Aaron vs. Legislative Wordplay
You Republican raconteurs, you. Your conservative chicanery of inelegant (yet elegant) nonsense phrasings is no surprise after Bush first elucidated "fuzzy math" (and fuzzier English). Now that I've managed to get that out of my system (at least for one sentence), here's an idea I came up with. The current political engine works is quite adept at calling a spade anything but a spade (how about "rathbon"?), so let's not be left behind in the lurch (ditch, gulf, &c). In the spirit of Paul Auster, who once let a madman propose a world in which each object had a one-to-one relationship with its name ("City of Glass"), let's come up with some new names, and skirt all the bull-ocracy.
The example I'd like to choose is "abortion." Both sides of the issue have taken positive-sounding names ("The Right to Choose" versus "The Right to Life") and put their own unique on what is essentially the same issue (though the way they talk, it's hard to see, let alone hear). It's a heavy-handed subject, but what I find most astonishing are the ways in which each party chooses to describe the act itself. I've never seen such graphic descriptions of violence (we allow this on TV) as some of what I've heard. Babies vacuumed out of their mothers, still wailing with the sound of silence from unformed trachea, non-existent vocal cords, absent lungs. The malicious cutting up and disposal of embryos and the black marketeering for the stem cell market, as if people enjoy handling so much meat (and yes, some people do). They've (the anti-abortioneers) really vilified the subject. The other side, not surprisingly, talks of painless procedures and acts of mercy. They find ways to make a teenager's sluttishness look like victimization and come up with the most ridiculous of excuses. Yes, accidents happen, and I accept that. However, I don't believe that people's privates have a magnetic attraction that somehow causes the one to fall atop the other purely through the miracle of science. There's got to be a little willpower, or barring that, some blood vessel expansion. That comes first ("then," as the nursery rhyme for the modern age goes, "comes marriage, then more sex, then comes ____ with the baby carriage," and if you're really lucky, love, eventually*).
I fear that all of this banter may have distracted from my actual stance on abortion. --Good. What I actually think about it is irrelevant; we're only judging words today, and how they're used to make a point. So my solution to the whole abortion problem is to call it something else (much like the GLBT community is currently dealing with "union" instead of "marriage"). What I mean is, let them ban abortions. You'll just go in for some perfectly legal cosmetic liposuction. If that's a little too edgy a concept (think Nip/Tuck**), just call it something else. Some word that they haven't banned yet. Because once they have to start defining exactly what it is that you're not allowed to do, a battle will be able to be fought on clear grounds, without all this ginger-stepping that allows one term to mean so many varying things. Our government can't agree on what "torture" means, nor "warfare" or "terrorism" for that matter. And as long as we allow them to use such generic and non-descriptive terms, they can continue to avoid the issue.
So let's forgo the wordplay, let's stop playing Scrabble. We can still agree to disagree, but let's at least agree on what we're disagreeing about. Otherwise, we'll never really solve anything. We'll just be generating a lot of hot air.*** And really, you don't want to be a rathbon, do you?
*It occurs to me that "Love Eventually" might make a far better movie than "Love Actually." If you'd like to purchase a treatment or script, my contact information is on the link to the right.
Let's just come up with another name for abortion, okay?
**And please, Ryan Murphy, don't ever let the advertisers dictate to you on how to sell your product. This season may be notoriously awful, but you shouldn't have to censor yourself because the hot-dog vendors hawking products on the sidelines of your episodic drama are pulling out.
***And the last thing a country with Global Warming (or, more specifically, the fact that our own environmental actions are destroying Nature itself, and I'd be more specific if I knew the actual science behind it--again, the avoidance of strict terminology allows this country to avoid taking responsibility for what they call "cutesy science") needs is more hot air.