Phrase Focus

Filed under:Abortion,Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor? — posted by Anwyn on May 15, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

Dear Columnists, Especially on the Right:

It is not “a woman’s right to choose.” It is more properly called “a woman’s right to choose abortion.” Without abortion she still has a choice: Keep her child or give the child up for adoption, both perfectly viable if heart-rending alternatives.

I read the phrase, which is, after all, only what everybody calls it nowadays–the common cant on abortion–in a Pat Buchanan column about something else entirely and it made me realize the more we accept the phraseology of the opposition, the more we legitimize their semantic sleight-of-hand. Now you see the abortion; now you don’t, because it’s become a “right to choose.” No, it is the right to choose the abortion itself, nothing more or less.

“Recount” Getting a Few Democrats Up in Arms

Filed under:Good Grief,Television — posted by Anwyn @ 9:04 am

Recount being an HBO film written by Danny Strong of Buffy Evil Nerd Mastermind fame. So why is Warren Christopher upset at his portrayal in the film? Ah–because he is shown as not aggressive enough to get Gore the win.

“I was stunned by the excerpt,” he said in an interview. “Much of what the author has written about me is pure fiction. It contained events that never occurred, words I never spoke and decisions attributed to me that I never made.”

The film portrays Mr. Christopher as blocking attempts by other Gore advisers to rally protesters and to take the fight over disputed ballots to court. He is depicted as backing away from confrontation during a meeting with Mr. Baker, seeking compromise and negotiation as the Republicans prepare for war.

And what does it make you, exactly, when you seek compromise and negotiation while your opponents “prepare for war”?

“I think a lot of the strategizing in the script that I saw was somebody’s hindsight rather than what we had to deal with in the immediate aftermath of the election,” Mr. Daley said. He added: “The perception that Warren Christopher was some wuss who got hoodwinked by Jim Baker is absolute fantasy in the mind of somebody who is trying to make themselves out to be bigger than they were.”

Writing on, Jeffrey Wells calls it “a thoroughly engaging, first-rate political drama.” But, he added, “I can’t see how this film won’t be seen as having done serious damage to the reputation” of Mr. Christopher, whom Mr. Wells says is portrayed “as one of the great all-time wimps.

Oh. It makes you a “wuss” and a “wimp.” I believe that right there is something known as “irony.”

Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don’t get that here. See, uh, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony’s not really a, a high priority. We haven’t had any irony here since about, uh, ’83, when I was the only practitioner of it. And I stopped because I was tired of being stared at.

As for the Nerd Mastermind himself, I’ll leave you with his idea of Warren Christopher’s characterization:

Mr. Strong disputes that characterization. “It was our goal to show him as a noble statesman who held a deep concern at how the rest of the world would be negatively affected if the United States was not able to handle a disputed election in a nonviolent manner,” he said.

Come on, now, Danny/Jonathan. Even your erstwhile HuffPo reviewer is not buying that.

And Gib marvels in fascination at the spectacle of a former Secretary of State taking on … Jonathan from Buffy.

Via Whedonesque.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace