Perhaps because of my Anglophilia, or perhaps because I spend most of my life in an Ivory Tower slaving over illuminated manuscripts by the faint, flickering light of whale oil (being a dual citizen of Norway and Japan, I’m safe from perse-/prosecution–many thanks go to Rabbi Dr. Professor Jurgen Haverstam, DHL for pointing out the loopholes in international treaties), I somehow missed the fact that Webster’s New World College Dictionary had already named their word of the year. In fact, this happened back before it all began, way back on the cusp of November.

But since the winning entry, “Grass Station,” was so terrible, I have decided to speak against; not only contra the word, but also Webster’s standing in adjudicating the contest itself.

After all, what does “New World” college dictionary mean? Whence “New World?” The phrase presupposes at the very least one of, but possibly several, terrible things. One need not be a post-Colonial critic to see that the phrase is overly Eurocentric, the “New World” existing only in opposition to the old. That this continues after Mel Gibson has taught us that there was indeed a world here at the same time there was one there, is simply unconscionable. There can be no “New World” because the phrase can easily be destabilized, fall to the forces of cultural relativism. The other major culprit is the Hegelian system of Dialectics. But with the end of History no more, have we really entered into a New World?

This is, of course, to say nothing of the overtones of fascism and totalitarianism that abound in the name; “New World” being remarkably close to New World Order [On that note, another objection: Joy Division was superior]. Or perhaps it is a question of Messianism, with its new world of a kingdom on Earth. Or the world could refer to economic development, with the “New World” relating somehow to the transition from the 3rd world to the 1st. When all is said and done, the phrase “New World” is so indefinite as to render their very project, their very essence, null and void. Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Belichick Sucks

November 19, 2007

As a yeke I am not known for having a temper.   I have been called aloof, distant, cold, and accept these as fair assessments of my character.  However, I was brought to a state this evening that bordered on the perturbed as I, Haverstam, felt myself getting flustered.  On two separate occasions the New England Patriots decided to “go for it” (in the parlance of our times) on 4th down despite being up by 25 or more points.  Bill Belichick has incurred the disdain of an old German-speaking Professor.

With a penchant for obsessively watching film and for harping on players’ negative performances, Mr. Belichick is an awful stereotype come to life – a child brings home a 98 on an exam and he inquires as to the whereabouts of the two points.

For shame, Mr. Belichick:

1)  After a viewing of his daughter’s wedding video Mr. Belichick holds a family meeting in order to inform his wife how she might have been a better hostess, belittles his daughter’s taste in wedding dress and men, and rebukes the caterer for not even knowing how to properly wrap a pig in a blanket.

2 ) After viewing “Citizen Kane” Mr. Belichick reportedly called Orson Welles and his cinematographer Gregg Toland and, taking them through shot by shot, tore the film apart.

3) After viewing and reviewing video of his wife’s ultrasound, Mr. Belichick screamed at his unborn child, accusing the embryo of lacking hustle, focus, and dedication.

Put a suit on you hobo-looking jerk.  Mike Nolan should get to punch you in the face whenever he wants.

Haverstam, out.