Saturday, August 21, 2010

Aniston's Slip of the Tongue Causes Retards to Overreact

Friends alum, Jennifer Aniston, has come under fire for her use of the word "retard" on Live with Regis & Kelly yesterday. Aniston's comment was meant to be funny -- it was an offhanded, self-deprecating pejorative: Regis said Aniston was "playing dress-up," to which Aniston replied, "Yes, I play dress up. I do it for a living... like a retard."

No sooner had the word left her mouth than Peter Berns, CEO of a nonprofit (don't buy it) advocate for people with developmental disabilities, started stirring-up shit. Berns called Aniston's comment, "extraordinarily offensive and inappropriate." Comment is italicized because there is no offensive comment; the word, "retard," is what Berns considers offensive. This is important because it proves that Peter Berns is literarily retarded. Berns either misses the point entirely, or is just a complete asshole; this is simply a way for him to draw attention to himself and his organization, and he should publicly thank Jennifer Aniston for providing him this opportunity.

"Retarded" literally means slow to develop, or underdeveloped. While it is most often associated with people who suffer from developmental retardation, it is accurate to say that I am somewhat socially retarded. While "retarded" is an adjective, the noun, "retard," is an acceptable (linguistically) corruption of the original word; "He's socially retarded," and, "He's a social retard," mean the same thing. Only an asshole would refer to people with developmental problems as "retards," but saying they are "retarded" is perfectly acceptable -- do you know why?

Because they are retarded.

Retarded people rarely know what "retard" or "retarded" mean, and the only way they learn it is when someone tells them they should be offended by it. That's not a joke; someone has to tell them to be offended by the word, because they don't know they should be. Because they are developmentally deficient, or... retarded. They also rarely watch TV, much less Live with Regis & Kelly, so it's doubtful any retarded person even heard Jennifer Aniston say it.

This Peter Berns is simply looking to drum-up publicity and donations for his organization and the only person who should be offended here is Jennifer Aniston.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010


Ernie said...

"Everybody knows you don't go full retard."

ManoDogs said...


You know, I need to install some kind of emoticon thingy here. I'm going to get into some big, sweeping changes here before long. Until then, one could say The Rundown is slightly retarded.

But, no, everybody knows you don't go full retard.

ManoDogs said...

I didn't want to be cynical when I wrote this, and I think the point about free speech and special interest groups controlling that is more important, but Aniston may have let her tongue "slip" specifically to drum-up free publicity for her movie, Switch (which opened this weekend in the eighth spot and has some asking if her film career is over). Several have been doing this lately, including "Dr." Laura Schlessinger.