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.
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.