Obamacare? Who cares.

And why should we?  Certainly, no particular reason comes to mind.  There might, nonetheless, be one other angle from which to consider this bizarre heap of legislation, or rather, the people proclaiming it (very few now) or declaiming against it (rather more).  

And that is the language of the various parties.  Just one example to offer, since reading all this rubbish from Americans (as if their TV and cinema, their culture generally, in the twenty-first century were not enough) is utterly beyond the pale.  

Powerline tells of a televised debate under the proposition “Resolved: Obamacare Is Now Beyond Rescue”.  Apparently one speaker, having no experience of debating (so why begin on television?) was thus “feeling a little trepid”.  Good grief.  

One notices this sort of nonsense on most occasions that one looks at American sites.  Nor is it unique to American web-sites, university publishers are little better.  Dust-jackets reveal a good deal, not least that tertiary education (like primary and secondary levels) now is little more than fraud.  Certainly one can argue that language changes over time, quite so.  It is another thing altogether to claim that the (now) constant deterioration and contraction of language comes into that historical category.

Vocabulary is a significant element here, having been in contraction for possibly four decades (very hard to measure, naturally) but the contexts in which young people learn new words and how to manipulate them with deepening subtlety have gradually been lost. Their parents have followed suit, mostly by tolerating–encouraging?–the loss of their own language.  Actually, that should probably have been grand-parents, for the current generation of parents (of school-aged children) seemed to have learned very little.  And they are content in that loss.

Schools (all levels) might be reckoned guardians of language, not uniquely perhaps, so who now guards the guardians?  The fact is, no-one.  And the authoritarian streaks first noticeable in the 1980s have a stranglehold on personal expression.  Successful employment of meaningless has become a source of power.  And power is the sole source of definition of meaning in the twenty-first century.

Obamacare the book, in excess of two thousand pages, is but one example.  It may be a defining one.


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