I swallowed a couple of bugs. Pt. 3
Monday, October 2, 2006

Continued from:

\Begin critique paragraph three. The Third is my favorite paragraph. Here we have a list of local entrepreneurs (and a cast of thousands of businesses whom we are led to believe agree with the author. About everything he’s said. Perhaps they do. But equally likely would be a scenario where he asked them if they were going to put up bi-lingual signs in their various enterprises and they replied “No.” The reason for their refusal would be quite simple: there is no overwhelming need for it in their area. They would be spending more revenue on signs than they would be losing by not catering (sounds better than pandering, don’t you think?) to the Hispanically inclined. It is kind of like the brail menu offered at the drive-thru at least one of the McDonalds in the area. What the author is not taking into account is that these are national companies. They actually have sizable markets that would be served by these signs. Sure it may not apply locally—the spectrum ain’t so broad everywhere—but there are areas inside these United States of America where English is the second language and—believe it or not—white is the minority race, which isn’t too far from happening at the national level. Hispanic might constitute a growing hoard in the author’s view, but that is not necessarily because the are breaching our border. They are a legitimate ethno-racial group that is growing in number within our borders, as true citizens of this great nation. They may simply not have the command of the official language (of NASCAR?) that our author demonstr…oh. Well, now that’s a problem. Instead of gluing our lips shut (the free speech amendment does not specify which language may be used), maybe a little signage is all it would take to allow free people in a free society truly to be equal, or at least feel that way, and be more apt to work together to “further the national interest” because of a prevailing inclusive attitude. Is he afraid the signs are actually saying “The Gringo has a little pene ?” The big retailers might just not be recognizing regional differences in their customer base and following a “one size fits all mentality.” And?

The author saves the best part of the paragraph for last. He identifies his own demographic: he is a Borg , right down to the tag line. Oh, my God! He’s an ALIEN!! (And he is obviously anti-Ferengi, as shown by his deep loathing of the concept of pandering.) I’m afraid the dystopia he presents might actually become a utopia by exchanging the words division and turmoil with diversity and corn oil. /End critique paragraph three.

\Begin critique paragraph four. He votes , America. He votes for America . A united America with a unique culture based not on the highest principles (and just a lousy execution of them), but based on the use of only one language. An America that stands tall as the world’s leader by sticking its head in the sand. An America that cannot abide multiculturalism or globalization, because that would weaken us, not strengthen us. Fortunately for him, neither Lowe’s nor Home Depot is running for any public office. [Interestingly, Republican Dick DeVos of Amway fame is running for Governor of Michigan this fall. This could get fun.] And what about that bastion of the American dream where real Americans shop that we call Walmart? Aside from the overabundance of foreign made goods, you can read their website (at least parts of it) in Spanish! I wonder what kind of car he drives. And I wonder if he was aware of the “scandal” where cars made by American carmakers had more foreign parts than cars made here by foreign carmakers?

It is my fervent hope that the English, extent for centuries, will not be toppled by mere economic expediency. The English language itself is and always has been its own worst enemy. It has assimilated bits and pieces from every other language with which it has ever been in contact. Most of its users today do not have any idea how it works or how to use it at all, let alone effectively. If the author found himself at the tavern amongst the Founding Fathers, I’m afraid neither side would make much sense of the other. And gee, we spoke English over here and Mother England spoke English over there and the bond broke anyway. Maybe the glue only works close up. Like when you’re sharing breathing space. Or rubbing elbows. Point is that the language that’s supposed to be the glue is shifting and changing all the time, as is the population distribution. Are the New York concrete canyons any more or any less a part of America than the Grand Canyon? Is the New York experience different from the Grand Canyon experience? Night and day. /End critique paragraph four.

The danger is that reason is replaced by rhetoric (one of the oldest tricks in the book and so insidious the speaker/writer might not even be aware of it) and no one notices! The author is entitled to his opinion (I am too). He is entitled to publish his opinion (which he has). But (lesson to us all) while publicly expressing your opinion is a guaranteed right, that doesn’t protect you from dissenters expressing their displeasure about your opinion. The danger is that people do not know how to think. What they think is almost secondary. How can we expect good conclusions if we don’t have a clue how to reach them?

Next up: Someone put a bug in my ear


Monday, October 2, 2006 4:19 PM


I'd like to say I'm surprised at this person's diatribe, Jonny, but I've heard it before, and yes, by supposedly well educated folks at that. The only thing I am is sickened and disappointed that this anti-'anyone who isn't just like you' mentality persists.

And that this person is only having a problem with the Spanish translations is very interesting. I've seen the signs in Lowes. It is also in Arabic, French, German and what I am sad to say that I can't tell which, is either Japanese or Chinese.

Maybe some day, this person will grow up and join the human race with the rest of us.

Oh, and don't get me started on DeVos. *grrrr*


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