But then it’s the fashion, Humpty Dumptyism is. Or perhaps that’s wrong, perhaps it’s never not been the fashion, in which case it’s not the fashion, it’s just what humans do. No more a fashion than eating or breathing. But it’s hard to believe that it’s not at least a little more pervasive and evident and popular now in the age of mass media and incessant communication and non-stop information – not to mention democracy. Henry VIII and Louis XIV didn’t have a lot of need to persuade the farm laborers and weavers and sturdy beggars of their world to love and admire and vote for them, so that must have cut back on the amount of word play right there. And then there’s selling, too. If there’s not much to sell – ‘You can have the brown cloth or the other brown cloth’ – there’s not much need for advertising language, is there. No, surely it’s fair to say there’s more Humpty Dumptyism around now than there was in, say, 1479 or even 1979.
And I must say, I’m enjoying a good malicious laugh at Fox News and its version of the practice. Fair and balanced indeed – and thinking it owned the words! What next! I think we should start suing everyone who uses the words ‘butterfly’ and ‘wheel’ and ‘nonsense’. I don’t know which is funnier, Fox claiming to be fair and balanced, or Fox claiming that people would be confused about Franken’s meaning, or the mental picture of the courtroom squealing with helpless laughter as the judge questioned Fox’s lawyer, or Fox calling Franken ‘shrill and unstable’. Okay, I’ve decided: that last bit is the funniest. Fox calling other people shrill! No wonder the courtroom was falling about!
It’s good to have a source of laughter and derision from the right now and then, when the left seems to spend so much time making a fool of itself. The item about Brown University’s ‘Third World Training Program’ I posted yesterday is enough to make one want to join some third direction that hasn’t been named yet. Not mainstream, thank you very much, not moderate, no, it’s not radicalism I object to, it’s bloody silliness.