This is an op-ed about Iraq, about Dick Cheney and about what could be a psychological pathology that leads right wingers to keep the USA in Iraq, causing the waste of trillions of dollars and tragedy for millions of families.
But first, a bit of lexical digression. I'm a gigundous quotation addict. If a book lover is a bibliomaniac (I'm on of those too) then I'm a quotatiomaniac.
So it's hard for me to avoid using Dick Cheney's phrase (no, not the "Go f**k yourself" remark he made to Patrick Leahy on the floor of congress,) the "So?" remark he used in response to a question about how the vast majority of Americans want us out of Iraq.
Pardon me while indulge my mania. Samuel Johnson, author of one of the first widely used English dictionaries, which illustrated almost every word with a quotation, said, in his dictionary's preface, "Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language."
Jean Rostand said, "Certain brief sentences are peerless in their ability to give one the feeling that nothing remains to be said."
I went through four quotations books, about about 50 quotations to find two decent ones. All that to comment on one word, uttered by one of the most despised people in the history of the human race, Dick Cheney. Those words, "So What."
Some quotations have power. To use them is to tap the intensity, the authority, or the infamy of the author. And thus it is that we can take just a few otherwise insignificant words and wield them with extraordinary power, irony and poignance.
There. Now that's a quote worthy of a quotation collection. Have I risen to the quotational challenge? History will tell.
But finally, let's discuss the word that titles this op-ed. "So?"
That one word response, the one word uttered as a question, clearly indicates an attitude of indifference. When you say something to me and I say, "So"," I'm telling you that whatever it is you are expressing concern about, it's no big deal, nothing to worry about, not something I care about, or think there is anything necessary to do about it.
It's too short and too commonly used a word to google it alone, but "So what?" is a "longer" version of the same message.
Google the phrase, and before you even click on the search button, you see options, before inserting the question mark:
so, what if,
so what metallica,
I see the "so what" suggestion that drops down from the google search field and my mind expands it to "so what the f*ck."
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