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Monday, March 12, 2007

neologism contest no. 2


In the first comment of the entry below, Steve proposed the following problem:
'It seems to me that we need a word to show how these radical conservatives, as you rightly call them, are on the same side as others who have wished that law be coextensive with morality: the architects of the French terror, for example, or those Islamists who wish to enshrine Sharia law through force. They are all on the same side, and it's a bad side. Plainly, as you point out, "conservatives" is entirely the wrong description. What should we call them?'

Indeed, American conservatives and Islamists of all stripes want to use the state, or caliphate, to legislate a similar moral code and then punish those who violate it. On pre-marital sex, homosexuality, feminine chastity, sexually explicit culture, and on and on, there is not much difference between Bush-era conservatives and the Taliban. I always laugh when I hear conservatives suggest that liberals are somehow in league with al-Qa'ida. If, somehow, al-Qa'ida ever took over the US or the UK, the first people they'd kill would be the liberals and the so-called cultural elite.

American conservatives and Islamists have a lot in common, but we don't yet have a term that comprehends their similarities, hence the need for this neologism contest. The rules are simple: post your suggestions in the comments thread, and the author of the best submission, as judged by me, will receive a dollar in the mail.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would reflect poorly on your readership if this thread does not last for days, because the options are plentiful. I reject the notion that we should necessarily reach back into history - such as to the French terrorists - for a word that will encompass all who have wished that "law be coextensive with morality", because that is a fantasy many of us have harbored, but with different moral imperatives. We could just call that the problem of "morgalism".

Instead, we might seek to find a word or term that draws together modern Republicans and the Taliban - an affinity that has been noted for some time now. With a Victorian ring, one may herald these kinfolk "hellbeards", for their pirate diplomacy and fascination with what the devil will do to the other fellow. Unfortunately, few would merit this term. Other than the toilet brush pasted under Bolton's nose or al Zarqawi's pubic wisps, the men are either clean-shaven or respectably full-bearded and the women well-waxed. Disparaging their facial hair is nonsensical.

The real problem with "hellbeards", though, is that it makes them seem so valiant, when cowardice, both moral and, as they say, "physical", is a defining feature - "fleeactionaries", then, would be the correct term for these tremulous bastards and their fear of what we consider modernity.

"Fleeactionaries", however, only covers a certain segment - certainly, the larger American segment of keyboard warriors and White House intellectuals, but it is not all-encompassing. The spooneristic "candy runts" captures their saccharine conceits about their own virtue and their moral Napoleon complexes, barely masking their odious fixation with sex. While this term is probably most appropriate in so many ways, it lacks the specificity you seek.

After you have dispensed with "morgalism", "fleeactionaries", "hellbeards" and "candy runts", you must contend with my final suggestion. "Couch Godikazes" captures their compulsion to send men and women out from the safety of their dens, to kill and be killed in the name of their respective God. So, "Couch Godikazes" will be my entry in your competition. It is more specific than the original competition asked for - given its theological bent - but for a fucking dollar, I'm not exactly going to worry about what you or your readers think.

1:28 AM, March 13, 2007

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

How about 'sex fascists'? It's simple and gets right to the point.

1:43 AM, March 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FFS, if you were looking for something like "sex fascists", why bother with a competition in the first place?

7:59 AM, March 13, 2007

Anonymous Steve said...

"Sex Fascists"? It sounds like a brilliant idea for the title of a duet between Eurythmics and Pat Benatar, but otherwise I'm not really sure we want to join in the pointless extension of applications of the word "fascist" that is, after all, a favourite hobby of the enemy under discussion.

"Couch Godizakes" makes me think of Godzilla and his dinosaur chums, drinking sake, while reclining on a couch. Or is that just me? What about "nanny-staters"?

4:14 PM, March 13, 2007

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

'Couch Godizakes'
The problem with that entry is that these people do not sit on the couch. Some of them wage actual war, non-metaphorically bombing girls' schools in one part of the world and abortion clinics in another.

The term 'nanny state' has already been taken. It was a favorite of Reagan-era conservatives to describe any program of government welfare. It even has its own Wikipedia entry.

'Sex fascists'
I take Steve's point that 'fascist' is already too widely used.

The contest is still wide open.

8:04 PM, March 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hence the need for this neologism contest.

Oh, I see: this is a blog where people think that "nanny-staters" and "sex fascists" are neologisms, not worn-out political slogans from the past three or four decades. Gosh. Well. I would say that I look forward to your next suggestions, but, really, you wordshits bore me.

8:36 PM, March 13, 2007

Anonymous Blunt Cogger said...

Steady on, anonymous!

Now, I agree that "sex fascists" sounds like the song Billy Idol always wished he had written, and "nanny-staters" is simply Thatcher era rhetoric. I find it hard to argue that George W. Bush has not waged war from his couch. But I think the neologism should be "manquettes". "Manquettes"? Well, masculinity is at the core of their identity, insofar as most of these men spend a lot of time posturing and posing as great masculine figures of bravado, paternal wisdom, and courage, and yet it is these qualities - whether or not these virtues are in any way "male" - that they lack. Hence, it's a sort of pun on the "man" in "manque", as well as becoming a diminuitive portmanteau noun. Obviously, there are problems with this: why make gender an issue? Well, they do. Other problems? Well, if I don't get a dollar bill in the mail, I'll simply have to assume that there are other problems with it.

8:55 PM, March 13, 2007

Anonymous Steve said...

I must apologise for allowing my heteronymous fellow commentators (the spirit of Paul Ward, I see, lives on) the condescending idea that I really thought "nanny-staters" was a euphemism, rather than being intended, as I thought would be obvious, as an ironic appropriation of an enemy insult. Of course it is all too easy on the internet to assume your interlocutor is an idiot. You idiots.

The glaring problem with "manquettes" is that it sounds French: an effeminate, beret'd, garlic-breathed criticism at best.

I now suggest fauxtalitarians.

6:44 AM, March 14, 2007

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

'Fauxtalitarians' is a great neologism but, like some other suggestions, not quite as fitting as one would like. Still, I'd have to say it's the frontrunner.

My new suggestion is eponymous and blunt: Bush-Ladinists.

Meanwhile, Robert Baer in the April 2007 Vanity Fair has coined a brilliant term for the army of private mercenaries in Iraq: the Coalition of the Billing. I hereby offer to double the cash prize for this contest if the winning entry tops Baer's term in aptness, catchiness, and wit.

12:10 PM, March 14, 2007

Anonymous steve said...

"Coalition of the Billing" is great, but Baer certainly did not coin it. I remember hearing it many times over the last few years. A Google News Archive search finds a first use of the phrase at Salon by Laura McClure in March 2003 (there may have been earlier uses).

"Bush-Ladinists" is not much use when we want to talk about others of the same ilk, is it?

Perhaps less elegant but more funky than my previous suggestion of fauxtalitarians would be my new alternative, Dickocrats. This catches the obsession with penises and their rightful place of both the Bush-Cheney axis and the Islamists, with a free reference to Cheney's first name, and the ringing and indisputable final judgment that they are all dicks.

7:26 PM, March 14, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nothing is so cut and dry: i.e. sweeping phrase-beginners "they are all...etc"

10:13 PM, March 14, 2007

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

I hereby declare Steve the winner. Congratulations. Steve, e-mail me to confirm that you're where you usually are and I will promptly send you your jackpot. Don't spend it all in one place.

1:58 AM, March 16, 2007

Blogger Jeff Strabone said...

The contest is over, but I just came up with another possibility in e-mail with Steve.

Although 'fauxtalitarians' is a better term in general, 'Dickocrats' was the winning entry for the contest. The dickocrats want to rule over people's dicks and create rule by dicks. The missing component was their perhaps more zealous policing of vaginas, but the term gets us halfway there.

But then I thought, how about 'gonadocrats'? Would that work?

The only problem with it is that -crats means 'rule by' not 'rule over' per se. Dickocrats gets around that because it comprehends being dicks.

Even so, I am putting 'gonadocrats' out there for my readers' consideration.

11:24 AM, March 16, 2007

Anonymous steve said...

I think the Dickocrats are not really interested in vaginas per se, only vaginas qua a place (indeed, the only proper place) to put dicks, and the place whence a baby must come nine months after the putting in of dicks. For the Dickocrats, the dicks are really the thing. The world must be so arranged as to enforce the fullest and most righteous use of dicks. (Consider also how comparatively less they appear to worry about lesbianism than about male homosexuality - it's the fear of abuse of dicks, in particular, that rules them.)

Gonadocrats also has a nice ring, but are they really interested in gonads? I do think they're more interested in dicks.

11:56 AM, March 16, 2007


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