Saturday, September 19, 2009

[Mythical Pretext]

Ahmadinejad has been caught spouting anti-Semitic drivel yet again. What did he say?
the Holocaust was "a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim"
Look where the bunny ears are though. Only quoting what he said about the Holocaust, not the word 'Holocaust' itself. Odd. Surely if he said 'Holocaust', you'd just put 'Holocaust', wouldn't you? Luckily the BBC elaborates:
The pretext [the Holocaust] for the creation of the Zionist regime [Israel] is false. It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim.
Firstly, I take issue with the word 'mythical'. It's ambiguous. I assume he means it's not true, but that's not how I would use it normally and it's right down at definition number five. Normally I'd use it to describe something having the power of a myth. Though I can't think of a better way to say it. Secondly, the whole thing is just plain weird. On the one hand, I can't think what he'd be talking about other than the Holocaust, on the other, the next sentence doesn't make sense. If the Holocaust is a lie, what's the unprovable and mythical claim? If the Holocaust is an unprovable and mythical claim, who's been telling porkies about it?

The thing you have to remember with Ahmadinejad you see, is that he's magnificently adept at chatting bob. His speeches about Israel are riddled with codes, euphemisms and dog-whistles. He won't even say the name of the place on principle, but still manages to talk about it all the time. Which begs the question, what's with the square brackets? Why does the BBC feel the need to explain that he meant [the Holocaust] and [Israel]? If you think the average reader can work out what he means, why put them in? If you think it's too ambiguous, then why are you so sure that's what he meant?

It could be that he's not talking about the Holocaust at all, though Lord knows what he's talking about otherwise. It could be that he's unable to smirk and string a sentence together at the same time, which wouldn't surprise me. And it could be that he's deliberately avoiding direct reference to Israel or the Shoah for whatever nefarious or neurotic reasons he has. But either way, this vagueness, deliberate or otherwise, is important and it's immensely arrogant of the BBC to be putting words in his mouth.

No comments:

Post a Comment