Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An empirical nation? Margarine fit for a king!

We listened to the podcast of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher." Episode 143. We think it's important to understand both sides of every argument, and Mr. Maher certainly provides one side. With great enthusiasm.

His guests included George Stephanopoulos, whom we gather is now shaving (we actually like his ABC show, but mostly for George Will); Gavin Newsom, the exceptionally bright, entertaining, and circumspect mayor of San Francisco, actor Alan Cumming, and political satirist and journalist P.J. O'Rourke (it appears that now that Bush has been defeated Maher is comfortable having at least one dissenting voice at the table -- O'Rourke is a notorious conservative).

We can't seem to find any signs that Alan Cumming is anyone about whom we should care -- he apparently has a distinguished curriculum vitae including roles in Garfield and Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas -- who is this guy? But we digress.

Cumming (whom we congratulate for becoming a naturalized citizen recently) noted that the U.S.'s foreign policy suggests that it really is trying to build an empire, and he went on to conclude that the U.S. is "an empirical nation."

But wait, we say. A nation guided by experience and measurement? From a Bill Maher guest? We think not, and we're confident that's not what he meant. So once again, we toss our flag.

Mr. Cumming meant to say that the US, in its empire building, is an "imperial" nation -- of or pertaining to an empire (according to Dictionary.com). You know, imperial, like the United Kingdom once was. How ironic is it that Mr. Cumming is Scottish by birth?

The other irony is too crude for us to discuss.

So remember: if it's empirical it's something "gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment" (says Wikipedia.com, and so say we). If it's imperial, it relates to an empire.

Or some margarine so fine that it's fit for a king. Do click the link and watch the commercial...how we long for simple advertising like that...

Note to David: the accusative is the object of the verb. " I (nominative) failed Latin class (accusative)" for example.

1 comment:

David said...

How I wish we were an empirical nation!