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February 25, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Won't Make A Whit Of Difference

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Larger image Up close, Up close, not roses

Remember when Berkeley professor George Lakeoff exposed the manipulative linguistic tactics of right wing conservatives in his book "Don't Think Of An Elephant"? An example would be relabeling the inheritance tax, the "Death Tax" (progressives preferred the "Paris Hilton Tax")? Well Lakeoff is back with another significant linguistic analysis of what he calls The Obama Code.

....But beyond policy, there will be a vision of America--a moral vision and a view of unity that the pundits often miss. What they miss is the Obama Code. For the sake of unity, the President tends to express his moral vision indirectly. Like other self-aware and highly articulate speakers, he connects with his audience using what cognitive scientists call the "cognitive unconscious." Speaking naturally, he lets his deepest ideas simply structure what he is saying. If you follow him, the deep ideas are communicated unconsciously and automatically. " The Code is his most effective way to bring the country together around fundamental American values.

Don't get too relaxed because neoconservatives are still busy renaming the renamed as they lose their luster. Abu Ghraib for example, has been renovated and will now be known as Baghdad Central Prison

You will be pleased to know that Bush's notorious private army Blackwater is now called "Xe", pronounced like the letter Zee. Macho catchy! Their subsidiary Blackwater Lodge and Training Center is now U.S. Training Center Inc. Too bad. All of us here at Dakota were particularly fond of the "Lodge" part.

John Cole of Balloon Juice wrote a piece about rebranding not only of Blackwater but of the Christian Right where he suggests that cancer be henceforth be called Puppybreathrosepetalcoolsideofthepillowdipinthelakecoolbreezesunnyday.

His readers riffed on a number of neonames, which we have excerpted here for your amusement, without giving credit where credit is due. Apologies to the clever.

"I personally hope that Blackwater changes its logo from "Xe" to some unintelligible squiggle, so then we can call it "the company formerly known as Xe".

"I think Republicans should re-brand themselves, since Republican is now a dirty word. Maybe Republicans could now be called Blackwater, since it’s available?"

"Xe"? I guess "Murder Incorporated" is still under copyright."

"No, it’s spelled "Xe," but it’s pronounced, "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

Blackwater should rename themselves as "Amway".

"Xe and the religious right can merge and become Xevangelicals! It’s pronounced "zee-van-GEL-uh-culls" not to be confused with the Xevongelicals, which are the die hard fans of Warren Xevon."

Which brings us to the Christian Right

"Cotton mathermouths"

"Religious White"

"How about the Religious Wrong?"

"Oh, they dislike "Religious Right" now? Well, how about "Christian Taliban" instead?"

"I liked someone’s suggestion on Think Progress yesterday – Evilangelicals."

"I’ve liked "Talibangelicals" for a while ."

"I rather like "Godbotherers"

"Call the sumbitches the 'Taliborn-again'"

"it's like putting lipstick on a pig"

Actually evangelical churches aren't simply renaming, they're undergoing McDonaldization. It's a thought for all of us, I suppose.

Photo note: November rose etc in the garden in front of Old South Church, Boston -- an excuse for a winter flower picture

Posted by Dakota at February 25, 2009 10:42 AM