Sunday, May 21, 2006

Yours Up, You Idioots


I find myself almost mad enough to spit to hear that my senate, my senators, my employees out there in Washington have voted to make English the official language of the United States of America.

It reminds me of my Finnish grandfather who may have known some English but I never heard it, or my Finnish grandmother who had a wonderful smile but whose English was the English of the complaint, the snarl, the slur, the slam. They had thoughts, though, and they had hopes and dreams with none of that in any official language at all except the language of work and striving and trying to make the family that ultimately gave birth to me and I’m glad that happened.

Frankly, I think that as a country we get a little too wired on this matter of language, whether it be the language of sex or the language of obscenity or the language of the landscapers who work at the garden shop a couple of blocks over. What in the hell is our language anyway, such that those who don’t speak it are to be considered somehow less than those who do? If we really want to be official then we ought to start teaching Algonkian in our schools.

I love to twist words around and jabberwock sentences and take sense and turn it into nonsense without speaking any particular language at all because I’m a writer and I’m supposed to do that (a sacred duty) even though it bugs my wife but somehow we get along.

Maybe we should pay a little more attention to those who, in speaking and writing our official language, tell us that the mission is accomplished when it isn’t; that a war is being won when it’s not; that products will make us lose weight, grow hair, nourish us, fade our wrinkles, cure our diseases, make our cars run better, stiffen our penises, remove our pains, and fade our stains when they don’t.

Jesus, I feel better now. But to those legislators in favor of this bill I can only say: yours up, you idioots.

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