Laedit te quaedam mala fabula, qua tibi fertur valle sub alarum trux habitare caper.*

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Because the world needs more parodies of Victor Davis Hanson:

Morituri te salutant

The Victory Column and vero possumus megalomania of 2008 have now led to the deification of Obama as our new Caesar, man of letters (who, in the ancient tradition, enslaved a million in Gaul), and to his communications czar’s praising the embattled Mao (her favorite “political philosopher”) for leading China’s Communist legions to glorious victory over those running-dog Nationalists. Add in the classical-column props at the convention and the Moses-like talk about the seas’ receding and the planet’s cooling, and I think this administration assumes we have a Holy Man in the White House. And when you consider the depiction of Fox News as heresy, Rush as the anti-Christ, and the NEA as the medieval church, it all gets, well, sort of creepy.
The above, of course, is renowned military historian and classical scholar Victor Davis Hanson obliging the world. He leads with a Latin quotation so esoteric only people who have studied classical Latin oratory for decades seen Gladiator can recognize the import of its implied "Ave Obama." Or not. Trotting out some of the only Latin his readers know means he needs a shoehorn to make his metaphor relevant: who are the "saluting" folks "about to die"? They are saluting Obama and are about to die for his entertainment, so they can't be Joe Lieberman and the rest of the Democratic Party, as that wouldn't entertain the President. They could be Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich, but Victor Davis Hanson doesn't belong to the group of people currently enjoying that particular spectacle (that would be us).

See, this is the problem with trotting out random bits of Latin in the service of a hopelessly muddled metaphor: you think you're impressing people who know more than you, when in truth you're only impressing people who don't know Latin. [Edited to remove an unintentional insult.]

*cf lines 5 and 6


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