Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Trump Thesaurus (a work in progress)

Of all the possible complaints about Donald Trump, a limited vocabulary should rank 
low on the list, and not just because it’s a telltale sign of the elitism we’re supposed to 
scorn these days. But Trump’s language – in his speeches, rare press conferences, 
interviews, tweets, and tossed-off asides — highlights the Manichaean view that 
seems to inform his beliefs and actions. (Manichaeanism – Damn! Is it more elite 
to define it or not to? — was a philosophy that divided the world into good and evil.) 
So with a bow to Roget, herewith:
A TRUMP THESAURUS
Part 1
good (adj.) terrific, beautiful, amazing, smart, tremendous, uge, big league
(aka bigly), first, best, most, greatest, very, very good, wonderful, 
unbelievable, like never before
(noun) tough talk, Wikileaks, wall
(pronoun) I, me, my (see above: best, most, greatest)
Part 2
bad (adj) disgusting, sad, disgraceful, dishonest, terrible, unfair, stupid, 
not funny, overrated, ugly, so-called, phony
(noun) loser, really bad dudes, radical Islamic terrorists, leakers, 
fake news, failing New York Times
I was all set to say there is no Part 3 when I came across this explication 
of Trump’s vocabulary at a recent press conference:
military operation (adj) stepped-up deportation of undocumented immigrants, 
emphatically not having anything to do with the military. “The president was 
using that as an adjective. It’s being done with precision and in a manner 
in which it’s being done very, very clearly” (Sean Spicer).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Letter to NYT Sunday Magazine 1/11/17

RE: THE FIGHTER 

War Is Not/Shouldn't Be finally made it into the NYT

C.J. Chivers wrote about Sam Siatta, a Marine Corps veteran, and his fraught journey home.
It was reassuring to learn that Sam Siatta is finally getting the medical and psychological care he needs, and I hope the government will fund fully the treatment required by those who fight our perpetual war. But for some kinds of wounds, there is no palliation. In addition to his psychological injuries, Siatta may be dealing with a moral injury.
Moral injury results from doing or witnessing something significant that violates your deeply held beliefs about yourself and your role in the world. It isn’t a disease or a diagnosis, and though it may be related to PTSD, it is more a sickness of the heart than of the head, so it can’t be medicated away. It’s not necessary for someone to be trained as a killer to be marked in this way because, at its most basic, moral injury is the recognition that few, if any, escape from war unscathed. Apparently, the only sure way to avoid the moral injury of war is not to go to war in the first place. Nan Levinson, Somerville, Mass.