October 28, 2004
HUMPTY, pronounced with an UMPTY
`... There's fascism for you!'
`I don't know what you mean by "fascism,"' Alice said.
`But "fascism" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.
`When I use a word,' Humpty Neiwert said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
`The question is,' said Humpty Neiwert, `which is to be master - - that's all.'
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Neiwert began again. `They've a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs, they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs -- however, I can manage the whole of them! Palingenetic ultranationalist populism! That's what I say!'
`Would you tell me, please,' said Alice `what that means?`
`Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Neiwert, looking very much pleased. `I meant by "palingenetic ultranationalist populism" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life. Or, in a word, fascism.'
`That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.
`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Neiwert, `I always pay it extra.'
`Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.
`Ah, you should see `em come round me of a Saturday night,' Humpty Neiwert went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side: `for to get their wages, you know.'
(Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can't tell you.)
`You seem very clever at explaining ideology, Sir,' said Alice. `Would you kindly tell me the meaning of the political group called "Neo-conservative"?'
`Let's hear it,' said Humpty Neiwert. `I can explain all the political groups that were ever invented -- and a good many that haven't been invented just yet.'
posted by Justin on 10.28.04 at 02:01 PM
Search the Site
Classics To Go
See more archives here
Old (Blogspot) archives
Why you might get more of what you try to stop
A knee sock jihad might be premature at this time
People Are Not Rational
No Biorobots For Japan
The Thorium Solution
Radiation Detector From A Digital Camera
This war of attrition is driving me bananas!
Attacking Christianity is one thing, but must they butcher geometry?
Are there trashy distinctions in freedom of expression?