Heidi Prescott of the Fund for Animals as a “worthless whore” and a “shallow slut.” He asked, “who needs to club a seal when you can club Heidi?”Furthermore, Nugent characterized for the Albuquerque Journal the role he is playing in a video production being filmed in our state as “shooting Mexicans in the ass with arrows.”The late Mr. Buckley once famously nuked his debate opponent with this zinger: “I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”Buckley might have said the same to Nugent.Nugent is welcome to his political hate. But perhaps the governor should use at least some discretion in choosing dinner partners on whom he bestows New Mexico’s favor.There floats the idea Nugent and Big Bill may go hunting together. Confronted by the Journal, the governor responded, “Who said that? I am a hunter. He’s a hunter.”Mr. Governor, why are you sidestepping this one? It’s a no-brainer. Just say no.

Ned Cantwell – ncantwell@beyondbb.com – is a syndicated New Mexico columnist. He will BRB.