Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Sidewalk Blogger's Questioning Equations

The other day, I was noticing a blurb written by Ward Churchill, for a book called The Language of Empire by Lila Rajiva--a provocative book that argues Abu Ghraib is not exceptional, but rather the natural outcome of imperial policies.

“There can be no mistaking the putrid stench clinging to the events, processes and mentality described with the eloquence of excruciating precision in this fine study by Lila Rajiva. It is that of Nazism, by any other name. Hence, like the good Germans before us, today’s good Americans bear an unequivocal obligation—morally, legally, and in every other sense—to do whatever is necessary to expose the myriad Eichmanns, large and small, residing within our ranks. As The Language of Empire makes abundantly clear, to shirk such responsibility is to forfeit claim to any humanity we might still possess.” —WARD CHURCHILL

What struck me about the blurb was its use of static verbs--which seemed to me indicative of a certain definitive mindset that I am struck by, and often distrust (regardless of political affiliation, or how much I may agree with the sentiment). Actually, I think that Rajiva's book deserves a better, more nuanced blurb than Churchill has given it, since the book demonstrates more nuance and questioning than Churchill's Manicheanism allows.

The Sidewalk Bloggers new sign series interrogates the equal signs, as she takes quotes actually used by politician/demagogues (such as "Waterboarding=Swimming", by Senator, Kit Bond) and some purely Orwellian ones as well. As if Bond's weren't Orwellian enough.

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