Thursday, December 26, 2002

How to write like the bourgeoisie

Where I grew up, we'd say that he was a two-faced bastard, but, if you write for Foreign Affairs, you say that Bush has "shown an incipient, albeit unsurprising, case of split personality."

In my hometown, Dennis Kozlowski would be called a thief. If you're Marianne Lavelle of U.S. News & World Report, he's a "rogue." In fact, he's the roguiest. You will, of course, point out how he (and others) have hurt the lower caste, but your use of the word "rogue" will signify just how puckish, how mischievous you think this man is -- who is right now probably shushing waggishly down the slopes at Beaver Creek.

In the Bush administration, you "render" people you've declared "enemy combatants" to a "Mideast country friendly to the United States." In the middle of Kansas, you get someone else to beat his ass, so you can keep your hands clean.

If you're a zealot who wants, apparently, to be able to have a church service wherever you happen to be at the time, you say that Disney's decision to curtail religious services at Disney World shows "a lack of comprehension of how the real country lives and what's important to them." If you're from St. John, Kansas, you say, "If you're so damn Godly, what are you doing at Disney World on a Sunday?" If you're the Lord Jesus Christ, you say, "When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matthew 6:5-6)


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