Thursday, June 23, 2005

Convergence from the OED

It was very much in vogue to the people of Victorian, English, middle-class sentiments to desire to see their lives organize around convergences of seeming coincidental facts of life. For example, one could exalt if the same year in a major life's works was accomplished coincided with a significant birthday and wedding anniversary. I cite James A.H. Murrary as my source for this idea.

Yesterday, I began my subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary's Word of the Day and today's word was "red herring." A red herring for those who do not know can mean either a soldier or a topic meant to mislead from a central point. This is probably derived from a trick convicts would use to mislead search dogs. By dragging a herring or other stinky object across the path the dog might be deflected. After I read the aforementioned story from the AP, I immediately thought, "is that fish I smell?" Alas, the answer's yes.

Look, folks at PBS, if you think that most people in a "red state" are going to be led to embrace your world view, merely because this new person happens to be a Republican, then you officially are living on Fantasy Island. When you get back, bring me a Mai Tai. Even if people are ameliorated at the position's being filled in such a transparently partisan bid, the instant the person in question does something dumb (or liberal, as this is clearly the stigma you are running from, PBS; wonder why?) then they will be called on it. Furthermore, would the esteemed senators Clinton and Dorgan stifle it already? Their simultaneous handwringing does not cover up the sound of the contempt you feel for those who differ from your thought. Would you have made the stink you are now if Paul Begala, a clearly political figure, popped up in this position at PBS? Not likely.

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