PLEASE, NO MORE...

PLEASE, NO MORE JACKBOOTS STOMPING ON HUMAN FACES! To add a slightly more frivolous point to Matt's post below about Jonah Goldberg, isn't it high time to retire the "jackboots-stomping-on-a-human-face" clich´┐Ż that Goldberg quotes "Derb" as using? I mean, does any military outfit itself with jackboots anymore? That's a real question. Anybody know? My inclination is to think that the only people who wear jackboots and might want to stomp on human faces these days are off begging on St. Mark's Place in New York's East Village. Such people stopped seriously stomping on human faces in the early 1980s, if they ever really did it at all.

Even if there are jackboots in military use today, it's still a very bad idea to use the phrase. It unwittingly reveals a writer's sneaking belief that he or she is the modern-day re-incarnation of George Orwell, who famously wielded the image to great effect. Sure, many people who do this for a living have a germ of a desire somewhere to be a modern-day Orwell, but it's a desire best not shared with the outside world, lest it invite comparisons between oneself and the Great One. What's more, using the "jackboots" phrase also reveals a latent but self-aggrandizing urge to see oneself as on one side of a modern-day global struggle between good and evil similar to the one Orwell participated in over 60 years ago. The world's changed a bit since then, though an updated version of such a world view is frequently championed by some important people these days. That, to me, is one of the more objectionable things about the phrase "Islamo-fascist," too. So please, no more "Islamo-fascism" -- and above all, no more jackboots!

--Greg Sargent

You need to be logged in to comment.
(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)

Connect
, after login or registration your account will be connected.
Advertisement