Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout? What Bailout? Bailout What?

Everything Old Is New Again

The Language Wrangler loves words. Sometimes it's difficult to cut through the useless verbiage to get to the meat. Not to mention, one's appetite changes.

Many sites on the web offer vocabulary enrichment. A Word a Day doesn't bounce or blink, or float suspect advertisements. I like that. Take a look at Word a Day.

Given the events in Washington DC in the past weeks, weeks in which the words 'panic' 'meltdown' 'political posturing' and 'predatory lending' were used with great frequency, it's time to step back and think ahead.

My vocabulary is now enriched by the portmanteau 'politicaster.'

"The politicaster is looking for small opportunities -- for such pickings and stealings as a careless public may leave for those of his kind. The great politician is looking for great opportunities."
Samuel McChord Crothers; In Praise of Politicians; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Jan 5, 2004.

Also, if you have never read The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, the best cynic I never knew, consider the following:

Corporation: n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. -Ambrose Bierce, author and editor (1842-1914)


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Media. Who is that, again?

Punching Bag Deflated

I'm bewildered when anyone says "The Media" while dipping into the Blame Bag. Sometimes they say "The Liberal Media" or "Right Wing Media" which might narrow things down, but not by much. No matter who is speaking, it's evidence of more lazy thinking. "The Media" means nothing.

The Media is conservative, liberal, centrist, apolitical. The media is TV broadcast news with little more than factual highlights. The media is a variety of testy talking heads. Bill O'Reilly, and Howard Stern, and Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Buchanan, and Andrea Mitchell, and Cokie Roberts and Paul Harvey and Tavis Smiley, and Rachel Maddow and Charlie Rose and Keith Olbermann---good grief, aren't they a disparate bunch.

With all the voices on the blogosphere squatting on a political spectrum like birds on a wire, are we to assume that The Media is of One Voice?

Then there's the delicious irony of Sarah Palin, journalism major, complaining about The Media. Does she understand what The Media means? There's John McCain backing out of a gig on Larry King (who is not exactly known for his hardball questions) because a different CNN interviewer asked a McCain rep a tough question.

Spin doctors are on the payroll of both camps. A press release is not reporting. Gee, it's so tough to be part of the media--which includes US and People and The Enquirer. They must use a lot of Ben-Gay to help ease the pain of media bashing.

So, what "Media" enemies are we talking about, again? Help me out here.