Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ah, Think I'll Call it a Sheep

I learned something today. Jon Stewart, who apparently is now arbiter of common language usage, has decided that the use of the term "Obamacare" is somehow derogatory and, based on the video clip that you can find here, the equivalent of using the charming term "teabagger."

I'll admit I found this mystifying, but apparently the bien pensants at Newsweek were on the case some time ago. Near as I can tell, this is the explanation for why Obamacare is derogatory:

Considering tea-party activists were marching in the streets waving signs proclaiming Obamacare will kill grandmas or with the term alongside photos of mutilated fetuses for the past year, it isn’t likely to overcome its stigma. If Obama and health-care-reform supporters want to repackage the new law and sell it to Americans as what we’ve been missing, the Obamacare epithet certainly isn’t the kind of marketing they need.

Now as a conservative I am famously lacking in nuance, but let's see if I've parsed this correctly -- it's those hateful, gun-totin' teabaggers who came up with the term Obamacare, therefore it's no damned good. It's pretty much axiomatic that anything a teabagger would do carries a stigma, so we need to cease and desist. Besides, you wouldn't want to question the considered judgment of Jon Stewart and the rest of the brave souls at Comedy Central, who are so willing to speak to truth to power.

I've done some marketing in my day so I do understand the rationale -- if you want a project launch to be successful, you really need to control what it's called. Where I get confused is this: if the law that was passed is supposed to be the culmination of a 70-year dream and the signature effort of the Obama administration, why wouldn't Obama, and his supporters more generally, not welcome calling their highest achievement "Obamacare?"

Well, perhaps we ought to turn to Bob Dylan for counsel on this matter. Back in the late 1970s, Dylan went through a phase where turned to Christianity in a somewhat odd way, but that's Bob. Unfortunately his turn to the Lord wasn't so good for his Muse. He wrote some of his worst music during that time, including perhaps his most demented ditty of all, the immortal "Man Gave Names to All the Animals." The following verse pretty much summed it up, in all its glory:

Next animal that he did meet
Had wool on his back and hooves on his feet
Eating grass on a mountainside so steep
"Ah, think I'll call it a sheep"

Needless to say, Democrats (I can still call them that, right?) would prefer to have their own way of describing the rich chewy goodness of the 2,000 page law they've promulgated, without the help of a bunch of mouth breathers toting hand-printed signs. But even so, I can't help but feel that we need to help our betters out in their time of need. Obamacare needs a new name, so we should offer our services, doncha think?

So if we can't call it Obamacare, and if we can't call it a sheep , what should we call it? I've got a few suggestions; pick your favorite or perhaps you'd like to add some more.

1. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
2. The Unified Field Theory of Cool
3. The Only Healthcare Package You'll Ever Need, or Eventually Get
4. I Can't Believe It's Not Obamacare!
5. The Kama Sutra of Omnibus Legislation
6. The Safety Dance
7. Ozymandiascare
8. The San Francisco Treat
9. Zoom-Zoom
10. Sexual Healing
11. Stupakular!
12. The Superstar of Rent-a-Car
13. Kopechnecare
14. The Answer to All Your Prayers That You Didn't Exactly Pray
15. Cindy

The floor is open. Let's help our portside pals out!


W.B. Picklesworth said...

16. "The big steaming pile."

Mr. D said...

It's all that and more, WBP.

Gino said...

The O-Bama-Lama-Ding-Dong.

we can even write a song about it.

Dan S. said...

I vote for #1, "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show."

Pack up the babies, and grab the old ladies...

...and ship 'em off to the death panel.

Night Writer said...

Maybe they should try "The Sloganizer" for a new theme. Or just go with "Try it, you'll like it!" (So I tried it...thought I was gonna die).

I recognized and laughed at the Sheep headline right off, and I'm rather partial to the "Slow Train Coming" album. It's no "Blood on the Tracks" (and wouldn't that make an interesting spiritual linkage), but I especially like "Precious Angel" and the title track from STC.

CousinDan 54915 said...

"Lane Bryant costs, Victoria Secret services" seems to fit.