Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kurt Bestor on Words

Who knew Kurt Bestor had a blog?

Growing up, I always thought that it was a good thing to be “elite.” According to my Funk and Wagnalls - “elite” is the best of a class or a group of people who by virtue of their position or education exercise much power and influence. Being on the “elite team” meant you were a cut above. But suddenly, that “doyen of linguistic knowledge” Sean Hannity has deftly changed the definition to something undesirable. Calling Barack Obama a member of the “East-coast elite” is suddenly a negative thing. Hmm - I guess I can’t use THAT word any more.


Lately I’ve heard many new words and phrases thrown out by the religious right much like the cry of “She’s a witch!” back in puritanical Salem. They don’t support the troops! How unpatriotic!” “They have no family values!” “Only the Republicans are “compassionate!”

My patriotism? Well - now they’ve gone too far. So - I’m taking my words back! First of all, to be “patriotic” means so much more than wearing a flag pin or a yellow “support the troops” bumper sticker. I love our brave US soldiers enough to NEVER want them to use their weapons. Now how about THAT patriotism?!
And, if you ask me, I’d rather have an über-smart elite Harvard-trained lawyer running the country as opposed to someone who is just “one of us.” We’ve already done eight years of “dumb.”


Don’t cop-out and use the impersonal moniker “Illegals” to describe my mexican friends who are fathers and mothers just trying to make ends meet. True “family values” means actually valuing a family even if they don’t look just like yours. For families brown, yellow, single, mom & mom, or dad & dad - my favorite “family value” is unconditional love not bigotry, homophobia, or prejudice.

Lastly - these tricky euphemisms that you’ve been using lately - “exploring for energy” (for drilling for oil), “weapons of mass destruction” (for nuclear bomb), and “axis of evil” (which is used for any country you’re planning on attacking in the near future) - Give ‘em a rest. I kind of like the original versions. They have a certain “truthiness” to them.

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