Saturday, October 28, 2006


Dear Indigna,

Dis fellow, Tan Nguyen, he's running for Congress, his opponent is dis woman Loretta Sanchez, he sent out a Spanish language flya to all da Latinos in his district telling dem dat emigrados ("immigrants") will be depo'ted or t'rown in prison if dey try to vote. Are naturaliz' citizens f'om Vietnam, like Tan, exemp' f'om dis dyah federal penalty? Are naturaliz' Austrians also exemp'?

Arnold S.
Sacramento, CA

Dear Arnold,
C'mon. There are a number of perfectly legitimate responses to this vile accusation of voter intimidation.
  • His campaign didn't send out the flyer
  • Even if his campaign did send out the flyer, the candidate didn't know it was being done, and doesn't even know Spanish, so he can't be held accountable
  • Even if he wrote the flyer personally, he's just looking out for the Latinos in his district. He wants to protect Spanish-speaking immigrants from the soul-deadening experience of voter disillusionment with the democratic process
  • He's a citizen now, so he can oppose immigration just like Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell can diss Affirmative Action since they have both suffered through the leg-up it offered and don't want any other disadvantaged students to suffer the resultant dead-end jobs like Supreme Court Justice (no path to advancement) or think tank analyst (writing "position papers" and "columns" no one reads for a measly high six figures).
The thing is, all these excuses fail to diagnose the real reason this whole controversy has occurred. It's all because this poor fellow had the misfortune to study postmodern critical theory. He made the colossal error of enrolling in a graduate level course very shortly after arriving in this country, when his English was still extremely sketchy. Hence, he absorbed the notion that words can become unhinged from their meaning, kind of like free-radicals floating around in your body giving you all kinds of degenerative ills associated with aging. (In a similar vein, Freud's famous essay, "Negation," opines that, loosely stated, no means yes.) But he unfortunately applied that theory to producing political flyers written in a language he claims he does not understand, in the mistaken belief that he could, all linguists to the contrary, unilaterally determine that the "correct" translation of a word in this foreign language (like "emigrado") is something entirely new that has never been considered by speakers of said language (does not refer to "naturalized immigrants").

I blame his thesis advisor.


At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on to your game, Indigna! Just because our governator is Austrian, you feel you have to make fun of him with an answer that draws heavily on another famous Austrian emigrado, i.e., Sigmund Freud.

Well guess what, our beloved Fatherland has cooked up more than a few superb specimens of Austrian blood who have emigrated--and this is where history gets it wrong--not because they had to, but because we Austrians need so much Lebensraum.

I am, of course, thinking of Maria von Trapp, and not that other person you no doubt think that I'm thinking of. (And just who else would I be thinking of? Goethe? That winer was born in Frankfurt!)

Anyway, our beloved Maria (as opposed to Arnold's beloved not-really-a-Kennedy Maria) is an echte example for all good Austrian women. Her resourcefulness in making Lederhosen out of curtains is much to be admired! Because if you think about it, if you have clothes, you could do without curtains, but you can't say the opposite, i.e., that if you had curtains you could do without clothes.

There's a whole/hole inside/outside thing going on here. That's what my thesis advisor said. Clothes/curtains, citizen/emigrado, yes/no, Freud/penis envy, post/comment, etc. And speaking of clothes, curtains, & getting naked, it's all about just how close/clothed/unclothed you're willing to let the spectator get.

So negate that, you crazy red! And shut your von Trapp! Ha ha, got you on that one.


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