NIP IT IN THE BUD”
(Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show)
You remember Barney right?
From back in the early 1960s?
The hapless deputy helping to protect the imaginary town of Mayberry, NC?
Thank goodness for his even-keeled, laid back boss, Sheriff Andy Taylor.
When Barney wanted to make a point of how certain things needed to go, in what direction
his long-suffering boss should proceed…all the while emphasizing the need for
no further discussion on his part, he was famous for using the quip,
“Nip it…Nip it in the bud.”
“Ya got to nip it, Andy, nip it in the bud now!”
According to the dictionary, the expression means:
suppress or destroy something at an early stage
Meaning cut it off at the source before it, whatever it might be, spreads and thus
creates a deeper tangled mess.
Such an expression could be used, say, toward gossip…stopping idol hearsay before
it becomes so distorted that folks get unnecessarily hurt or unfairly maligned.
And so now we have it…we know our troubles…
Our trouble is that we are currently living in a sea of irony…
a sea of nipping things in the bud.
I hate to say it but we are living in a culture lead by those who are nipping anything
everything, anyone, and everyone in the bud.
As in, get rid of it, get rid of them… now!
In other words, cancel it out.
I’ve never really been a big fan of comedians, I think I’ve mentioned that before.
I’ve never been one to enjoy amusement derived at the expense of others.
Now I can be self-deprecating as the day is long…but I just find
many of today’s comedians and their schticks to be either laced with foul words
and or imagery and simply tasteless, offensive and irreverent dribble.
Of course, those like Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Sammy Davis Jr.
Dean Martin and even Flip Wilson were of a different generation of comedians.
They could make me laugh.
They often laughed at themselves or laughed at things we could all relate to…
But I must say, that whereas he’s never been high on my list, I am finding
that I can actually readily appreciate the British comedian Ricky Gervais.
He has not shied away from going after those whose circles he has run in
or at least run around.
Recently, he let loose on the Hollywood elites when he hosted the last Golden
Globe awards. Yes he can be foul and irreverent, which is why
I don’t much care to watch him, but he has, however, been candidly truthful.
And it is his truthfulness that I can certainly appreciate.
I caught a news story yesterday about Gervais speaking out
against today’s cancel culture.
I found his observation to be most telling…
“Everyone’s got a different definition of cancel culture,” the 59-year-old explained.
“If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don’t like them, that’s everyone’s right.
But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don’t like their opinion
about something that’s nothing to do with their job,
that’s what I call cancel culture and that’s not cool.”
He added: “You turning off your own TV isn’t censorship.
You trying to get other people to turn off their TV because you don’t like something
they’re watching, that’s different.”
“I did a tweet a month ago about freedom of speech, quoting Winston Churchill.
Someone came back with, ‘You know he was a white supremacist?’
And I wrote back, ‘Not in that tweet he isn’t.’
It’s like if someone did something once that’s wrong, everything they did was wrong,” he said.
“You are allowed to have things in common with bad people as long it’s not the bad things.
I’m a vegetarian and I love dogs, like Hitler.
But the only thing I have in common with Hitler are the good bits!”
So it seems our culture has lost the notion of the good bits
while they mindlessly race to nipping both you and me in the bud!
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion,
that it may give grace to those who hear.