Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Final Solution: Dotards Anonymous

Kim Jong-un's speechwriter, translator or spin meister has a great command of the English language. After one of Trump's recent threats, Kim was quoted as calling the American president a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard." Earlier this summer North Korea responded to Trump’s threat of ‘fire and fury” with the very adult sounding  ‘a load of nonsense’ ("North Korea calls  Trump's threat of 'fire and fury' a 'load of nonsense," Politico, 8/9/17). The Times story about the "dotard" exchange went on to point out that  the Korean word that translated to “dotard” was ‘neukdari’ — a lazy, useless and demented person.” ("Kim Jong-un called Trump “a Dotard.” What Does That Even Mean?"NYT, 9/22/17). The significant piece is how expressive in an arch, almost arcane way the North Korean spin machine is. While Trump plays to his followers with what is essentially the talk of swaggering bar room brawler, (calling his adversary "Little Rocket Man"), Mr. Kim is made to look like one of those swashbuckling characters on Game of Thrones, whose words redound with the grandeur of the seasoned, albeit somewhat aristocratic, warrior. By contrast, Mr Trump could easily quality for DA, Dotards Anonymous. If you suffer from road rage you might be able to relate to the exchanges that have been going on between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim. A guy is tailgating you so you let him pass and then roll down your window at the traffic light and make a comment about his mother. He calmly asks you, “why are you talking like that?" The worst response he resorts to are words that are synonymic with “dotard,” But his self-possession is disconcerting and you feel like you would have taken a step back, if you weren’t stuck in a car seat and couldn’t move. Once you get back on the highway, you wish you hadn’t said anything since there’s no escaping him. He tailgates, then pulls in front and stops short, causing you to hit the brakes. His command of the wheel is as impressive as it is of the English language.

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