Wednesday, January 09, 2008

If you can't say it, you can't bomb it

As I've noted here in the past, at some recent time "nu-cu-lar" became an accepted pronunciation according to Merriam-Webster (and others, I'm sure). Still, I'm old school and every time our frat boy leader says "nu-cu-lar" it grates on me. Of course, the whole "shucks, I'm just a country boy" routine makes me want to projectile vomit after my head spins around a little. (And is it just my imagination or is Edwards leaning on that southern drawl more than he used to?) The American anti-intellectual spirit that goes something like "We're so busy setting fence posts on our ranch we don't have time to worry about book learnin'," is both embarrassing and infuriating. Reagan and Bush have both managed to push their homespun images to a point of near parody, and the country as a whole seems perfectly willing to go right along with them in their pork-rind-eating, cowboy-boot-wearing, hayseed-chewing matter of fact feeling that we can't be burdened by the hifallutin business of learning the law or consulting the Constitution. Common sense (read ideology) trumps all that intellectual stuff.

I made the great mistake of listening to the news this morning which is what inspired this post. Generally I try to just read the news so that I don't have to actually listen to Bush's voice at all. I tuned in toward the end of Olmert's long intro piece that was being simultaneously translated, and at its close, Bush pipes up, "The interpreter got it right," which was another but apparently funnier way of saying, "I'm a monolingual idiot and this is all over my head." Jesus, could we just elect someone that doesn't generate the same sort of shame that the drunk relative at the party engenders? Even if I don't agree with him (or her) I'd just like to have a president that I didn't feel like sending apology notes to other heads of state about.

So I decided this morning, while listening to Bush yap about the middle east, that one shouldn't be allowed to declare war on (or invade) a country unless you can pronounce its name right. So no war on "Eye Ran" or "Eye Raynians." Sorry.

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