Seoul Bound for Eternal Damnation?

Sometimes, I wake up to find that listening to All Things Considered causes nearby people to act as if I just yelled "the end is near!" (They glance over with a frightened expression, cross the street, and grab hold of their wallets.) Generally, I have a hard time paying attention--pleasant ambient noise, reassuring me that things are happening in the world, and that people are talking about them. But not today. Maybe my standards are lower than, for instance, the "rising pressure to increase gas taxes"? The news casters all sounded so deeply bored with the world on which they were reporting that the only communicative act left to them that seemed to broadcast out of their cocoons of despair were puns, and only because puns are the treadmills of locution. I thought I heard Robert Siegel trying to contain his glee at having actually uttered "the hard freeze following the Arab Spring."

I have to say, I shared this enthusiasm. The alternative quickly availed itself when someone earnestly observed that the Diaz-Canel government is launching "what appears to be a carefully orchestrated campaign to ready the island for an uncertain post-Castro future." It's almost as if there are politics that occur outside of the United States.

Generally, if they do, they're threatening and serious, threats taken seriously. They threatened. I'm serious. If you're sick of me repeating myself, I assure you, it's a cycle of transgression. The word "bellicose" was repeated so many times during this hour that I wasn't sure what it meant anymore, if anything. Whatever it was, nobody approved. Others stumbled over words I assume because they too could not get the image of a younger--very serious--Harrison Ford out of there head whenever they started to say "clear," "present," and, no, don't say that one, er, "threat," oh what the hell--"danger." Truly, language was a prickly morass, so uncertain that some took to stating as unequivocally as possible what they take and continue to take at face value. I was witnessing a kind of cold war escalation of rhetoric. Words were not to be trusted and had to be armored with more words, and those were not enough, and some sort explosion loomed on the horizon, or so they seemed to be saying, possibly.

4 April 2013