Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Dark Side And The White Knight

Darkness and Light
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: February 6, 2008

Not in the least; everybody allows that Lady Sneerwell can do more with a word or a look than many can with the most labored detail, even when they happen to have a little truth on their side to support it.
-School For Scandal, 1777
The Dowd thesaurus had been taken out of mothballs and Heading 421 in particular is burning from the furious page flipping. We can’t get to them all, but let’s get a sampling:
Don’t become so paranoid that you let yourself be overwhelmed by a dark vision.

But her pitch is the color of pitch

Darkness seeking darkness. It’s an exhausting specter, and the reason that Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, Claire McCaskill and so many other Democrats are dashing for daylight and trying to break away from the pathological Clinton path.
Note the use of pitch(shill)/pitch(tar), as in "pitch black" and in "tar and feather", giving three levels of allusion. The pathological/{dark} path pair is also well played. We even get an art lesson:
Even though Hillary reasserted her strength, corraling New York, California and Kennedy country Massachusetts, she and Obama will battle on in chiaroscuro.
From Wikipedia:
Chiaroscuro (Italian for clear-dark) is a term in art for a contrast between light and dark.
And according to Dowd, never has the contrast been clearer. And we get a nice Alliteration Alert® AND a new Rude Name® with Diffident Debutante. A nice opposite to Debate Dominatrix.
Better the devil you know than the diffident debutante you don’t. Better to go with the Clintons, with all their dysfunction and chaos — the same kind that fueled the Republican hate machine — than to risk the chance that Obama would be mauled like a chew toy in the general election. Better to blow off all the inspiration and the young voters, the independents and the Republicans that Obama is attracting than to take a chance on something as ephemeral as hope. Now that’s Cheney-level paranoia.
We also get the boxing metaphor we last saw in November back in action:
For much of the campaign, when matched against Hillary in debates, the Illinois senator seemed out of his weight class. But he has moved up to heavyweight, even while losing five pounds as he has raced around the country. The big question is: Can he go from laconic to iconic to bionic?
And on “laconic/iconic/bionic” the rhyming dictionary bursts into flames. Flames from a fire-breathing dragon{lady}:
But, if he wants to be president, he will still have to slay the dragon. And his dragon is the Clinton attack machine, which emerged Tuesday night, not invincible but breathing fire.
Obama is clearly Dowd's white knight.

2 comments:

Grace Nearing said...

A superb analysis! I found the return of "Obambi" interesting. It's use has now been transferred from MoDo to Clinton, ie, it's no longer MoDo calling Obama "Obambi" but MoDo imagining Clinton calling Obama "Obambi."

Mo MoDo said...

I missed the Obambi shout-out. Maureen has a long history of putting words in people's mouth.

And plenty of material today for a pop culture scorecard.