What’s In A Name

Dr. Thomas Bowdler thought that he did us all a great service when he published
The Family Shakespeare ” and removed all words and concepts that he felt should not be seen within the family. His name has gone down in history ” bowdlerism ” as a mark for prissy, interfering, pecksniffery in arts and literature.

Stalin established a particular form of socialist control from above by a ruthless dictator and we know it as ” stalinism “.

These were before our time but we can make use of the words as a convenient shorthand – and we are very lucky. We can also use some of our modern pop celebrity figures to enrich the language:

a. We need a term for mindless use of children as talking puppets for political plotting. Something that the old can get and the young can get with…I propose that when we see crowds of schoolchildren marching with crayon banners to the chants supplied by their controllers – marching past the television news cameras and making gestures so that they can be recognised later on the news by their friends…that we inaugurate the term:

” self- Greta – fication ”

It may disappear as fast as it came, but then that’s show-biz.

b. When we need a word to describe someone who mines the culture for something to complain about, fastens upon a trivial word, ignores protest, and pesters with outrage anyone who is foolish enough to listen, I suggest we introduce:

” Haganist ”

Don’t be too judgemental. Everyone needs to have a gimmick to get in the spotlight. If it all seems a bit cheesy, well that’s show biz.

c. We’ve all been a ” has-been ” at some stage of the game. If we haven’t yet, we will be. It is a sad state of affairs for some…but a blessed relief for others. If you have been, you generally need not be again, and at modern prices that is a saving. But it needs a nicer term:

” Fondism ”

Never mid the flak over the name. Any publicity is good and Hanoi Jane needs all the attention she can get these days. Be aware that being a good Fondist may involve going to jail in heavy makeup – choose a good foundation. Remember you has been in show biz.

d. What shall we do when we want to describe a politician who can weasel out of nearly any embarrassing circumstance or past indiscretion based upon the inertia of his electorate? It is a tricky one: ” Teflon Teddy ” was once suggested but after the model for the term became a running joke – See the comic strip ” Shoe ” by Gary Brookins – the wind went out of his bag.

I think the dictionary and the political press will appreciate the suggestion of :

” Dusky Justin ”

Yowzah, yowzah. Be like a codfish off the Grand Banks and watch for the next Canadian gaffe. Show biz, eh?

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