Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Moeursalen Rails Against Big Cliche: The Democratic Debate
I watched part of the Democratic forum last night on MSNBC. As many of you know, I’m virtually clueless when it comes to the politics of the presidential primaries, but I was an English Major and I have stayed at a Holiday Inn.
Both those things, of course, qualify me to render this commentary on the use of cliché. The first thing an English Major is taught is to avoid the cliché in writing and in oratory.
“Walk through the world of the cliché as you would a minefield,” said my 8th grade English teacher.
So I noticed that many of the Democratic candidates must have taken electives (in social activism?) in lieu of English. And the unfortunate thing is that all these viral clichés are now spreading through the universe of media.
CNN reports one of John Edwards’ clichés:
“The American people ... deserve a president of the United States that they know will tell them the truth…blah, blah, blah….etc. “
We’ve heard that one before. God, I hope he’s not serious though. Telling the American people the truth is likely to cause mass hysteria.
Hand it to Hillary, though. She knows the power of the cliché. I don’t know how many times she used the now time-worn and dusty phrase “George Bush and his failed policies.” Taking the advice of her handlers, she repeatedly bludgeoned the high notes in a broad attempt at spiritual communion with the nutty Bush haters.
That roly poly and jolly guy from New Mexico, Richardson? He knows how to turn a phrase, excoriating the other candidates for their “holier than thou” attitudes in daring to criticize Hillary C. Wow, exhilarating. Philologists are still dazzled by the subtle irony of the governor’s verbal flourishes.
That horrid little dwarf, Kucinich, was not to be outdone in reciting his litany against “Big Health, Big Oil, Big Banking, Big Legal, Big Polluter, Big Everything” but you’ve got to hand it to him. There was nothing cliched in his thrilling narrative of chilling at Shirley MacClaine’s house and watching Big Flying Saucers hover in the sky. Where does Shirley MacClaine live anyway? Was that in Big Hollywood?