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Strictly Speaking

Opposites Are Not Identical

BAD

Once upon a time there was an adjective named bad. In that time it existed to describe people or objects or contracts or social ideas or philosophies genuinely believed by the user of the word bad to be unacceptable, unfavorable, undesirable, unsuitable in use or even unfavorable in consumption. Gary Larsen once drew a cartoon titled “When potato salad goes bad.”

Being deemed bad is generally taken as being less helpful to social mainstream objectives than being good. Good was the opposite of bad as is light and dark, or black and white. Distinctions by contrast were often dramatically useful in asserting simple-minded differences, as in Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It is not dramatically implicit even after several viewings whether Lee van Cleeve or Eli Wallach was the bad, or why the guy left over after the tie-breaker was ugly. Nor was it clear why the ugly one, whoever that was, lacked the moral polarity of goodness or badness that characterized the others. It was only clear that when all three men stood squinting like mad dogs in the noonday sun, that distinctions of moral virtue were going to be less important than besting Sammy Davis, Jr. in removing the peacekeeper from its holster and pulling the trigger, assuming you didn’t squeeze prematurely and shoot yourself in the foot Read More 
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