Shades of Black


Stories in today’s press foster a rumination about “misconduct.”

The monarch of Thailand banished two courtiers from his entourage for “extremely evil misconduct.”

Unpacking the phrase’s implications suggests there may be three shades of misconduct:

Misconduct (White)
Evil misconduct (Grey)
Extremely evil misconduct (Black)

The stabbing death of a Maryland man in an argument over a Popeye’s chicken sandwich is white misconduct. Brutish and violent, but too stupid to be evil.

The man who attacked a Syrian immigrant for speaking Arabic on a San Diego trolley committed grey misconduct. Brutish, violent, and stupid, yes — but also poisonous.

The Thai story doesn’t specify the sin. Being a monarchy, it was probably either sexual or financial — more white than black except to kings.

Here’s where it gets grim.

A country teetering on failed narco-state status has seen the ambush and slaughter of three women and six children. The failing state borders the world’s largest market for psycho-active intoxicants. No authority in that market stems demand. No authority in the failing state stems supply.

If this post were really about grammar I would ask: What is a color of “misconduct” blacker than black? One that matches a massacre where toddlers burn to death strapped in car seats with mother shot dead point-blank in the chest?

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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