The Unspeakable

The Unspeakable

We all think things most of us don’t say. This makes cordial social intercourse possible and keeps relationships intact. We have many thoughts that it is prudent to keep to ourselves, except while in the company of like-minded people.

But we also enjoy hearing our unspeakable thoughts openly expressed—when someone else does it. There are two groups that often satisfy this desire: comics and writers. They can get away with it because they are not our friends, relatives or spouses. Its just part of their job description.

Nothing is nor should be taboo. Comics and writers are the guardians at the gate to freedom of expression. So it is no surprise they are the early targets of totalitarian regimes. One may not like or agree with what they say, but it doesn’t matter to them, and we should all applaud their right and willingness to say it—even if we find it offensive.

And most of us really love hearing the unspeakable spoken. It’s wonderful to hear what you would not dare to say. And there even is something inherently satisfying in effective or witty expression, even when we’re the butt of a comic’s joke or vehemently disagree with a writer’s opinion.

Voltaire allegedly said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I would append “…and I derive pleasure in hearing it being said.” © Ken Stange 2012-2015