Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A SMALL VOICE AGAINST BIG HEALTH


March 30, 2011

So I had my head examined at Emory. An MRI at MRE. Stuffed into that lonesome tube for magnetic resonance imaging, which is how a hot dog must feel inside the bun. Wasn’t allowed to move a muscle for 45 minutes, not even a knuckle to ease a tickly nose.
I suspect that once they’ve coaxed a victim into the cylinder those mischievous technicians like to sic hungry fleas on them, so I made mine, Brooke, promise not to do that.
There were still plenty of other little itches I was forbidden to scratch, but the irritation that caused most botheration was what the receptionist had said minutes earlier. She’d been an Emergency Room nurse for 25 years, she declared, and she just knew socialized medicine sucked. And that here in the good old USA you don’t have to wait for emergency surgery – not like you do in countries like Canada and England.
Red-white-and-blue flag to a John Bull, I’m afraid. Translation: Red rag to a British bloke. Which means that while I am a proud and loyal American citizen I cannot allow bovine excrement like this to be disseminated about the country of my birth.
I will say it loud and clear: There is no wait for surgery, emergency or critical, in Britain. Nor in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or any of the west European nations. Period.
True, there is a delay for procedures that are no threat to one’s health. Can be months, depending. If you need a boil removed from your bottom – you’ll be sitting on it a long time. Wait your turn.
The doctor in England just sent my friend Stuart’s 10-year-old daughter to the hospital with stomach pains. Within one hour her tests show it’s a kidney infection, she’s prescribed drugs and released. Diagnosis and treatment first class. And quick.
Same with her dad another time. In agony, he’d called emergency at 4am. Four hours later the hospital doctors had removed his gangrenous appendix and cleansed his peritoneum and by noon he was home. Eight years later x-rays showed a kidney stone causing him suffering; within 48 hours he’d been treated and released.
Not one penny ever changed hands. It comes out of everyone’s taxes.
Of my other buddies in the Mother Country five have undergone major procedures - kidney transplant, colostomy, two heart bypass operations, hip and knee replacements – and they all praise the system’s speed and efficiency. Conversely, my Spanish tutor in Covington had a heart attack New Year’s Eve and a bypass op at Piedmont days later. With sepsis and other complications he’s only now back home after nigh on three months.
So how bad is socialized medicine? The British are known complainers who enjoy bellyaching about their National Health Service, but try to replace it with private enterprise and you’ll have a revolt on your hands.
Indeed, the wait-time has grown in Britain, and, to a lesser extent, in countries like France, Germany and Italy, mainly due to the mass influx of destitute folks from the erstwhile communist territories. Now that they’re citizens of the enlarged European Union they’ve gained entitlements and they swamp the available resources.
Several of our 50 states report that exact same problem, one of overburdening.
The system in place in this country is in fact very similar to Europe’s socialized ones, and I’ll explain.
Here’s a hospital. Here come the waves of indigent people, many foreign, with sniffles and backaches as well as more serious ailments. They clog the waiting rooms, slowing everything down, and the poor economy continues to swell the ranks of these uninsured. Before we lose our jobs and our homes one of the first “luxuries” we sacrifice is health insurance. We choose to wing it.
Because of doctors’ sworn Hippocratic Oath they cannot turn the sick away, so the cost of treating those who can’t pay is passed on to those who can by way of inflated bills. False bills. The insurance companies cover them, and then raise the rates for their customers. So we all pay. This system is not unlike those in the countries named above with one vitally important difference...
Ready?
There is no CEO like Cigna’s Edward Hanway, who stuffed $120 million into his pockets while hiking rates up to 82% and denying a 17-year-old girl a liver transplant. She died. None like Stephen Hemsley, boss of UnitedHealth Group, who makes some $13 million a year and who, along with his multi-millionaire aides, has been labeled a fraudster by the SEC, the Securities And Exchange Commission.
No carnivorous corporation dipping its ladle into the money pot between patient and doctor. Instead there’s the government, an entity with no executives and shareholders to vacuum out fat profits for themselves. I know there’s always ineptitude and waste when civil servants are involved, but I’ll take government inefficiency over corporate greed any time.
Socialized setups are fairer because every working person pays; here those with insurance bear the entire burden for everyone.
My wife’s insurer, we call it Blue Skull & Crossbones, sent demands for an extortionate $734 a month – which works out only pennies short of Georgia’s $5.15 an hour minimum wage. Except she thwarted them by turning 65. That’s the only way to escape these health pirates: grow old and flop into the caring hands of the US Government.
The receptionist at Emory doesn’t want Washington involved in her health care. No way, she said. Grrr. She gave her age as 60 and chirruped that she had only five more to go before she’d be eligible for Medicare. She also qualifies for Social Security in two years’ time.
What I say to her is this: Dear lady, you’re entitled to your preferences and your hatred of our government. Both Medicare and Social Security are government programs, so when the checks start arriving I expect you to return them

ENDIT

© 2011 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

IF RAP BE THE FOOD OF MUSIC, COOL IT


March 27, 2011

Okay, okay, my man! You say it’s a great song so I’ll listen. I love music, so please go ahead, hum me the melody. C’mon, let’s hear it. Off you go. A-one a-two a-... what’s that? You can’t hum it? Precisely my point, brah: it’s because there is no melody, is there. The song is just you talking, isn’t it.
Well, when I say talking I really mean shouting something angrily and resentfully in a mumbly kind-of rhythmic pidgin English peppered with foul words and even fouler sentiments.
Much of it is painful listening. Try ‘A Thug’s Love Story’ by one Nathaniel Wilson who’s taken to calling himself Kool G Rap. There’s plenty of thuggery in this guy’s love story, but no love; it’s been usurped by base lust and I shan’t get into his lyrics or those of individuals like Lil Wyte or Juicy J because this is a family newspaper.
There’s far too much about guns and drugs and rape and killing. Here’s Clifford Smith as Method Man, where every third word’s an obscenity, bragging about ways of torture such as stabbing with a rusty screwdriver and... no, I really won’t repeat this. It’s too repulsive.
What kind of hostile, twisted minds spawn such vile material? It’s so alien to society – or is it? People are actually buying it. Lots of people. They’re even dishing out Grammy awards for the “best” of it.
Offensive poetry put to rhythm. Someone yelling violent obscenities while making occasional coughing, belching, sneezing noises to denote the beat. Phoom-pukka-tisha-burp Sss-pukka-phoom-phoom...
There’s Earl Simmons as DMX hollering and barking. Like a dog. That’s music? Since when?
Also these odd jerking, often menacing, movements. You angry dudes gotta calm down. And why must the whole gang be swaying silently onstage while only one is doing the chanting and sneezing? Doesn’t anyone play an instrument any more? Rap might be de jour but to label it music is simply false advertising.
Word up, homeboys, gangsta rappers, hippers, hoppers and those trying to be them: modern music, as rock ‘n’ roll legend Fats Domino defined it, is rhythm and melody. With rap, that second element is missing.
Granted, I’m old, just as my parents were when they knocked the rock because it wasn’t all violins and warbled love songs, nor even the brassy tones of the Dorsey Brothers and Glenn Miller.
They found The King’s suggestive hip gyrations awfully common, but they could never label him unharmonious. Even less justifiably once he’d cheeseburgered himself into the operatic 255-lb Rhinestone Elvis. Nor could they fault the melodic stuff from Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and the rockin’ rest. It had a beat but it also had a tune.
They said rock ‘n’ roll would never die. Sadly, it did in its second decade, strangled by technically accomplished musicians who flaunted their instrumental skills. So here the lyrics were lost, drowned out in a cacaphony of virtuoso playing – the opposite of what’s happening today with rap where it’s all words, no music.
In the Twenties we had that gorgeous jangly jazz, the euphonious sounds of King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke and Jelly Roll Morton, replete with soaring improvised solos and stunning ensembles. It morphed into a polished version called Dixieland and jettisoned its soul. Even Satchmo, Louis Armstrong, who had traded his cornet for a trumpet, allowed himself to be re-branded as a pop star. ‘Hello Dolly’? Goodbye Satch!
Meanwhile Big Band had made sure that jazz’s heart, too, was stomped into the dancehall dust. Plus there emerged a cerebral modern jazz, again performed by the masters: music for musicians, too refined for us ordinary folk.
Music is always improved to death, or it becomes drab. It happened to sweet Jamaican reggae once its ‘dub’ form took over. The country, bluegrass and electrifying blues of the Fifties all “perfectized” now into canned goods – the raw excitement gone. Easy listening, soft rock - but at least the melody lingers.
The young seek their own sounds. There was punk, disco, grunge, and now this, a collection of objectionable rhymes, shouted insults and woofs coupled with the mouth-drumming style they call beatboxing.
Progress, if that’s the word, with all these guys bearing names like Soulja Boy and Lil Boosie and 50 Cent who, incidentally, does not have a big brother called Dollar Ten. And then there’s Radric Davis, going under Gucci Mane, with a huge ice cream cone tattooed on his face. It’s all so, well... so absolutely Christopher Bridges. So Ludacris.
There’s Artis Ivey appearing as Coolio because frozen water is apparently the thing to be.
You think these people are so cool? Word up again, you guys who weren’t even a warm, loving look in your daddy’s eye when I used to chill out with the freezingest fellow of them all. You know Ice Cube and Ice T? Well, I knew their father... Ice Pop.
My record collection ranges from opera to jazz to country to blues to bluegrass to reggae to cajun to a couple of CDs by Joey, the Monroe-based son of my good friend Gary Snead.
And every bit of this real music beats the rap.

ENDIT

© 2011 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

THE WINGS OF SPRING


March 23, 2011

They’re back, and how! Amazing how much good luck one household can have. It’s the Invasion Of The Ladybugs again. Swarming all over the place, they are, flitting around my head, crawling into the table lamp. Landing on my keyboard as I - geddoff! – as I type
We never kill them. They’re lucky’ aren’t they. So let ‘em live till the spots disappear, which is their way of going grey, and let ‘em die in their sleep.
I won’t call this an infestation, rather a visitation because I’m not sure you can actually have a plague of ladybugs. That would mean you’re having too much good luck and how is that possible? A surfeit of serendipity. Good luck out the wazoo. Overblessed. Well and truly lucked.
Does this amount of good fortune equate to becoming president as well as king? To winning every lottery there is; to every female in the world wanting you for you, and not the money and position you just won through some gargantuan stroke of... luck.
The ladybugs and (let’s be politically correct) lordbugs too are extremely close friends with the wasps, with whom they hang out. They don’t marry them, they just live together; it’s the modern way.
I used to leave the wasps alone because the ladybugs liked them. And because the gardening books all said they were good to have around to polish off all the surviving aphids and other little nasties that the ladybugs didn’t kill.
Had a change of heart when that first wasp attacked my hand. It was lurking behind an electrical box I’d just installed and decided this area was now its. The bounder. My hand ballooned into a huge grotesque cartoon version of itself although it did have more than the three Disney fingers. When I used this fearful monstrosity to shake my friend Robert Kile’s hand he jumped back three feet. That wasp had created a cartoon scenario.
And here’s where the rules changed. Any wasp, hornet, yellowjacket, spider out in the open: you’re safe. Any inside my house: Bye-ee. Splat!
Yet a giant hornet nest next to the house is another matter. My wife rode right past one while cutting the grass, her head less than a foot from the hive. That night we approached in a car with the windows shut tight. Behind me, Wifey shone a light at the entrance hole and I cracked my window open enough to empty an entire can of death into it.
But bees – come back, all is forgiven. Where were they all these last few years? And where you bees be now? They’ll tell you its nothing to do with the toxic products out there. No, it must be something in the air. Seriously. That’s what some scientists are saying. The fact that the bees are simply not reproducing doesn’t mean something’s happened to their reproductive ability. Not in the least. Perhaps all the queen bees “had a headache” that night. And every night.
Big Chemical will trot out a few tame scientists to conclude it’s not their fault. That it “must be” due to some kind of parasitic fungus attacking the bees. Something airborne perhaps. Yeah, sure, or perhaps they all flew off to another planet.
The only ones I saw last year were a couple of borer bees: a 3/8” and a 9/16” it was. I was restoring the back porch and they could have saved me some work if only they’d drilled where I asked them to.
I don’t mind them, though. Minimal nuisance value and they’re cute. I had a pet mosquito once, but it turned on me. Ha ha ha. Only kidding, of course, although it would be a cool pet to have. Better than a rottweiler because after you sicced it on your enemy you could deny it was yours and not a soul would doubt you.
Do we remember Hollywood’s machiavellian villain Vincent Price in TV ads promoting an electric bug killer, squealing with glee whenever another insect was fried? The problem with these gizmos is that they’ll zap the good bugs along with the bad. Who goes there? Hornet or honeybee? Who cares. Bzzzzttt!
Those bees are our friends, not our foe, and yet we give them the aerial equivalent of the electric chair when they’ve done us no harm, only good. A terrible miscarriage of justice right there. We also kill ‘em by broadcasting insecticides whenever we feel like it instead of sparingly.
Spraying plants that attract bees should be done as early as possible in the morning or in the late evening. Avoid Sevin dust, which bees mistake for pollen, bring back to the hive and thereby kill the entire colony.
The hard winter means a summer with fewer pests, especially the lowly tick, about whom the famous naturalist Charles Darwin once said: “Owww!” Okay, he isn’t the only one ever to fall prey to this little bloodsucker and you’re right, my mind’s gone blank over the actual quote I used to remember.
Ticks are known to lay in wait for up to eighteen years in a kind of suspended animation, then, the instant they scent human or animal sweat, they spring to life and pounce. Just like I do when the smell of Wifey cooking breakfast wafts into the bedroom.
Our cold snowy winter means there’ll be fewer deer ticks to give us Lyme disease and fewer seeds ticks to crawl up our leg and... well, we all know the discomfort that causes. It’s no joke, actually: for horses, cattle and other mammals ticks can sometimes mean death.
So it’s spring. In our house as many ladybugs as possible are picked up gently on the edge of a sheet of paper and transported to a window, where, with a light puff of breath, they’re encouraged to pursue a carefree life among the plants and aphids.
Occasionally (somber Kremlin-style music please) I step on a ladybug that’s decided our floors are for them to walk on too. And that’s where the bad luck comes in. No lottery win. No Oval Office. No monarchy. No adoring females...
But lots and lots of bills.

ENDIT

© 2011 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WAY TO GO! WE BEAT OURSELVES AGAIN!


March 16, 2011

As feel-good experiences go, they don’t get much better than this. A rousing we-won-the-war flick that had bottoms perched excitedly on the edge of the seats, the audience cheering our boys on
The leader was American, the rest British, Australian, and they were all aboard Von Ryan’s Express with Colonel Frank Sinatra at the helm. They chuff-chuffed their way out of a Nazi prison camp through Italy to eventual freedom.
Every German soldier who got in the way was duped or eliminated, and, boy, were they all imbecilic blockheaded squareheaded dunderheads who couldn’t shoot straight. A bunch of veritable dummkopfs.
They bumbled, they fumbled, they stumbled. And as their pathetic attempts to stop that train failed we enjoyed every minute of it.
The astounding thing was that this appreciative young audience was German. I was watching that film at a theater in Frankfurt in 1965. World War Two had ended only 20 years earlier, so they were mostly the sons and daughters of those who’d fought and lost.
These people were rooting for the other side: the Allies. Against their parents and against their own nation.
And I thought “funny”, I thought. How easily folks allow their emotions to be manipulated. The immediate follow-on is: what about the Indians. Our native Americans. When they sat in a theater in Tahlequah or Bryson City or Sioux Falls in 1939 and watched those western films who did they applaud? Was it John Wayne and the other palefaces in Stagecoach as they scythed down the inelegant savages in droves? And did they also despise Geronimo, portrayed as a barbaric murderer by one of their own, the actor Chief Thundercloud?
The victor writes the history so the story becomes one of civilized white-eyes versus the feral red man. An ugly distortion. Ugh!
Everyone loves a winner, but when he’s your enemy do you still cheer him on? If your sympathies have been cunningly hijacked you most certainly do.
I was looking for another example of folks encouraging the very people who’re kicking their butts and I found one today and right here in the USA.
Yes I’m going to get political at this point. It’s because I see people around me who’ve lost their jobs, their homes, their health – their hope. And yet they still troop off to the voting booth to bring in the big banks and the pharmaceutical vultures and the giant multinational corporations who made all their misery possible.
Of course none of us elects these predators directly, just the politicians who channel them: more Republicans than Democrats, but both guilty. So where can one turn?
Enter the Tea Party.
Born of the very sentiment I share, a revulsion at the greed and dirty dealing of the representatives we choose and then have to fund, this movement was indeed a loose-knit gathering of the people to begin with.
But then a funny thing happened on the way to the election. No clear leader emerged until, like some grotesque jack-in-the-box, up suddenly pops one – in the familiar personage of Smarmy Dick Armey, big time corporate lobbyist and extremist Republican. He’s not our friend.
There’s no good, solid, trustworthy colonel in charge of the freedom train now; instead we get this dubious pied piper with his deceptively-named Freedomworks and its just-as-ugly sister Americans For Prosperity. And it should come as no surprise that the only Americans they want the prosperity for is themselves. Why would they ever want the rest of us to prosper?
Look behind these two front organizations that fuel the Tea Party and we find Koch Industries and the Mellon Scaife outfit, both vast oil baronies, and they’re shunting us, the ‘little people’, straight down Poverty Lane.
Such a simple trick, too. Had they allowed the movement to flourish on its own the loathing would have been aimed at them and their kind, so the answer was: take control. Now they can force that train to jump the switch-points and head along a different track.
Folks like myself no longer hate our crooked political system because now we can despise, er... Obama. He’s what’s wrong, not those greedy oilmen. Oh how easily we’re led, even those of us who think we’re smart. There’s always someone smarter, or rather more devious, more dishonest, more ruthless.
I know I’m stirring up those sweet Tea People. And I’ll be getting hate mail from the low-information crowd who don’t know or don’t care that their movement is paid for and controlled by the filthy rich oil and other major businesses including Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Philip Morris.
So I’ll ask these questions: Who caused the 2009 economic crisis if not the big banks? Who turned us out of our homes? Who preys on the sick by driving drug prices and insurance costs ever higher? Who took away all our jobs and gave them to the work-for-peanuts peasants of China, India and Mexico?
The ones who put profits before people aim to keep it that way, while we others need a leader of strength and vision who’ll help us back to work and back into our homes. Von Ryan where are you?

ENDIT
© 2011 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WE MUST PLAY WITH OUR OWN FOOD


March 9, 2011

I’ve seen ‘em huge and pink, but we all know those shiny, grapefruit-sized objects that look like a tomato on steroi... hey, maybe that’s exactly what they are! Nothing surprises me any more. They mess with our other food, why not these?
We’ve eaten ‘em too, sliced and seated atop a burger under the two thin lumps of pickle. Apart from the often pale color they could indeed be giant ‘maters, unless you take a whole one and bite into it, and then... nothing. No tomato taste. In fact no taste at all.
I’m concerned about this absence of flavor. Could chemicals be at work here? They’ve been playing with our food for so long now there isn’t much that’s still natural, despite the labels that screech that word at us from the supermarket shelves.
Folks, we’re country out here. Let’s really be country. We’re amazingly lucky not to be forced to depend on the Chemical Food Industry for all our sustenance. I lived 12 years in New York City and those slickers have no idea what fresh is. Many will never know.
Here in Walton County there’s no excuse not to tend a garden. Nothing fancy. Most everyone has a small plot of land to devote to a half dozen plants, which is all you need to provide a decent yield.
You can save money. Quite a bit. Plus there’s so much joy to be derived from a garden, even a window box where apartment dwellers can handle two or three plants with ease.
I just had a word with Carole and Rayburn Casper who live on the cusp of Monroe’s city limits. Being original country folk, they’ve always grown a hefty portion of their diet for eating fresh, canning and filling their three freezers. Peas, beans, corn, cantaloupes, you name it. How much time do they spend on the garden? Not a lot, they insist. And what would be the easiest for other folks to grow? Way-hey, it’s ‘maters and cukes, just like I was going to say a few more paragraphs further down but now don’t have to.
“Folks with no space can plant in a five-gallon bucket on the porch,” opines Rayburn. “After the yield when a plant dies just put something else in its place. Bury one potato and it’ll turn into a dozen.”
The great thing is that we have a way to start reclaiming our bodies, or at least minimizing any damage being done to them by the factories of Big Food.
Those enormous pink tomato-like entities may be the Hans and Franz of the veggie world, all pumped up but basically nutrient-free milquetoast. Force-grown, like so much of today’s grub, full of water, steroids to make ‘em weigh more at the checkout, give us fewer whatevers to the pound. Extenders to turn them into the undead; vampire veggies not allowed to spoil and become worthless. And who hasn’t noticed that they’ve timed their strawberries to start rotting the moment you’re through the checkout!
For want of space, I can’t get into what the food frankensteins are doing across the entire spectrum, meats included. A chief offender is Monsanto, the Missouri-based giant that gave us Roundup and gave Vietnam a vile dose of Agent Orange that keeps on killing. Monsanto’s herbicides are condemned by alarmed scientists and farmers the world over. But we’re the happy-go-lucky ones who don’t mind.
Let’s look at Monsanto’s “terminators”, eunuchs of the seed world. They’re sterile, therefore in order to plant next year you’re compelled to buy the same seeds afresh. Repeat sales. Greater profits. Yes, they’ll tell you they’re disease resistant. Note the word “resistant”, meaning they need put up only token opposition to disease in order to be legally truthful.
The French – yeah I know, who takes any notice of them, right? – but if there’s one thing those Froggies understand it’s food. They’re famous for it. To a great degree France is still an agrarian society, and they’re leading the worldwide protest against this adulteration of our vittles.
With so much mischief afoot we must look to ourselves.
I think back to the Big Pinks I ate. What a contrast to the sweet, succulent Celebritys our neighbor JD Shumpert grew – best I’ve ever tasted. And even our own cherry tomatoes which, together with cucumbers and peppers, keep us in salads through Summer into Fall. Another neighbor, Peggy Jordan, has brought armfuls of blueberries, locally grown. We have raspberries and blackberries, figs and a small orchard that gives us plums and peaches when it wants to.
Not everyone can tend an orchard or a Casper-sized garden, but we can all eat a little more healthily and have the gratification of seeing our investment in Nature pay off. It’s fun, says our telephone engineer, Charles White. Good for the palate and the soul. And the planting season is just beginning.
A small basket of tomatoes is $3 at the store. Instead for a couple bucks you can buy Heirloom-type seeds that haven’t been genetically altered, so they last for generations and produce healthy, flavorful vegetables.
Or you can go to a local old-fashioned hardware store like Buckles on Broad Street and get a four-pack of three-inch “teenage” plants for $1.79. And where Craig Buckle will demonstrate for you how to wrestle those enormous green caterpillars off the vine. That’s fun too.
There’s something magical about growing your own.

ENDIT

© 2011 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

STRUGGELING WITH ENGELISH


March 2, 2011

Haddent you noticed? It’s now a much simpeller time.
BTW, I’m not talking about the curtailed e-blabbing that’s taken over the Internet, I’m aware that if I don’t LOL, LMAO and then ROFL at these e-breviations then I must be some kind of pre-computer pterodaccatyl.
But that’s a diffarent beef so it's irrevelent. What I’m asking is: What’s Happened To Our Langawage? I’m referring to the current populace who couldent, shouldent, wouldent or simpelly diddent want to learn our lusterous, sparkeling grown-up Engalish. So now they just spout this childalike gibberish like the loverly waiteress I know in the restraunt between the laundery and the public liberry who’s scared of lightening.
Sure, it’s comical, but hardly anyone’s chuckeling, and – even more scary – I seem to be the only one compelaining.
Doesent anyone speak Adult English any more?
There. I diddent ask ‘Can I ask you a question?’ before asking that question as probly everbody does these days. It's superfulous.
There are athaletes who suffer from arthuritis, burstitis and simular affalictions including prostrate problems. And it’s roomered a fellow was casterated with people wondering how he’s handeling the siteration. It must be flusterating for him.
No, we don’t all have immaculant grammar, me inclooded, but we’re facing an – I should say ‘a’ - epicdemic of epic proportions. And it diddent all just begin when the vastly misunderestimated George W. Bush carpetbombed our beloved Mother Of All Tongues with his shock-and-awe-style nookular contammunation. These abnormalies were around before him and after.
English has been under attack since Ingvaeonic gave way to Aenglisc; but these days the terrible deteriation is fixing to make me a maniac depressive, I tell you. It’s disasterous. Notwithstanding, I feel I have a moron responsibility to shout: Enough! Enough of this ridiculous new la-la jargon.
I can shout, but folks just give me a vacuumous look. They’re strangelling the language but somehow I’m the one who’s intellextually challenged?
It’s so infrustriating. Should I refudiate this bungeling of our treasured tongue, then folks will seize this operatunity to expouse the truthness of what I’m saying irregardless of its correctful nature, so evidentlally...
My bad.
On our local Atlanta news Tracy Martinez, covering a tornado, describes the dying storm as the ‘remanents’. Worse, NBC Nightly News anchor and managing director Brian Williams tells his viewers the storm was ‘monsterous’. Tut tut, a faux pas like that in his position is quiite disasterous. He should have leaved the word out.
But if a President can’t be a adult, then who can? A point worth countemplating.
“I am grateful to be in the presence of two men who served abelly and nobelly.” Thus spake Bush at the Manhattan Institute, referring to mayors Giuliani and Koch and leaving me wondering which of these two gents was “A Belly” and which “No Belly”. I know which one is a bum.
Notice I employded the word spake just now. Microsoft Word flagged this as wrong even though it is irrefutabelly correct. To be fair, Bill Gates’ outfit also picked up employded and irrefutabelly and all the other baby words I’ve outlined, but red-inked spake, a perfectly good Olde Englyshe word that’s only used for emphasis. And now MS Word also just flagged Olde and Englyshe.
A sign of the times, this rigamarole. Ignorance is king and that’s a troubelling concept.
This isn’t about mis-speaking. We all do that on occasion, my favorite fumble being Condoleezza Rice about the Passport Office snooping debacle a few years back. She’s like: “I will stay on top of it and get to the bottom of it.” I’d love to have watched her do that. Contortionista Rice.
And yet time and again on his CNN show I heard Professor Roger Cossack go: “Was he trying to subordinate perjury? Subordination of perjury is serious.” A crime as serious, I venture, as repeatedly suborning the English language, particly from one of TV’s best-known legal ortho... aurthor... experts.
So more hyenous crimes against the language and still nobody’s laughing. The babytalkers have already taken over the itinery, looks like permanentally. Donators of a new vocabelary. From being quite differnt from the ordery, this mindaless Infant English is now being conversated everywhere and it’s so aggaravating.
Before I’m accused of “elitism” I should point out that English – proper English – is the official language in this country, and that lazy distortions occur elsewhere, too. Probly one of the worst is in England, innit, where ‘Chav’ talk turns Margaret Thatcher into Margrit Fatcha, dunnit.
We’ve just had the “twenty-year anniversay” of her leaving office. You hear this banality for one-year anniversaries all the time now, five-year, six-year exetera. According to Webster, a anniversary, is ‘the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event’. Oxford calls it the ‘yearly return of a date’. If it’s annual it is defined by the ordinal number, i.e. ‘first’ ‘fifth’ ‘sixth’ and so on. Yet in today’s Toddler Talk nobody knows what a ordinal is, let alone how to use it.
They say it on TV. And, to my horror, I heard a pundit called Alison Stewart speak of ‘the two-week anniversary’. A two-week annual occurrence! Did you know these yearly events can happen every fortnight? I didn’t. I’m like where does it stop, Ms Stewart? The eleven-day anniversary? The eleven-MINUTE anniversary?
What is it with our beautyful lingo? English is a living thing, true, which means it waxes and it wanes. Mercifully. Because Chaucer is torture to understand today and Beowulf bloody murder.
So fings change, dunnay? Therefore Valspeak, the language of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, is no longer awesome, like toadally, kayokayokay, it’s not tre bitchin. And wiv Chav not goin’ dahn in popperlarity you might one day see a Valley Girl and a Essex Girl trying to make theyselves understanded. Janartamean? WhatEVERRRR.
Lazytalk, innit. I won’t even get into ghettospeak where the infant’s father is its ‘baby daddy’ and its mother a ‘ho’. Grown people are saying it. This is beyond banal.
The disteressing thing is that the Great Dumbing Down is so ubiquitous that even dragonian measures in our schools cannot reverse it. Aspiring valleydictorians take note.
You never hear of a heroine any more. No more heroines batteling evil, wresteling, if you will, with the, you know, villains; they’re heroes now along with the men.
They’ve joined the Jewesses and the actresses and comediennes and the blondes. Someone said ‘Man up!’ and consequentally these ladies undergoesed sex-change surgery to become Jews, actors, comedians and blonds.
The baby babble brigade haven’t yet masculinized airline hostesses and stewardesses and all their more elevated – in one sense - sorority sibalings like the countesses and the duchesses. But they will, they will.
“She’s a hero.” Yep. She got shooted and now she’s dead so her husband’s a widow.

ENDIT

© 2011 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.