still waking up here, but armed with my first cup of hot coffee, i think i’m almost ready to start the day… streeetttcchhhhhh …hmm, okay.. let’s see what victor is writing about this week — Linguistic McCarthyism
“The Bard,” William Shakespeare, had a healthy distrust of the sort of mob hysteria typified by our current epidemics of statue-busting and name-changing.
In Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar — a story adopted from Plutarch’s Parallel Lives — a frenzied Roman mob, in furor over the assassination of Julius Caesar, encounters on the street a poet named Cinna. The innocent poet was not the conspiratorial assassin Cinna, but unfortunately shared a name with the killer.
The terrified poet points out to the mob this case of mistaken identity: “I am Cinna the poet.”
The mob answers: “Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses! . . . It is no matter, his name’s Cinna!”
Shakespeare certainly would recognize that, like the playwright’s Roman mob, we have launched a war against words in our frenzy to find targets for our politically correct madness.
Recently, there were progressive calls at the University of Southern California to rename the school’s mascot, the white Andalusian horse “Traveler.” Members of the Left thought that the mute animal’s name too closely resembled the name “Traveller,” the favorite horse of Confederate general and sudden demon of 2017 Robert E. Lee.
But the mob was not finished there. An Asian-American sportscaster named Robert Lee was recently yanked by the sports channel ESPN from broadcasting a University of Virginia football game. Apparently, Lee’s name was too close to that of Robert E. Lee.
Nearly a century and a half after his death, General Lee has gone from tragic figure to Public Enemy No. 1 of the Left.
Lee the sportscaster, like Cinna the poet, was found guilty on the basis of ignorant association with his name. If the politically correct herd could not get its hands on the long-dead Robert E. Lee, it would apparently settle for anyone in the present who shared nearly the same name.
Why would a supposedly civilized country descend into such linguistic fascism?
oh man, breaking out the big guns with some Shakespeare, along with one of my favorite plays — i’m not sure how many times i must’ve read that play in school growing up… good stuff right here, mang.
PS. okay, i definitely need more coffee… i’m totally dragging ass today. g’damn.