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Post "Bileful National Epithets": John Gunther and Chris Hedges (from Gary Moore)
Created by John Eipper on 09/12/18 4:08 AM

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"Bileful National Epithets": John Gunther and Chris Hedges (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA, 09/12/18 4:08 am)

Gary Moore writes:

JE's quote from John Gunther in 1941 (September 10) pinpoints a genre, which might be called bileful national epithets. The quote from Gunther that John found is: "Bolivia is not a country, it's a problem."

This becomes generic with comparison to another quote, from a turn-of-the-century malaria-eradication doctor who reportedly was fired for what he said when asked: "What is the remedy for Puerto Rico?" He replied, "Burn it all down and start over." These creep more than close to the poison of Earl Butz and the airplane joke, but who was the doctor? I wonder if John's enviable library on Latinoamérica has this pre-Internet answer, too?

I can think of another addition to the genre aimed at the Big Northern Behemoth itself.  No, it's not from our own bete noire collection, but from, of all people, former gangbusters foreign conflict reporter for the New York Times and others, Chris Hedges, who has now become--will some psychologist help me figure this out?--a ranting propagandist for Russia, with a regular slot on RT. The quote is wildly unprintable (so don't coax me, absolutely not, please don't throw me in that briar patch...) 

JE comments:  Chris Hedges is a wellspring of quotes.  Click below for a few dozen.  I'm not sure which one Gary Moore refers to, but it's too early in the day to drag him through the briars:


"Bileful national epithets":  this is the perfect descriptor for some of history's more memorable ones.  Sick Man of Europe, anyone?  Another that comes to mind:  the Poles say "Ale Meksyk" (What a Mexico!) for any situation of disorder or chaos.  How in the world did that one get all the way to Poland?

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