May 08, 2003

I'm Feeling Ill, Too

Glenn Reynolds notices this article from the Telegraph. Apparently what most struck Glenn was how diseased anti-Americanism is. Gregory Taylor, whom Glenn quotes, was apparently most struck by Ms. Drabble's lack of historical sense. I was, on the other hand, most struck by how those in love with language get so caught up in turning a beautiful phrase, that they forget how insipid and vapid:

My anti-Americanism has become almost uncontrollable. It has possessed me, like a disease. It rises up in my throat like acid reflux, that fashionable American sickness. I now loathe the United States and what it has done to Iraq and the rest of the helpless world.

or how inaccurate (it was Fat Man, not "Big Boy"):
Others have written eloquently about the euphemistic and affectionate names that the Americans give to their weapons of mass destruction: Big Boy, Little Boy, Daisy Cutter, and so forth.

or how trite:
We are accustomed to these sobriquets; to phrases such as "collateral damage" and "friendly fire" and "pre-emptive strikes". We have almost ceased to notice when suicide bombers are described as "cowards". The abuse of language is part of warfare. Long ago, Voltaire told us that we invent words to conceal truths. More recently, Orwell pointed out to us the dangers of Newspeak.

are the actual thoughts they are expressing.

I do like Glenn's idea of painting smiley faces on our weapons to disconcert the enemy. Maybe we could put a bunny stencil on the side as well.

Posted by Jeff at May 8, 2003 09:15 AM | Link Cosmos
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