A Word In Edgewise: Pure-D Meanness: The Eighth Deadly Sin?


I can understand anger, jealousy, and some other unsavory emotions, but I have never been able to comprehend what my southern relatives called, “Pure-D Meanness.” It seems to be everywhere today, perhaps because we live in a tell-all internet world. It ranges from the lowest to the highest levels, and it seems not to matter how petty the issue, how deserved another’s good fortune, how plain human compassion would dictate acting otherwise, the Pure-D Mean rush to thrust a stick in the spokes of another’s wheel.

Those little libraries. Orange-crate-sized structures, plain or decorated, a homeowner has placed outside his door, accessible for passers-by to take a free book and leave one for another reader. Sharing is their purpose; neighborliness, friendship, good will. What’s not to like?

Well, plenty, it seems. Some have objected to “free-standing structures” on one’s own property. Like that of the nine-year-old Kansas boy who built one for a Mother’s Day gift. Local officials soon notified him it was in violation of ordinances. Someone was getting and giving pleasure that they shouldn’t be.

Who wants to deny food to the homeless? Enough so that giving free food outside is illegal in some thirty cities. Laughable — if it weren’t despicable — in light of the fact that these very deniers insist we all take literally a book in which a man feeds free loaves and fishes to the multitudes.

There’s currently only one same-sex couple legally married in Texas, given that dispensation only because one is dying of cancer. Now there’s move to un-marry these women that have been together thirty-one years with two children. And how about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who, a while back, wanted a new law to keep same-sex partners from visiting loved ones in the hospital? Pure-D Meanness, in my opinion.

For a nation slouching its way toward a Christian fundamentalist theocracy, it seems hypocritical even to the non-religious that what the Pure-D Mean are jettisoning are the very actions Jesus himself preached and performed; love, mercy, and compassion for others. There is no reason or excuse to deny others these small (or the great) kindnesses; no dangers incurred, deniers are themselves denied nothing.

Mean has the connotations of “cruelty” and “smallness.” The Pure-D Mean are riddled through with both.

Lavender Magazine

5100 Eden Ave, Suite 107 • Edina, MN 55436 • 612.436.4660

©2022 Lavender Media, Inc.