Butcher Bush meets Butcher Mao

Mao butchered his people; Bush butchered the English language. Now, I’ll take a language butcher over a people butcher any day of the week. But a butcher is a butcher.

Context: Apparently Bush said this in an interview yesterday:

“China has recently read the book on Mao. It’s an amazing history of a couple of things, one of which was how fooled the world was — and how brutal the country was.”

A few weeks ago, Bush publically endorsed the Chang-Halliday Mao biography, so I presume that’s the book he’s referring to here. Literally every phrase of this short quote oozes with Bush’s signature tortured syntax, the first sentence literally meaning nothing at all.

As snark-meister and ueber-blogger Digby remarks,

Sounds like five years into his presidency Junior finally cracked a high school history book. Good for him, seeing as he has a degree in history from Yale.

Well, I suppose any publicity of how wretched Mao was is a good thing. It’s too bad the message is expressed in language so embarrassingly convoluted and juvenile, and so devoid of serious observation or thought.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

What?? He can read? GTF outta here?

March 29, 2006 @ 5:41 pm | Comment

I’ll bet he used the audio-cassette version.

March 29, 2006 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Naw, he used Cliffnotes…

March 29, 2006 @ 7:50 pm | Comment

What disturbs me isn’t so much the garbled English, but the implication of the first phrase,
“China has recently read the book on Mao.”

Um, oh, you mean the one that’s been banned?
The one of which almost no copies exist in China?

(Although, personally, I know at least one person who had a copy smuggled into the mainland. ;-)

March 30, 2006 @ 2:57 am | Comment

Remind me again, which one of us has been speaking English for 50 years.

March 30, 2006 @ 6:08 am | Comment

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