Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Silly Season in Politics and the English Language

Some textual excerpts from the below NPR story:
  • "…but his message about the gulf and his attempts to talk about the economy: completely overshadowed by the President’s remarks about the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York…"
  • "…and by Saturday, when he was on the Gulf Coast, he said ‘um, well I didn’t say it was wise to build the mosque; I didn’t say that they should build the mosque; I just said that they had the right to do it…’”
  • "…the problem for the President is more than 60% of the people in the polls say that the mosque should not be built…"

Desultory Eclecticism has, over the course of time, made several regrettable decisions; one of these aforementioned regrettable decisions placed it in Cairo for five consecutive mid-July days.  Sweatily assuming that all good Egyptian Muslims would be both devoutly eager to surrept its saved Christian soul and insidiously willing to cater to its decadent Western vices in the process, Desultory Eclecticism donned flip flops and a Speedo and entered every spired/crescent mooned/domed building in the greater megalopolis area.  In not one did it encounter a single Imamish Mohammedan with the avuncular courtesy to so much as direct it to the water slide.  Only after much embarrassment did Desultory Eclecticism learn that mosques are among the less appealing hang-out spots among God's several houses.

Which is why, empathetic to their error, Desultory Eclecticism was so excited to explain to NPR, Cable News, Newt Gingrich et al, and all of those protesters down at 51 Park, that the proposed Cordoba House, with its swimming pools and utter-lack-of-the-sort-of-prominent-Hollywood-based-support-that-would-have-allowed-this-sentence-to-cleverly-and-smoothly-proceed, appears in fact actually not be much of a mosque at all.

Nobody really listened.  Even the alleged Secret Muslim President has conceded the semantics of the debate with his “I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision, uh, to put a mosque there…” and such.

Without getting into all of the Muslim=suicide bomber and Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf=Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf=Mahmoud Ahmadinejad business, Desultory Eclecticism concedes the last word to the last bastion of reason:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Municipal Land-Use Hearing Update
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

First Person Update: Waiting in line to board a train yesterday evening at Chicago's Union Station, I found myself making small-talk with a friendly Arkansan.  When it came out that I lived in Manhattan, he asked what I thought of the Ground Zero Mosque.  I told him I didn't really have a problem with it.  He asserted, very clearly, "Well I'm against it!"  I responded that it was less a mosque than a Muslim Y (and it would look like this, not, say, this).  He, somewhat surprisingly, asked, "Really? I didn't know about all that.  Well, I don't have a TV.  I guess maybe I don't know that much about it."  I suggested that a TV probably wouldn't have helped much.  We arrived at, "Why is everybody making such a big deal of this?"  Why indeed.  

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