…and she’s infected NPR, pundits, and intellectual discourse!
This morning I woke up and smelled the coffee. I figured out why everybody’s in an uproar over Sarah Palin. Some because they love her. They’re boring. Others, because they can’t stand her. Now, those are the interesting ones…I believe they are suffering from APV, Anthropogenic Palin Virus. I don’t think there has been enough research yet on APV to determine whether it mutated from simians to homo sapiens, but there is strong evidence, in the form of “monkey see, monkey do,” to suggest that it has.
ITEM ONE: How often have you noticed over the last several weeks fired-up bloggers and their gaggles resorting not simply to words of one syllable to make their points, but sentences of one syllable? Like. This. Like a rapidly multiplying virus, one-word sentences are quickly supplanting tried-and-true combos of subjects, verbs, and objects. To. Make. A. Point. Scientists tell me that this utter simplification of prose is symptomatic of APV in that the afflicted begins communicating in a manner in which his germ-addled mind believes resembles Ms. Palin’s style, direct and to the point.
ITEM TWO: Do you remember when pundits and other talking heads would opine loftily about this or that “paradigm” when what they were talking about was a widespread attitude, perception, or opinion? Did you notice the pundits’, um, paradigm shift in usage to “theme,” a savings of two-syllables and three letters? Have you realized that “theme” has been traded-in for “meme,” an even shorter one syllable word? Looks like APV to me: substitute simple words for big ones that are hard to pronounce and harder to spell.
ITEM THREE: On Morning Edition this morning there was a lengthy story about NASCAR (full disclosure: any mention of NASCAR is already too long in my view). At noon there was an All Things Considered promo about an upcoming story on bowling. NASCAR+bowling=NPR? This does not compute. I can only conclude that either the assignment editors at NPR have succumbed to APV, or they cynically believe that their listeners have. It’s either or both, I suppose. But it got me so curious that I checked and found that NPR’s done 195 stories about NASCAR in the last year or so. And this, I think, is the smoking gun: the APV has been dormant for just about a year, but just like that other virus, the flu, it’s been there all along, biding its time, just waiting to till the moment was right.
I guess that moment has come.