Sunday, January 29, 2006

Our Country, 'Tis of She

Cindy Sheehan is our nation's Medea, a pained and wrathful reminder of the horrors or war, and of the wrenching conflict between family loyalty and state authority. Few of us can understand her loss, and so the weird Bloganderthal attacks on her seem especially cruel and petty. There's a certain transgressive glee in their personal attacks on a grieving mother that's repulsive, if anything on a blog can repulse anymore.

That said, I do cringe a little when she does things like leading the campaign for "matiotism". Taking the cue from a fan, Sheehan wants to replace the "masculine" noun stem of patriotism with a "feminine" one, and create the word "Matriotism". This would seem to mean "love of the motherland", and I'm thinking the logic is akin to that old saw: "If women ran the Pentagon, there would be no wars, and missles would be shaped differently". Sheehan: "Matriots would fight their own battles, but take a dim view of having to do so, and would seldom resort to violence to solve conflict!" Well, that's good! But, by making the word less masculine, you change the thing itself? Sounds pretty retwatulous to me.

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