Monday, July 11, 2005

Today's Word: Obloquy

Friends, there's nothing good that I can say about this one. No.

I do my best to give accurate interpretations of words here, and most of the time, I find that even in the face of a negative connotation, there is a hidden lesson waiting to be discovered!

But obloquy is a dark and disturbing term. Yes, obloquy is the word for public disgrace in the face of mean-spirited and often false accusations. Obloquy is an abusive bout of ridicule. It is meant to shame, regardless of merit.

Celebrities bemoan their obloquy, citing their often unflattering personal affairs splashed across tabloids and slick-paged magazines in grocery stores nation-wide. Some say that the rich or famous deserve such treatment; they are privileged, and thus should be prepared to deal with more scrutiny. But normal people are subject to malicious public vilification for entertainment as well.

And the truly pitiful thing is that very often, we encourage this behavior. We are all guilty of the occasional revelry - gloating over the strife and misfortune of others. We tune in to the talk-radio and daytime TV shows. Often these programs hide behind the guise of public-service. But we all know; we're there to see someone worse off than ourselves. It raises our spirits to know that we still have further to fall.

How awful that we have a facet of our being that encourages public shaming. How wretched that people intentionally seek to disrupt each other through vindictive outing and rumor-mongering?

But there it is - right in front of us.

No, there's no happy ending to this one. Obloquy is what it is, and it's important to define it, because in some marginal yet inescapable way, it also defines a part of us.



Blogger Mojo said...

My favorite aspect of the Michael Jackson Trial was all the obloquy that reporters used to describe the king of pop.

9:01 AM  

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