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Elliot: All Coked up

BY BEAU ELLIOT | FEBRUARY 11, 2014 5:00 AM

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Now that the ruckus about that Coke ad during the Super Bowl has died down, perhaps we can turn our attention to less weighty matters.

Such as, is “winningest” really a word? and even if some people say it is, would you use it in front of your grandmother?

Or, perhaps, what was going on in House Speaker John Boehner’s mind when he first talked about Republican principles for immigration reform and then, mere moments later (metaphorically speaking), said immigration reform was dead. (Actually what normally goes on in Boehner’s mind is tanning. You’d be forgiven for thinking he’d like to resemble the people he doesn’t want in the country.)

What’s that you say? The Coke ad ruckus hasn’t died down, at least in some people’s minds?

Well, it was a fine ruckus as ruckuses go, and I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea where they go. Is this like elephants and their graveyards?

I mean, how often do you get a former member of Congress weighing in on a song? Well, OK, in this case, it wasn’t just any old song, it was “America the Beautiful,” which is not, as some outraged conservatives apparently believed, the U.S. national anthem. Actually, “America the Beautiful” began its life (if words have life) as a poem.

But there was Republican Congressman Allen West, who wrote a blog post saying, “If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American [sic] the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition.”

We’ll note that the former congressman needed a comma after “doggone.” Not to mention that he doesn’t seem to know the difference between “America” and “American.”

That’s one of the things about the English-only gang: Quite often, the members said gang don’t speak or write English all that well.

And here’s another thing about the Coke ad: One of the “foreign” languages some people complained about was, according to some reports, a Native American language. Which leaves one to ponder: Isn’t a Native American language more American than English?

Because English, after all, is a European language.

It’s a mash-up (to use a popular word these days) of Old German and Old French, thanks to the Battle of Hastings (1066, if you’re counting at home), and it has some sprinklings of Old Irish Gaelic, Latin, Ancient Greek, Spanish, and some others for seasoning.

Meanwhile, back on the “road to perdition” — really? Perdition? Isn’t that a tough road to hoe?

The Ameican Heritage Dictionary defines “perdition” as “Loss of soul; eternal damnation.”

Eternal damnation for not speaking English? Wouldn’t 20 years in Guantánamo suffice?

Sigh.

Well, to give conservatives their due, not all were outraged by the ad. As well-known conservative Erick Erickson said, “People, the Coke ad was well-done. This is so crazy that there is outrage over it. E Pluribus Unum isn’t in English, either.”

Odd that there was such a ruckus about an ad, but very little (outside of West Virginia) about what happened to the water in one of that state’s valleys, which was fouled by a chemical spill around a month ago.

“I wouldn’t drink that water if you paid me.”

That’s Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, talking about said water.

The first thing that struck me was you probably couldn’t pay Jay Rockefeller to do anything. He’s a Rockefeller.

Which is more than we can say about the Coke ruckus.


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