Monday, August 2, 2010

A Moderate Conservative or a Liberal One?

The political jargon that surrounds any discussion these days has reached the theater of the absurd. Good used to  mean good.
Bad, well bad. Right used to mean right, and left, left.

Que paso? Now, we speak of liberal consevatives, moderate ones, and the Far Right. We speak of liberal moderates, consevative moderates, and moderate liberals.

We say that the rise in foreclosures is dropping. That the upswing in unemployment has decreased.

We say that more is less. 

Yet, I love the verbal encounter in "Through The Looking Glass" when Alice encounters the egg, Humpty Dumpty sitting on a fence and a debate ensures over his definition of the word "glory" and Alice complains "The question is whether you can make words mean so many things." Humpty makes his classic rebuttal: "The question is which is to be master, that's all."

Yes, we are the masters of words no doubt. But are we. Shakespeare said a rose by any other name smells
just as sweet. But can a horse by another name smell just as bad? I think words are charged (Visa/Mastercard). For instance, illegal means Mexican. No one conjures Irish, Italian or Canadian illegals.

America mean the U.S. Yet, Mexicans and South Americans often refer to their countries as American.
Mexico and Central America was once referred to as Middle America, naturally to be tucked neatly between North America and South America.

The word tragedy as the Greeks saw it was once reserved for kings and royalty who had it all but lost it in one of three manners: Their own stupidity, a character flaw, and fate or destiny. Now it's a tragedy if my huevos con chorizo are served cold.

Great was reserved for greatness. Now, we praise our kids for failing by saying "great try, kid."

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!!" Oh, yeah Pendejo"?

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