bovine spongiform logic

'yes. i think americans are safer today than they were five years ago. i also think it’s a more dangerous world than it was five years ago. both things are true. the conventional statement we made in the report is that we are safer but not safe. we still have a lot to do to make ourselves safer.' said lee hamilton, vice-chairman, 9/11 commission.

does that make any sense to you? around three decades ago, philip roth wrote about the unspeakable things nixon was doing to language..political language in particular. the bush adminstration seems to be engaged in doing unthinkable things to logic. now consider this :

"some people, both in this nation and abroad, have questions about that strategy, make no mistake: president bush is acting to protect the american people against further attacks, even when that means moving aggressively against would-be attackers."said dick cheney, talking about the invasion of iraq. see what i mean? in roth's book 'our gang', the nixon character supports what he calls the rights of the 'unborn', or as cheney would say, 'would-be babies'.

perhaps there is some logic in there that we don't see.. especially those of us who aren't american. perhaps the 'americans are safer today'. but the world has become a more dangerous place. not because of 9/11..but because of what happened after that.


Gangadhar said...

there's some logic,indeed...

kuffir said...

hi, ganga.

Cosmic Voices said...

to the as-yet-unborn, to all innocent wisps of undifferentiated nothingness: Kuffir can do nothing for you. But you have nixons and cheneys. hi ho :-)

kuffir said...


hey..you've put a new interpretation on that..line. it's by a different author altogether. but i'm pleased that you noticed that..no one's remarked on that yet.

Anonymous said...

kuffir, talking of political language, chk out unspeak by steven poole.

kuffir said...


thank you so much for the link..i'd actually collected quite a sizeable quantity of war-on-terror-speak while reading up the last one week.. but had missed this.

'Not yet safe is a potent mix of insinuation and psychological warfare. It construes safety as uniquely a matter of avoiding acts of terrorism, though there is no shortage of other, statistically larger risks to the lives of Americans. It speaks the “war on terror” as the only way to increase this safety, and Unspeaks any alternatives. And as shining reward, it makes a beautifully vague promise that, one day, Americans will indeed be safe as a result of George W Bush’s actions. As Unspeak, it is masterful. As commemoration, it is breathtakingly cynical.'

Cosmic Voices said...

till you said, i thought they were your lines. anyways, the author seems interesting. any idea where you can get his books in hyd?

kuffir said...


i think you might have read him already. the 'hi ho' in the end is actually a hint. it's not in the original line but it is from another novel of his..very trademark kurt vonnegut.

kuffir said...


'i thought they were your lines.'

i don't think i have acquired that kind of wisdom. but it does encapsulate something i agree with.

Cosmic Voices said...

No kuffir, i haven't read him (i actually read very little, very few). in fact, i came to know about him after i googled the line, when you told that they were not yours.

i could find out who it was. just wanted to know where i could get his works in hyd.

kuffir said...


i guess you visited : http://www.vonnegutweb.com/..that's quite comprehensive. his best known novel is 'slaughterhouse five'..but you'll find all the other books interesting in their own way..because he has a very irreverebnt style of storytelling. the line i picked was from his novel-'deadeye dick'. no, it's not a thriller as the name suggests but a satire. pick any one of them at any leading bookstore - oxford, crossword, walden.. ' i picked my first novel off the pavement in abids ages ago.. that had started a very long fascination with his work. most of his earlier work is good..he also does some drawings (i think i posted one of his drawings earlier)..sometimes he'd insert his drawings in his work..
i'd definitely recommend him. happy reading! :)

Cosmic Voices said...

crossword? i was there recently. nothing much there. dont know about walden. I was there a long time back and even then couldn't find what i then wanted.

i envy your serendipity on abids. i did find one of my most loved book there. but after that not much luck.

hope i can lay my hands on it soon.

aRfi said...

stumbled across ur blog n the post.

This one old but still good fer laughs given the oxymoron of logic n political language.

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld
—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

kuffir said...


didn't know..such unknown wisdom existed in the known world.

thanks for dropping by. also, on language you seem to be the pundit. interesting writing on your blog.

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