the tragedy is that men and women not only use one another as things but use themselves, present themselves, sell themselves…as things.
—Joyce Carol Oates, Foxfire
The term “tear gas” is a misnomer. For one thing, “tear gas” seems to imply something innocuous— you would think it’s just a chemical that makes you tear up. In fact, tear gas is a dangerous, potentially lethal chemical agent which is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention for use during wartime. As the Omega Research Foundation argues: “Less-lethal weapons are presented as more acceptable alternatives to guns. But these weapons augment rather than replace the more lethal weapons. Euphemistic labels are used to create the impression that these weapons represent soft and gentle forms of control. CS is never referred to by the authorities as vomit gas, in spite of its capacity to cause violent retching.” NGO Physicians for Human Rights believes that “ ‘tear gas’ is a misnomer for a group of poisonous gases which, far from being innocuous, have serious acute and longer-term adverse effects on the health of significant numbers of those exposed.”
I’ll have to give you what I got,
& then give you more, more, more, more.
There’s a race of men that don’t fit in.
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood.
And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood.
And they don’t know how to rest.
If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strange and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are.
And they want the strange and new.
They say: “Could I find my proper groove.
What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change. and each fresh move is only a fresh mistake.
He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him.
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone. and it’s bred in bone:
He’s a man who won’t fit in.
—The Men Who Don’t Fit In
Robert W. Service