Monday, May 23, 2005

Devil's Dictionary of the Bush Era

Some of the best new dictionary entries from Devil's Dictionary of the Bush Era:
Homeland n: A term successfully used by the Germans and the Soviets in World War II, less successfully (and in the plural) by Apartheid-era South Africa. It means neither home, nor land, has replaced both country and nation in American public speech, and is seldom wielded without the companion word "security." It is the place to which imperial forces return for R&R.

Nationalism n: How foreigners love their country (when they do). A very dangerous phenomenon that can lead to extremes of passion, blindness, and xenophobia. (See, Terrorism)

Patriotism n: How Americans love their country. A trait so positive you can't have too much of it, and if you do, then you are a super-patriot which couldn't be better. (Foreigners cannot be patriotic. See, Nationalism)

Homeland Security Advisory System: Color-coded program for emotional destabilization.

Democracy n: A country where the newspapers are pro-American.

Checks and Balances: The system whereby the campaign checks of the few balance the interests of the many.

Town-hall Meeting: A meeting in a hall in a town where all the participants have first been vetted for loyalty to the Bush administration.

Mandate: 1. The opinion expressed by about a quarter of the eligible voters. 2. The opinion reflected in an electoral-vote margin smaller than in any 20th century election other than 1916 and 2000. 3. The opinion expressed by the smallest popular vote margin obtained by a sitting president since 1916.

Democracy n: 1. A product so extensively exported that the domestic supply is depleted. 2. When they vote for us. (See, tyranny: When they vote for someone else.)

Ownership Society: You no longer own your national parks, your public transit, your commons, your government, your Bill of Rights, or your future, but you may purchase a Burger King franchise or some stocks with your Wal-Mart earnings.

Peace n: What war is for.

Security n: Something to be applied to the homeland but not to the social.

Social Security: A good idea except for two problems: Social verges on socialism and guarantees of security violate a free market.

Abuse n: Modern word for what was once referred to as torture. An interim term, soon to be replaced by "tough love" (which, in turn, is expected to be replaced by "freedom's caress").

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