I have a dream

14 May

Last week President Obama told America that same-sex couples ought to have the right to marry.  It was, as Diane Sawyer said, “an historic political and cultural moment in this country,” brought to you by special report on ABC.

Get ready for some history.  Here it is:

“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

At a certain point

I’ve just concluded

that for me


it is important

for me

to go ahead

and affirm

that I think

that historic moments shouldn’t hide at the end of the sentence after so many

empty words.

26 Responses to “I have a dream”

  1. sledpress May 14, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Because so much depends on that damn wheelbarrow, for one thing.

    You could hear him praying with every superfluous phrase for the sound feed to die.

    • jenny May 15, 2012 at 7:05 am #

      Your mention of the wheelbarrow will see me through the day.

  2. Wayne May 14, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Of all the supernumerary words, the word “personally” is really the key. It sort of subtly implies that most politicians make their private ethical decisions impersonally–which is probably true, but is still horrifying.

    • jenny May 15, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      I think “personally” implies that it’s just my opinion and you may feel differently. It’s a hedging word.

      • Wayne May 15, 2012 at 8:14 am #

        Well you’re right, but “for me” already takes care of that–the adverb is redundant redundant–so I thought I would use the opening to take a swipe at the negotiable morality of politicians (an easy target, but one that seems germane considering that the president’s idea of what is right has “evolved” to a moral stance that everyone knew he had anyway).

  3. imagenmots May 14, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    He had the humility not to pretend speaking for the Nation though he sure was talking to it, especially after North Carolina the day before. A coiurageous man if not a bold one.

    • jenny May 15, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      Maybe this is humility at work, but it isn’t very elegant.

  4. dafna May 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    oh shoot!

    i thought this was going to be an Abba post. isn’t that “I dreamed a dream”?

    OK maybe no one would accuse Shakespeare of using empty words, but aren’t most of his well known quotes at the end of “subordinate” material?

    • jenny May 15, 2012 at 7:10 am #

      Not sure what you mean about Shakespeare. Can you give me an example?

  5. Richard May 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    They mess you up, these empty words …

  6. Christopher May 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    “……historic moments shouldn’t hide at the end of the sentence after so many

    empty words……”

    Because this historic moment was so revolutionary (well, revolutionary for you who reside between the Rio Grande and 49th Parallel), President Obama may have thought it best to use the “Break It To Me Gently” method when announcing it.

    • jenny May 15, 2012 at 7:12 am #

      Yeah, but, I’m still going to complain (as I did to Paul) that I’d like a little more elegance of expression.

  7. Thomas Stazyk May 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Says something about politics when you have to be uncomfortable when articulating what you believe in.

    • jenny May 15, 2012 at 7:12 am #

      Yep. That’s it exactly!

  8. Mr. Crotchety May 15, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    WTM? You be president, then.

    • jenny May 16, 2012 at 5:48 am #

      WTM? You be blogmaster, then.

  9. Cyberquill May 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    So what’s your dream? That one day historic moments won’t be tacked on to strings of vapid verbiage anymore?

    • sledpress May 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      One day?

      The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here…

      • dafna May 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm #


        sled, u have a way with words… without the extra words :0

      • sledpress May 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

        Lincoln. Gettysburg Address. Pretty historic times (that Obama ought to hold in particular regard for several layers of reasons)

        Prepared words, but delivered, so history tells us, by a man who was fomenting a fairly serious illness, and composed his remarks on the train.

        As I have lamented before, language is a dazzling arsenal, and most people use it like a heavy blunt instrument. When some of those people are politicians, it amounts to dereliction of duty. Agh. Don’t get me started.

      • Cyberquill May 16, 2012 at 4:00 am #

        Shakespeare? I thought Bukowski.

        Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly…


      • jenny May 16, 2012 at 6:07 am #

        Thanks, Cyberquill.

        Now, I’m imagining young Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow” in German.

      • sledpress May 16, 2012 at 7:54 am #

        Down stage center, at the end of Rheingold.

  10. Christopher May 16, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    “……The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here…….”

    Lincoln was wrong, for the world noted then, notes today, and still remembers what he said at Gettysburg.

    It is those who died there whom the world may no longer remember.

    • jenny May 16, 2012 at 5:57 am #

      Don’t you think Lincoln knew that the world would note, and long remember, his words? This is just a (very effective) bit of rhetorical charm.

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