Tuesday, August 09, 2005


British authorities have announced that they are investigating a man who contends that the July 7 bombings in London would "make people wake up and smell the coffee."

The announcement was made in conjunction with news that officials may deport people who make such public pronouncements. Which means, of course, that British-born Abu Izzadeen may soon soon be the first man banished from a western country by reason of his having uttered a worn cliché.

Several third-world governments, as many know, already employ this draconian approach to unoriginal language, and the central square of Nouakchott, Mauritania, has witnessed more than one cliché-related execution. But Britain's new approach to the de-hackneyfication of the national dialogue marks a major turning point for western civilization's Global War On Prosaism (a term since re-jigged as the Global Struggle Against Irksome Bromides).

It remains unclear as to what - if any - effect this will have in boosting flagging British fortunes in the GWOP-cum-GSAIB. While deporting purveyours of prosaic pap will surely be effective in diminishing their short-term contributions to British debate and letters, is it not conceivable that dispatching cliché spewers like Izzadeen and, say, Martin Amis to more cliché-friendly locales will simply allow them to continue disseminating their criminal regard for phrases like "wake up and smell the coffee" to armies of young, impressionable, willing ears? Will failing to deal with these men in the west cause an explosion of banal chestnuts that will inevitably overrun us anyway?

Time will tell. Er, we'll see how the land lies. Er, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Er... whatever.

[J. Kelly Nestruck is away. Far away. And, in his absence, his 'web log' is being incompetently maintained by Dr. S. A. Carrie, chair of the Bob Jones University Evolution Sciences Department-in-Exile]

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