Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Scapegoat ...Aaaaaaggghhhh!

The President of the USA told 60 Minutes in an interview that if Americans wanted a "scapegoat" he was it. There have been "things that could've been done better" and if we need a scapegoat he'll take it on for us. My head exploded.

I like Webster's 9th New Collegiate, it's not the best but they do get to the point fairly quickly and are accepted:

scapegoat - 1. *biblical, never mind* 2. a: one who bears the blame for others b: one that is the object of irrational hostility

If Merriam Webster take these people in the White House seriously they're going to be publishing an entirely new type of dictionary, one with meanings optional. They'll just spray words at a page and you get to pick what you like.

Now if you can explain to me how exactly it is that the Commander-in-Chief, you know, The Decider, is bearing the blame for someone else regarding the conduct of his war I'll try to put my head back together and apologize. Failing that, explain to me how this person who has mislead us into a war, mismanaged a war, inaccurately described the progress of a war, and divided this country into Patriots who back him and Traitors who do not is the object of irrational hostility on this basis and I'll just stop writing anything at all, ever again, because I must be psychologically imbalanced and just plain retarded.

There is such a complete and total disregard for the meaning of the English language demonstrated by these people that there probably are no words to adequately describe it to them. This misuse of the language goes beyond spin into the realm of propaganda. For Condi Rice to argue that escalation isn't the proper term, that augmentation is a correct description to a US Senator - Republican - is just plain ... stupid. Augment means: to make greater, more numerous, larger, or more intense and escalate means : to increase in extent, volume, number, amount, intensity, or scope. This is the best we can do for a Sec. State? This isn't about the diplomacy of correct language, this is about using the language to deny that what you're doing is exactly what you say you're doing. Does this make your head spin? 'We don't want you to think we're doing exactly what we're telling you we are doing because you might not like us doing exactly what we just told you we are doing.' If you don't like being treated like a complete idiot, it would pay to remember that these people were elected by us TWICE.

2 comments:

Zak J. said...

I tried to think up a word that means "victim of RATIONAL hostility," which I hope comes to describe W., but I wasn't up to the linguistic challenge. Times of great turmoil are reflected in the language; hence we get names that turn into insults--like "Mudd" from the Civil War or "Quisling" and "Eichmann" from WWII. Going back to that time I am reminded of Mussolini's fate as the victim of "rational" hostility on the part of those who willingly put him into power and followed him into folly. But I hope our nation doesn't go down that road, despite W.'s efforts to lead us there.

I think W.'s, Cheney's, Rice's and other's eventual political demises may require new language, and I hope all of there names come to be a shorthand term for "one who becomes an object of extreme disgust, loathing, and contempt as a result of failed leadership based on fear-mongering and divisiveness backed up with cringing cowardice, incompetence, and paranoid delusions."

"Napolean" doesn't even do it, though "Nero" is getting close. The only close historical precedent I can think of are "Captain Bly" of the Bounty. In fiction of course we have "Chicken Little" and Humphrey Bogart's brilliant "Commander Queeg" in Mutiny on the Bounty. So here's hoping that "Yup, he's a real Bush/Cheney/Rice" comes to mean all the things we've come to know about this band of frightened idiots.

Chuck Butcher said...

I'm up to the linguistic challenge, provided it doesn't have to work in polite company...
So, I guess I'll just keep quiet.