10 February 2020

Tripping Over the One-Inch Barrier

At least H'wood managed to clear a one-inch barrier last night. The stark reality of its inability to clear a six-inch (eight-inch with special effects and wishful thinking) barrier is for another time. Maybe they'll take a run at it next year, only to trip and fall. In the best of all artistic worlds, they'll leave a cartoon-character-shaped hole in it that proves a perfect match for Greta Gerwig (not even nominated? when the violence-worshipping-misogynist-who-shall-not-be-named-here was, again, because the film was "about" H'wood?).

But that one-inch barrier remains. Consider the problems with literature in translation. More to the point, ask yourself how much of historical American policy in Southwest Asia has screwed up because some of the worst of "our bastards" spoke better Americanized English — or had top aides who spoke better Americanized English — than alternatives to them. Exhibit A: Iran, 1953. Exhibit B: The latest dead-on-arrival Heffalump "solution" in Palestine (which doesn't — quite — reach Final Solution proportions… on its face, although it provides all of the necessary predicates for later escalation) (and it's still France's fault for pushing matters toward the Balfour Declaration — linked only to demonstrate that it's much more complex than it looks, not as an endorsement of the particular analysis — and away from a secure European location for, well, Europeans). In both areas, the US usually trips over that one-inch barrier.

And will continue to do so as long as the following aphorism remains accurate:

If you speak three languages, you're trilingual. If you speak two languages, you're bilingual. And if you speak only one language, you're an American.

Which necessarily means for at least another thirty years given the DeVos (and others') devaluation of competent teaching of anything other than 'murikanenglish during the psychological/physiological period of greatest ability to learn in/about something else.

Application of the above to 52.5 violations of their oaths, to the next Jackass presidential "debate" and non-Heffalump equivalent, to US border crossings for its own citizens and residents, outright racism, and so on, is left for those with more patience than I have. Ever.