Friday, July 09, 2004

U.S.: Choices, choices, choices!

Sometimes, when I teach writing, I encourage my students to order their ideas in descending order of importance with the least important first and the most significant last. That way, the reader is left to wrestle with the best argument and often forgets to deal with the weaknesses of the earlier ones.

Well, I applied this same methodology to a recent speech by John F'fin Kerry in which he offered three reasons to vote for him and the Breck Girl. Kerry's last point was the one which got the roar of approval, thus signifying that he had attained his apogee or the climax of the sentence/speech. From the crowd's response, therefore, I understood that Kerry's points were ordered from least to most significant; for the last point was the one which everyone remembered.

So, I ask you, dear reader, what, pray tell, is the crowning reason John F'fin Kerry offered to vote him and the Breck Girl into office this year? (It's more like two, really, since vision consists of ideas organized to frame a coherent strategy for the future.)

Look at that third reason and ask yourself if Kerry is not a macomere-man? TT has such linguistic wealth. Okay, what's a macomere-man? "Macomere" is a TT creole French-patois word which originally consisted of two separate terms -- "ma" and "co-mere." The first is the French possessive pronoun signifying "my" and the second is a noun which translates into 'co-mother,' being a reference to the woman with whom a female parent shares responsibility -- spiritual, and in case of the death of the parents, actual -- for the rearing of a child. In a word, the 'co-mere' is the godmother.

Woman to woman, "macomere" is a good word. It implies trust and close friendship of the kind that one knows where all the bones are hidden. However, when the word is used as the first term in the compound noun "macomere-man," it is not at all a compliment. The new word is indicative of a man with less than manly tendencies.

Okay, so you think I'm going ad hominem on Kerry. Not really. I'm more commenting on what comes to mind when I listen to some of the comments Kerry makes because they reveal the mind of the speaker. For instance, when Kerry, in a dig at the balding Dick Cheney, brags that he and the Breck Girl have "better hair," IMO, that is a macomere-man kind of thing to say. Saying it at all reveals a certain pettiness of mind, which I have noticed about the candidate.

This mindset is also revealed when Kerry blamed and cursed the secret agent guarding him for his spill on the slopes. It is seen when Kerry, at the Vietnam Memorial wall, over the Memorial Day weekend, gave a vet the finger because he did not like it that the vet asked him to leave. It is visible in the snide comments Kerry makes about Cheney being the one controlling GWB. Follow the course of Kerry's speeches and discover the pettiness. In tone and tenor, the macomere-man comes through.

Riff on opponents, yes. But not like a macomere-man. For example, when GWB was asked how the Breck Girl stacks up against Cheney, GWB gave a non-macomere-man response that zinged and cut straight to the heart because of its multi-layered complexity and pinpoint brevity, "Dick Cheney can be president. Next?"

Nothing macomere-man about that.


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