WHEN SO MANY HAVE NOTHING

No Excess – “Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber


What is this supposed to mean? Like too much money? I have no idea what it would be like to have too much money. I’ve rarely had enough and now I have way too little. Too much power? I’m sure people who have it don’t think it’s too much. It’s the people who don’t have any who think others have too much — because they have too little.

Too much good health? Is there such a thing?

Too much luck? Too much fun? Too much laughter? Too much love? Too much joy? Too much learning? Too much tolerance, freedom, democracy?

I’d love to see the context from which this quote was taken. Because it’s out of context and doesn’t make sense to me.

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As far as I’m concerned, you cannot have too much good in your life or in the world. But too much evil, pain, suffering, want, and misery? Easily done. There never seems to be a shortage of bad anywhere, any time.

Right now, the popular whipping child — the thing everyone says is “too much” is political correctness. Too much political correctness is cramping our style, making us into a nation of wusses. Call me a knee-jerk liberal (I’m okay with that) because this sounds to me like a lot of folks want to get back to the good old days — when you could call a spade a nigger, call a Jew a kike.

If these words shock you, remember — this is the stuff political correctness takes out of your daily life. It makes it a social and legal no-no to use these words and many others like them. Political correctnesss equals social restraint. Not spewing hatred and insults publicly or privately.

At the foundation of political correctness is civility. Not treating people as inferiors. Not insulting others because of how they look or what they believe. Or where they come from. Not laughing at them because they limp or don’t talk properly. Or don’t speak English.

It’s not merely tolerance. It’s acceptance, equality, and democracy. It’s what we supposedly stand for in America.

Too much of everything? I’ll worry about that when everyone has enough food, shelter, medical care, water, and freedom. There can never be too much when so many have nothing.

35 thoughts on “WHEN SO MANY HAVE NOTHING

  1. Good post, Marilyn. Context of the quotation would help. I would think that there are those who have too little food to eat who might take exception to the sentiment in that snippet.

    As to political correctness, I tend to agree. And I get frustrated with people like Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. He seems to not have a clue how anyone could possibly be offended by the name of his team. And, by the way, I’m a guy who grew up in the DC area and is a lifelong fan of the Washington football team.

    On the other hand, I do sometimes wonder if political correctness has gone too far in terms of stand-up comedy. As I said in a post I did around three years ago — http://mindfuldigressions.com/2011/07/05/politically-correct-stand-up-comedy/ — politically correct stand-up comedy is a bit of an oxymoron.

    But hey, maybe I’m being a bit insensitive..

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    • As far as I can tell from late night comedy specials on cable, political correctness ain’t stopping no one from making jokes. Maybe not on prime time network TV … but that’s no longer a bellwether for anyone. If you go to a comedy club or Vegas, comedy is as incorrect as anyone could want. I find a lot of it offensive, so it must be incorrect 🙂

      Dan Snyder is a moron and probably a bigot, too.

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          • So you don’t think someone watching a live stand-up performance might not shoot a video with their smartphone and post it to YouTube, where it would show a comic being highly politically incorrect? Hmm. Tell that to some comedians whose routines have been videoed and posted and whose careers have suffered as a result. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for being less insensitive and offending towards others. But stand-up comedy, almost by definition, is meant to be somewhat controversial, which implies that it is not intended to be politically correct. For those who don’t want to face the possibility of finding something offensive, they might want to think twice about going to a live stand-up comedy performance.

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            • They actually show most of this on late night cable. If you have a package that carries it, that is (and we do). PC is the one thing they are NOT. Personally, I think funny is another thing they are (mostly) not. For me, I don’t give a rat’s ass whether it’s PC or profane. If it doesn’t make me laugh, it ain’t comedy.

              Name me ONE SINGLE COMEDIAN who has suffered for political incorrectness. This is an urban legend. If anything, it has made most of them famous, gotten them more bookings, TV specials, and attention than some of them could have gotten any other way. And in some cases, deserved.

              There is no such thing in the entertainment biz, as bad PR. There’s just PR. As Garry says: “As long as they spell your name right, it’s good.”

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Edna Ferber won a Pulitzer Prize which I havn’t up to now. Perhaps she didn’t have room on the sideboard for it and decided it was as bad as not having the Pulitzer prize. The powers that are should organise things to see that those with too much give the too much to those with too less, which will never happen. Just a great group of words which really mean nothing I would say.

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  3. I’m anti-PC. In my experience in higher-education, PC just fostered hypocrisy and over-simplification (“We don’t read Hemingway. He uses the word ‘nigger’ in his stories and he is a misogynist,” all that taken out of context too) Like you, I’m pro-civility. Rather than being “PC,” people should become enlightened, open-minded and kind. Rather than teaching kids to be “PC” families and schools should teach kids to use their imaginations to imagine the feelings of others. A lot harder, I guess.

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  4. I live in a part of the country where liberalism is carried to an extreme. Political correctness makes me want to puke. We ARE a country of wussies and have been for some time. We have sporting events for kids where everyone gets a medal. How are they going to learn about failure, about picking yourself up and striving to do better. Here, people get reported for speaking harshly to their children, for allowing them to play in a park across the street from their home, for wearing a T-shirt bearing a slogan for or against anything. You can’t be different, have a mind of your own or speaking out. That’s NOT what this country was based upon. Why can we burn the American flag on the courthouse steps and ride butt naked on a bicycle down main street but to openly correct your own child’s behavior in public will get you locked up and your children taken from you. This country is really screwed up!

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    • Education is not an issue of political correctness. It’s terrible educational policies and don’t get me started on THAT. There is SO much wrong, I don’t know where to start. But as for preventing racists and other hate mongers from spewing all over the airwaves? If it takes a law, I’m for it.

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  5. Even here in New Zealand political correctness has taken over. People can’t be themselves anymore. We are becoming a nanny state – where we are told what to do and what to say – just in case someone gets offended. It is called oppression of freedom of speech. 😦

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      • I know what you mean. We should be able to say what we want but there is always the need to respect others. I don’t mean we should spout of racist rants but that we should be able to articulate what we feel without offending others. I have been reading Pride and Prejudice and watching the 1995 miniseries and there is a lot of criticism of others in it. But there was an etiquette to follow. Maybe we need to learn some form of etiquette in how we express our views.

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  6. Hmmmm…. this made me think, a tad too much at this time of day. Dammit… knew I just should have brushed my teeth and gone to bed. 😉 Best guess, it had something to do with those who do have, and act like stinkin’ idiots; thus, for them, perhaps a bit less would bring ’em down a notch to reality?

    There’s no such thing as “too much,” unless ’tis treated by the individual like a given entitlement. Those who have “too much” could likely be well-schooled by being knocked down a peg or two, or kicked off their pedestal, or have the water suddenly rise ’bout their ankles, causing them to stop walking and commence sinking.

    End of day… the only time one has “too much” is when they’re being an idiot. 😉 Thanks for the brain exercise, Mrs. A. Good thing I sleep like a rock regardless of my day. Tonight, I’ll hope and dream none of us comes to the point where we have “too much” of any one thing. Pretty sure we’re safe for another day or two. 😀

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      • Okay, Mrs. A…. and here’s yet another way to think of it. What if Edna’s (Edna, can we be on a first name basis?) theory were twisted ’round in the mind a bit? Reversed, if you will.

        What if one had too much poor health? If one had too much lack of sleep? Too many financial hardships? Too many falls of pride? Too many wrongly placed relationship decisions? Too much to do, not enough time to be? Too much to drink, or eat, or smoke? Too many ill-placed desires, impossible too obtain?

        Perhaps then, a little less would be a good thing? Never experiencing the “too much” side of something may make the individual unable to appreciate what is on the other side of too much. Kind of like Goldilocks and the three bears… too hard, too soft, just right. Kind of like seeing a glass as half empty or half full.

        Is it possible to have too much sleep? Too much money? Too much fun? Too much happiness? Too much of a good thing? Perhaps “too much” is in the eye of the beholder.

        Doubtful Ms. Ferber put the same thought process to this particular snippet. (I’ve pissed off Ms. Ferber, and she told me to never call her Edna again 😉 ) Or perhaps I just don’t know her well enough to make that judgment call.

        Nonetheless, ’tis a good quote to make one think. Gotta love thinking, huh? And by the way, can one think too much? Often this blackbird is told she overthinks. Good morning, Mrs. A. Time for coffee and dispensing of biscuits. 😀

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        • As I said … there’s always more than enough bad stuff to go around. Bad luck overflows. My very Christian friends would say it is all sin. We are covered in sin and sin rules the world. I’m not quite ready for that … but there’s plenty of bad to go around. The good is in much shorter supply.

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            • Would chaotic religion work for you? Just kidding. I’ve never gotten along with anything that requires me to follow a lot of rules. Schools, religions, corporations. If I’d been a better rule followers, I’d have had a whole lot better career, but I was so non-corporate and no blatantly non-management. Garry too. We just are what we are and even when it’s convenient to change, we can’t.

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  7. Pingback: Poem / Poetry – “Room In My Heart For You” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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