Sunday, January 23, 2011


I was walking with my dad outside of the mall today and I mistakenly said to him, "Dude it's cold."

I called my father Dude!!!

Dude what's up with that?

It reminds me of the time when not too long ago John Stewart interviewed the president and in jest he called him, Dude.

The media was a buzz about the whole thing and claimed that it was disrespectful to call the leader of the Armed Forces, Dude.

But come on dude, the thing is he is a human being.

I am reminded of the film, The King's Speech, a true story, where the King's therapist refuses to call him, 'Your Majesty' and calls him by his household pet name.  He also, at one point in the film, sits on the king's thrown, saying something like, "Well it is just a chair."

I love it.

I love when authority is questioned.  I mean we in America question all types of authority, but we are a little hesitant about calling the prez Dude.

Why do you think that is?

We forget that the president was just a regular dude before he swore into oath as the leader of the free world.  We forget that our father is our friend, and if we call him dude, maybe it is out of affection.

What is the fine line between affection and disrespect? I mean I think that it's kind of interesting that everyone has to say, "Mr. President" to the president's face while possibly calling him an asshole behind his back. Same is true of your father, you may call him "Dad" to his face but what do you say about him behind his back?

There is the notion that these titles like President and Dad are well earned.  But one of the first things that our forefathers got rid of when they made the Constitution was titles of nobility.  'President' is sort of a title of nobility, don't ya think?

I wish I could write the president a letter addressing him as 'Hey Dude.'  I'm sure if I did that it would never be read by his staff and never taken seriously.

The problem with titles is that we lose some of our friendliness and familiarity with a person we have to always refer to with a certain title.  I'm sure if I could call my dad, 'Shani' his nickname, maybe some of our barriers would break down.  I know it's just a name, but there is a lot of power in a name.

I once broke down some serious barriers when I called my own mother a b--- to her face.  She will never forget it, she will never let me forget it, and I will always regret it.  Of all the names I could have chosen to call her, that was the worst one.  I'm sorry Mama.

The thing is sometimes I want there to be titles that are used properly.  I think any woman who has started menstruating should be addressed as a 'woman.'  Not a 'girl.'  I feel like it is an issue of respect.  I also think that the word, and I use this word very cautiously because it's nasty, but the word, 'cunt' should never be used to describe a woman because of the sheer fact that is disgusting.  'Lady' is one of those words that it really matters who says it, like "Get out of my way, Lady," is not nice.  "Give the Lady what she wants," is nice.

I know I'm being biased here, not being objective.  Well screw objectivity, this is just the way I feel.  I never claimed to be a journalist in this space. I feel that some titles are necessary and some can be played around with. In all seriousness I think they can all be played around with and have loved when someone said to me with affection, "Giiirl, do you know what I'm talkin' about?"

Sometimes we gotta stop being so formal.  Like for instance, we are usually very formal when addressing god.  Very few of us say, 'Dear Dude' when praying.  But the thing is, god doesn't really have a title or a name that isn't man made.  If we could talk to Him on the level that we talk to other Dudes, maybe we would begin to break down our spiritual barriers.

Sometimes I like to think that god is my friend and in jest I have used swear words like, "How could you f----- do this to me!"  Now it says in the Bible not to use the Lord's name in vain.  But I don't usually follow the Bible and I don't really know what 'in vain' truly means.

Just like the king's thrown is just a chair, Dude is just a word.


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