Saturday, August 26, 2006


I knew there was something I was forgetting yesterday.  Here's a quote from the latest New Yorker Shouts and Murmurs: "Tehran, Iran, (July 29) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language such as "pizzas", which will now be known as "elastic loaves". - Associated Press"

Here indeed is a precious clue to what the future holds!  When Charles De Gaulle did the same thing in France - going so far as to entrust the prestigious Academie Francaise, guardian of the French language, with finding properly French equivalents for foreign words that had crept into the language of Moliere and Voltaire, it was to try to recapture the past glory such centuries' dead writers embodied.  As heir to the even more ancient Persian culture, Ahmadinejad is clearly signaling his intention to capture future glory for his people. Like us, he's forgetting the Chinese.

Here's today's mystery: will the future be a conflict between the various fundamentalists of the Book, or between Islam and a state capitalism claiming roots in Confucius?

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