Wednesday, February 23, 2005


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Well, since we’re all Americans here, and all in this together, I feel Safe and Secure enough to express my Real and True Opinion the current state of EurAmerican diplomacy and related happenings in Brussels. It was originally intended as a comment on my intrepid comrade’s insightful post of 20 Feb., but I put it here instead.

First of all, I think the pictures have rendered everyone equally speechless (has anybody seen anything about them in mainstream media?) but we already know how the Official Explanation will go: these practices do not reflect (“badly” would be an understatement) on our Fearless Leader(s) or the whole of the Armed Forces whose incorruptible and unimputable Duties are ordained by God (i.e. Dubya), but rather a small group of immature, overconfident, and perhaps a little tactless (but essentially good-natured and well-meaning) kids who were just sort of playing around with the Toys they had at hand and got carried away. Isn’t this what we would all like to believe?

There is also a Perfectly Reasonable Explanation for the translation/interpretation problems our dedicated correspondent mentioned, and it has nothing to do with (perfectly acceptable) dialectical deviations from the Queen’s English. Doesn’t anybody remember the Babel Fish? Here’s the scoop:

The Babel Fish is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe… if you stick a Babel Fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by the Babel Fish. Meanwhile, the poor Babel Fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.*

See? Dubya’s neither incompetent nor incapable of sustaining an intelligent conversation on Kyoto or other matters. He’s just trying to keep the peace. Can’t we all just get along?

*from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, a rigorously scientific exegesis of, among other worthy subjects, the Great Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything

**Photo by Bruce Gilden/magnum - Reverend Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kansas, 1999. See What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank, Metropolitan


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