Esteemed members of the jury,
I submit the following words for immediate and violent execution
and extraction from our vocabularies,
to be locked away forever, if you would prefer.
These words I present to you are "good" and "bad."
These words have served as treacherous liars
These two words have worked in tandem
to produce vague and bland sentences that have crippled the creativity of humanity.
These two deceptively tiny words
stifle real description and honest communication.
Look at them, just sitting there on this page,
all smug and satisfied with their work.
How dare they?
You serve no purpose in our world,
and we must rid ourselves of your influence.
We must replace these two words with the truth,
with phrases that include adequate and sincere adjectives.
I’ll offer you "radiant," "stupefying," "awful," "gut-wrenching."
These choices create clarity and depth.
"Good" and "bad" only provide gray vagueness.
We must demand color!
We should even use winding similes and metaphors, where appropriate.
We have to do whatever we can and should to make our real sentiments known.
"Good" and "bad" will no longer be our go-to words
that we rely on when we are too afraid or too languid to express our real thoughts.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I implore you to deliver a verdict of guilty
and send these words to their rightful fate.
Now imagine a world without these two words.
Imagine a world where real description is required,
digging further into our vocabulary
than just a monosyllabic effort to get away with not being honest,
How does my hair look?
Good. What is that?
A dull attempt not to be honest?
Perhaps my hair looks like a hideous mess of tangles and bald spots.
Yet someone does not want to be honest, and offers the quick fix "good,"
to try and mask the truth
and send me hurling into the evening with a plop of disorganized tresses.
This will not do.
Perhaps my hair looks like an amazing glossy sculpture
that frames my face perfectly,
and lends an air of magic to the night.
Well, "good" just doesn’t cut it.
I won’t take any more of this formless, lifeless description.
I will not take these lies, and neither should you.
A doctor asks you how you feel.
"I feel bad."
The doctor, based on this paltry report,
could conclude that you have brain cancer or the flu or rabies.
You owe it to yourself and the possible misdiagnosis of your life
to be honest about exactly how you feel.
"I feel like a herd of wombats has taken up in my chest."
A-ha! There we have it. An accurate description.
Now the doctor has some real evidence to work with in order to assist you.
We have become addicted to the numbness that "good" and "bad" have created.
We have become linguistic slobs,
churning out “good” and “bad”
wherever we are too lazy to allow our minds to communicate
with creativity and specification.
You look good, you sound bad, this tastes good,
the weather looks bad.
Lie after lie,
repeating this verbal gray, this sloshy mush,
this fuzzy picture that reflects no real truth.
Replace them with grittier, exact terms
that have been buried in our Lexis, waiting to see daylight.
No longer does the weather look good or bad,
the weather looks ominous or exhilarating.
Nothing tastes good or bad.
It tastes like pillows of sparkles
or old shoe and dung.
No more of sounding good or bad.
You sound like lilting baby laughter
or ogres marching to war.
Dear God, you do not look good or bad.
You look like a feathery angel or a morose faun.
Today, you look at these two words,
"good" and "bad,"
examine them closely.
Because behind their seemingly unassuming visages
reside two deceitful offerings that smother the truth.
These words are liars.
These words must be stopped.
Remove them from our language so that honesty can return to our communication.
Ladies and gentlemen,
if I say to you that you have been a good jury,
you will take the compliment, make your decision and go on about your day.
But if I say to you that you are an honorable jury,
and that I hope your unshakeable determination
to better the vocabulary of humanity
will result in finding "good" and "bad" guilty,
you will recognize the ingenuity of this argument
and find “good”and “bad” guilty.