Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Dowdification Projection

Maureen Dowd, is the undisputed Queen of Distortion Through Redaction. She has selflessly given her "all" - her very name - to the English language in the form of the word and concept "Dowdify": to distort a quote though omission of critical parts, especially through the brutal and misleading insertion of marks of ellipsis.

The criticism that linguistic contribution has earned her must be taking a toll, because in today's bizarre column she seems to be trying to make a joke of her own prevarication-through-redaction tendencies by cobbling up a purposeless, unfunny fake letter from the Vice President to some imaginary Middle Eastern sheik. The actual content of the column is not worth substantial comment. As usual, there is no "argument" or "reasoning" to speak of. But even by Big Mo's standards, this is a particularly weird and insightless effort. It's also a lame attempt to deny that she has a really big problem that is not going to be made to go away by laughing at it - especially when she can't come up with anything worth laughing at, regardless of one's political preferences.

She seems motivated by her disappointment in yesterday's successful and fatal US attack on Saddam Hussein's two demented and homicidal boys. In Big Mo's curious world (and, apparently, the curious world of the New York Times), this happy development occasions yet another attack by her on Dick Cheney, of all people. Perhaps she can't shake her conflation of the Vice President with some male relative who abused her in her youth. Go figure.

I suppose it's a good thing for her mental health that her column went to press before the report of the U.S. capture of that senior Iraqi guard official got out and also prior to Iran's intelligence minister saying that he is holding top members of the al-Qaida terror network. God only knows what she would have been imagining Mr. Cheney as writing, and what she would have been redacting from her own confabulations, if she had got wind of any of that.

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