Monday, October 16, 2006

unacceptability

My apologies to any of my regular readers (all two of you) or any casual readers brought here by a recent posting of this website to my ancient livejournal . I thought that time home would allow for a more frequent posting here, but it has proved to have had quite the opposite effect. Nevertheless, i shall strive for more than a weekly posting in this forum. I have had various topics to blog about (the Massachusetts governor's race, the secret contingency plan for the US gov't, the census rolling over to 300 million) but I feel like I am lacking in an original thought or take in on the subject. One article I have read recently which I do feel particularly suited to talk about is this WaPo piece on the linguistic repetitions of the president.

Bush's verbal style has been much remarked upon for its almost willful malpropisms, but if he inherited his inarticulateness from dear old dad, then he inherited his belligerent tone from mean old mom. This article makes much of his declaring events or outcomes to be either 'unacceptable'' or 'not acceptable' on a frequency far outpacing that of Clinton or prior presidents. Among the problems found unacceptable by W: rising health costs, illegal immigrants, genocide in Darfur, Iran's nuclear program, the Social Security system, his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, the law making degrading treatment of prisoners a war crime, various events in Iraq and North Korea's nuclear test. He even used it in a lecture to elementary school children in Glen Burnie, Maryland on January 9th of this year in reference to their recent scores on math and reading proficiency tests.

Buddhism's first noble truth, "Life is suffering", invites people to accept that suffering is a natural part of life. The best and underreported part from this article was Bush's other favorite verbal construction, instructing audiences to 'listen!' before giving them some exhortation, as in 'America is respected!' or 'this economy is good!' More and more these cringeworthy verbal parlor tricks serve as evidence of petulant frustration of a man finally being denied when he has had everything handed on a silver platter to him for most of his life. People can't be trained to accept things which they themselves find unbelievable through repetitious and irritated hectoring.

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