Consequences Be Damned! or… Bill Loves Sarah
This morning Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard published a piece called Yes, a Period of Consequences in which he laments the half-measures we have taken to address our problems, going so far as to say:
We’ve allowed our universities to become politically correct, our media to become juvenile, and our entertainments to become ever-more adolescent—and then we wonder why we’re baffled by the difficulties we have as a society in being candid, serious, and grown up. As C.S. Lewis put it, “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” Now we are entering a period of consequences in which delaying the decay is no longer enough, and in which the counter-cultural and reconstructive cultural efforts that are underway will not only have to be intensified, but will have to make a difference quickly.
Bill Kristol must be a very serious, grown-up man. Agree or disagree with him politically, but it cannot be denied that he is earnest and genuinely concerned for the future of the United States. But wait… what’s this?
Just before noon on Sunday, July 18, 2010, Sarah Palin enriched the English language. Referring to the planned Islamic center near the 9/11 site in New York, she tweeted: “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”
Presumably, Palin was wavering between “refute” and “repudiate,” and, in the heat of the tweeting moment, typed or BlackBerried or iPhoned or texted the new amalgam, “refudiate.” Pedants in the blogosphere got all huffy. Palin decided to double down. A few hours later, she follow-up-tweeted: “English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”
So let us celebrate the new term “refudiate.”
The same day, folks! Fresh off a diatribe about our juvenile media and adolescent entertainments, Kristol turns around and fully embraces the butchering of the English language. Of course, that’s only because it’s Sarah, and she’s special. (Methinks Bill is enamored of an ass.)