Monday, October 13, 2008

MoDo speaks in tongues

The New York Times now has a Nobel laureate, Paul Krugman, as a regular columnist. And for that sacred "balance" our Establishment press professes to love so much, they have Maureen Dowd, providing twice-weekly glimpses of her deteriorating mental state.

One of the patients Sigmund Freud discussed in his early book of case studies called Studies in Hysteria had as one of her symptoms that she would lose the ability to speak in her native German for long periods and instead speak English. Her case sprang to mind when I saw Modo's latest, Are We Rome? Tu Betchus! New York Times 10/12/08. Most of it is in Latin. With no English translation.

In this case it's probably a blessing that I don't read Latin. Because that way I'm spared knowing whatever crackpot things she said there. But she did put this grand historical observation in English:

The decline and fall of the American Empire echoes the experience of the Romans, who also tumbled into the trap of becoming overleveraged empire hussies.

As our sand-castle economy washes away under the tide of bad gambles and debts, this most self-indulgent society lurches toward stoicism (even bankrupt Iceland gives us the cold shoulder and turns to a solvent superpower). It’s going to require more than giving up constant infusions of stocks, Starbucks and Botox.
What does any of that mean? Rome became "overleveraged empire hussies"? I can't even guess what it means. Which I suppose is often the case with schizo-type free word-associations. And what does Iceland have to do with Americans becoming Stoics, and what does that even mean?

For the Times editors to continue to allow MoDo to run this sad stuff is getting to be cruelty to the mentally disturbed. And remember, MoDo is considered not only here but abroad as one of America's leading columnists. Does that mean she's an "empire hussy"? This is really one of the strangest columns I've ever read. I mean, the part that was written in a language I could read.

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