I rarely relish an opportunity to not know something, but the Casey Anthony trial furnished me with the dual concepts of something horrible and something easily ignored. Despite Facebook's best baiting attempts, the topic never mattered.
Yesterday, though, a smart guy I know wrote a smart thing about crass jokes and emotional crassness relating to the trial. He was right. The guy who makes the dead baby joke and runs to the comfort of "too soon?" just after making it knows that the joke is always too soon. He relies on the simple step of conceptual proximity to seem daring, when in fact he's anything but. The fact is that "too soon?" is the shuddering refrain of the coward and the idiot, the self-promoting worry that buries actual human concern, promotes the speaker as "interesting" and pushes real dialogue and real understanding far away from the discourse.
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