An Idle Thought

I find myself wondering if it is possible to read an article about John McCain which does not include the word “maverick”, or one about Sarah Palin which eschews the phrase “a heartbeat away from the presidency”.

8 thoughts on “An Idle Thought

  1. It would be easier to write such an article and, no doubt, a good deal more edifying.

    Meanwhile I can’t help noticing that Sarah Palin ~ Sharia plan, though quite what this implies for the Republicans’ prospects I don’t know. Where is this ‘America’ place anyway?

  2. Wherever this ‘America’ place is (I seem to remember flying over some water) I must confess that, for the first time in my life, I am in it – and let me tell you, it’s even harder to find a ‘maverick’/’heartbeat’ free article here than it must be back in fair old Engelande. Sadly, I have yet to overhear any Americans exclaiming, “Gee, d’ya think there may be an article somewhere about Gordon Brown that doesn’t contain the word “gloom”‘?

  3. As long time fans will know, “America” – with its colourful but unlikely cast of characters – is an ingenious hoax perpetrated in the early 1960s for the entertainment of the idle and over-educated by an anonymous Oxbridge satirist. There has been much speculation as to the originator, with the finger generally pointing at either Peter Cook or Kingsley Amis, although there can be little doubt that they were simply continuing a long-running gag drawn out by Swift from one of Shakespeare’s even weaker than usual puns.

    Occasionally, those who have been taken in by the joke will recount deluded anecdotes, such as a week spent bivouacking and kayaking in the “Grand Canyon”, blissfully unaware that the experience they are actually referring to took place at Hardcastle Crags, near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. There are literally millions of people the world over whose mantelpieces are adorned by photographs of their beaming faces as they stand on Union Street, Oldham, or “42nd Street, New York” as they prefer to believe.

  4. So I’m stuck in an ingenious hoax? That sounds most unlike me.
    I must say though, as a work of fiction, America is indeed a little overblown.
    Whenever I see people waving ‘McCain/Palin’ banners, I imagine they’re throwing a party in honour of Michaal Palin. And whyever not? Maybe he had a hand in inventing the imaginary construct that is their country.

  5. I hear it that in recent days it has become compulsory to describe Mrs Palin as “Plucky”. Have you run afoul of this regulation yet?

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