Cons Who Failed English 101


The blogger formerly known as Kagro X takes out Rep. Paul Broun’s rampant dumbfuckery quite nicely, and I’ll leave him to address the railing against imaginary mice, the tax cut tomfoolery, and the myriad other con canards that littered an otherwise eminently forgettable speech.

I’m a writer. Of course I’m going to zero in on the violence done to the common metaphor (metaporus metaphorus):

Madam Speaker, I stand here today because Americans face a fork in the road. One side leads to socialism and the other path leads to freedom. This nonstimulus bill is the road to socialism. It will give us a journey that includes bureaucratic controls, high taxes, government intervention, Cuba-style medicine and economic collapse of America. This steam roller of socialism is being shoved down our throats and it will strangle our economy. This porkulus bill has a few decent provisions in it but is mostly filled with mystery meat. Rancid meat. Like the millions for plug-in government cars and millions for mouse restoration, that will ruin the entire meal. The captivating rhetoric about openness and transparency is providing cover for the rancid meat.

(Excuse me. I seem to have fallen to the floor laughing, and I can’t get up. Uno momento, por favor.)

What is it with Republicons and their inability to put together a coherent English sentence? They seems to have a disproportionate number of utter nimrods who, when called upon to speak with clarity and passion, end up with an incomprehensible babble in which only a few debunked talking points make it out alive, and then only just. It’s pathetic.

Broun’s metaphor isn’t merely mixed. He seems to have dunked his hand in a bag of words, pulled a fistful out at random, dumped them in a blender, and set it to puree. We’re left with the image of a rather large piece of road-building equipment with hands attempting to throttle the American economy whilst being energetically shoved down our collective throats by, one can only assume, a team of sumo wrestlers on steroids. Bring me the artist who can paint that, and I may just take up a second job to pay him for it. Such a painter would earn a place right alongside Picasso and Dali.

In order to be successful, a metaphor must be evocative. It must make sense. It can surprise, but it must not flummox. Only professionals should attempt to meld two disparate metaphorical elements into one: no one, under any circumstances whatsoever (except, of course, in comedic writing, and then only to be attempted by the reincarnation of Mark Twain), should ever attempt to meld three. And yet, here is Rep. Broun, visualizing socialism as a steamroller (apparently in a handy lozenge size) which, instead of being a thing that rolls, is a thing that is capable of being shoved down multiple throats at once (could it be a quantum steamroller?), and furthermore, rather than choking those whose throats it is shoved down, is possessed of appendeges which strangle their victim (whether from within or without is never made entirely clear). And we’re supposed to be frightened by this image.

The only thing I’m afraid of is that I may need abdominal surgery to repair the damage once the last aftershock of laughter has died away. Somewhere, a geologist is measuring a 5.o on his Richter scale, and wondering what the fuck just happened.

Until we can arrange for some remedial English education, I do wish Cons would stop trying to be clever. It’s funny, yes, but also tragic, and if it keeps up, the Queen’s going to call us wanting her English back.

Comments

  1. says

    And there’s the imaginary mice again! Maybe if they didn’t want socialism (and we’re a long way from that) they shouldn’t have completely crashed the country when they were completely in charge. They had their chance.

  2. says

    Plus a new character, Dr. Doom. He or she is about to make it impossible to get the care you need, merely by saying it isn’t cost efficient or sound medicine. Last time I looked, the medical insurance industry was starring in this role, but apparently Rep. Broun hasn’t noticed this.5.o on the Richter scale? Were you still so doubled over that you couldn’t reach the ‘0’?