Thursday, January 04, 2007

With All Due Respect

About three years ago, I gave up cable/dish TV. I was disenchanted with the nonsense, the false dichotomies, the poorly made melodramas, the heartless sitcoms that made up the programming schedules. Oh, I'll wait a year, and watch the DVD releases of shows like The Wire, The Sopranos, and The Badge.

At Burger King last night, I sat beneath their TV to see why I gave this up in the first place. There sat the horrible Paula Zahn whipping up a fake shouting match over Latino high scholl graduation rates. One of the panelists used a phrase that has long grated on my ears, the phrase "With all due respect". I first noticed African-American intellectuals using this phrase, which in the black community is apparently a way of telling a person that they are completely full of shit.
The phrase had moved up a notch in meaningless discourse, as now it is used before saying something completely horrible.

"With all due respect, Senator, I think you are a sodomizing necrophiliac."

People think that this phrase is a sort of "Get Out of Jail" card for violations of polite conversation. So kudos to the writers of the otherwise execrable Talladega Nights for lampooning this phrase, as Ricky Bobby uses this term before every insult.

Let's retire this phrase today.