October 7, 2021

“Jake Gyllenhaal says filming bedroom scenes with Jennifer Aniston was ‘torture.'”

Hmm, let’s see.

Or, “Wherein I use current shallow news to give a shout-out to Strunk & White.”


“Oh yeah, it was torture, yes it was. But it was also not torture. I mean, come on, it was like a mix of both,” Jake laughed.

Now, we white men (and, probably, you, sometimes, too) can get lazy with the language of privilege. We say he or she’s “crazy,” when we mean toxic. “Retarded” is still in vogue in New England, too often. “Gay” or “fag” is going out of teen vogue, but it’s still all too common. “Lame” isn’t okay. No, you’re not “addicted” to Squid Game (unless you are).

And now, multi-millionaire playboy/famous actor bros it up with Howard Stern, laughingly terming nude sex with Jennifer Aniston as “torture.”

You know what’s torture?


The United States Government, going against its own principles, legally supported it during the Bush Administration. 100,000s of men, women, and even children are tortured around the world ever day, every year!

You know what else is torture? The daily torture of animals in factory farms…and small farms, too. But we look away.

So let’s get precise with our language, as Strunk & White might urge. When I said this and that and the other was “cool,” back in my youth, my grandma would irritatedly remonstrate: “What is this word, cool?! You use it for everything! Say what you mean!”

So no, getting paid millions of dollars to roll around in the hay might not be as sexy or fun as it sounds or looks.

But it ain’t…torture.


PS: for those saying “this is clickbait,” I love that you clicked on an article hoping for nude-i-ness but instead got a boring, thoughtful discussion of language. That’s on you.

I don’t always express myself respectfully, nor do you, nor do any of us. And that’s just the point. Context is not excuse, though it is vital. If I call someone “n-word” or “retarded,” the context is important, but not an excuse.

Spend a few hours researching, and watching, real torture of humans, and animals, and you might begin to care.

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