Words with baggage


Feedback and comments are oxygen for bloggers – even when they’re not exactly in “pat on the back” territory.

This assertive comment on matters sartorial in my recent “must not get stuck in a rut” story for instance:

“Good on you Kenny. I don’t mean to sound terrible but i think you need to find yourself as a man in the appearance department. Your sponge bob tshirts and the like are not really a look that women would be attracted to. You would look amazing in a casual shirt and nice pair of pants. At your age a man should look like a respectable gentleman, not like a teenager. As many would scorn what i have just said, i am being honest in my opinion. A woman wants a man who acts and dresses like a man, not a teenage hippy boy. All the best with finding a mate, im sure you will find the perfect one for you.”

Today’s post on the fab Famous Blue Raincoat burgers spurred comments from a friend about the following paragraphs:

“We spy a young mum tucking in to a parmagiana as her partner’s steak sits unmolested.

He’s walking their toddler.

He returns; they swap roles.

Been there, done that … many, many times!”

For her, the word “unmolested” is simply too emotionally charged to be used in such a way and in such a context – especially when the following paragraph mentions a toddler.

What do you think?

I am genuinely interested to know. 

14 thoughts on “Words with baggage

  1. re: Unmolested: Made me pay attention rather than just lazily reading, which is always a good thing… but it definitely caught me by surprise.

    And keep on dressing the way you do. You’ve made it this far haven’t you?


  2. I must admit when I read that word I got taking a back a bit then thinking about it I have your read your blogs long enough now to know your style of writing, for example if you said left untouched that would have been too simple a word for you to use and that’s what makes your blog so enjoyable and readable your use of words, sure sometimes they do challenge me or send me running for the nearest dictionary I just love how your blog is not just a boring read. As with your style I know it would be more refine to dress it up a bit instead of being a hippy teenager but that is not been true to you, you are who you are and that is not being to true to a potential partner if you try change style’s just to get a partner.


  3. I think it’s a shame that some words, names or symbols that have many meanings come to be associated mainly with just one negative connotation. I guess as bloggers we have to be sensitive to that, particularly when it might affect a lot of people. The problem is, it’s hard to guess what might upset people. For example, I read your post and thought nothing at all about the use of the word “molested”, until your post here about it. However, I’m not the parent of a toddler, and I guess if you have small children it might be something that you worry about in its negative connotation so much that it can’t have any other meaning for you.
    Negative connotations seem to hang round for a very long time. For example, since the 1940s, you couldn’t, in your right mind, ever name a child Adolf, though it was a very popular German name until the evil dictator Hitler came to power. (Apparently, some nutcase parents in New Zealand tried to name their child “Adolf Hitler” in 2011, but got knocked back). There are still quite a lot of old Germans who have the name, but most have changed it, to “Adi” or “Dolf”, for example.
    Likewise, the swastika was a symbol of good used for 3000 years by many cultures including India, but was completely hijacked by the Nazis and made into the symbol of horrible things such as cruelty, anti-semitism and genocide.


  4. Appropriate use of the language. Don’t stress. Victoria might be the greatest nanny state on the planet.

    And I suspect the comment on your sartorial elegance didn’t come from someone you would ever want to go out with!! Could there be anything more boring than a “respectable gentleman”?


  5. Given that this is a personal blog and we read it for your personal take on things, I think you should write however _you_ write. Your blog, your writing, you make the rules.


  6. I very much enjoy your blog and have visited quite a few of the places you have recommended. The Chinese restaurant near Sunshine station has become a regular, good food and such friendly folk. Please keep on being your entertaining self and I think we have enough boring people in suits don’t you? Cheers.


  7. Hi Kenny as a long time reader I really enjoy your use of language, it is one of the things that makes your blog so engaging. Keep up the good work and don’t let others tell you how you should write I say! I also think your sartorial style reflects your cheerful and quirky take on life and you should stick with how you feel comfortable. I suspect you would be bored out of your wits impersonating a respectable gentleman and it would be our loss too! Plus one to Benny about the father-son blog too (for his sake) just while I’m here. Cheers c


  8. Remember the Aesop’s Fable about the man and the donkey? It concerned a guy who was walking into town with a donkey that had goods loaded on its back. Some of the villagers started jeering the man, saying that he was a fool to walk alongside the donkey, because beasts were meant to carry humans. So the man climbed on, only to cop it from other directions; that he was cruel to overburden the animal. So he got off. Then onlookers began jiving him about the way he had arranged the load on the donkey, telling him to put more weight on this side or that. As he was re-packing at the top of a bridge, the load fell off and was lost in the river below. (In some versions of the fable, it was the entire donkey which fell into the water and drowned. Aesop, the Bros. Grimm and other traditional tales had some dark endings in many tellings, before they got Disneyfied and sanitised.)

    The point of the story is that you have to do what YOU think is right, and not be swayed by the opinions of the crowd, because they will always be pulling you in different directions, and you can never please everyone. You want to use a word like “unmolested”? Fine! It’s not like you were writing “The CHILD sat there unmolested.” Some people, especially feminists, are hypersensitive. Maybe your comment criticiser was molested herself and the word brings pain. You can’t be expected to know her psychology and cater to it. You wanna dress like a Deadhead? Put on clothes that make you comfortable and express in an outward way the person you are inside. You have to please yourself, as long as it’s not trampling on the rights of others. You have to find a bird who likes your natural plumage.

    That said, Carol had a friend in San Francisco who was going out for many years with a long-time Deadhead about your age and dimensions. He was a high school physics teacher who dressed responsibly enough at work, but he went total hippie everywhere else, including on their numerous trips to Europe. They were often refused entry to good restaurants there because Europeans believe in higher standards of attire. That was OK with the bloke, because he was happy to subsist on street pizza and other down-market fare. Dude was hippie to the core. I’d listen to Carol and her friend rag about the guy, so I know how women view men’s sartorial faux pas. It helps to be able to dress up as well as down when the need arises.

    As far as connection with chicks, do you know about Meetup.org? It’s an all-volunteer group, worldwide including an active community in Melbourne, where people with various interests organise get-togethers and ask other punters to participate. There’s bicycling meet-ups, food-lovers meet-ups at restaurants, book club meet-ups, what-have-you. Oogle “Melbourne Meet-up group,” create an online profile, suss out what groups interest you, sign up for them and RSVP for their activities. It’s not as skeevy as web-based meat markets; it’s free, and you’ve pre-selected people who are into the same things you are, so your odds of finding a like-minded soul are increased. I’ve participated in various meet-ups in Vancouver and here. It’s an instant social scene, mate.


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