HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

January 12, 2009
From Sanitas

A Lexicon for the 21st Century

John Turner


Magnificence: Generally the cause of misery to somebody.

Mainstream: Where you have to swim if you're an American and don't want to be a freak.

Majority: A vast, intolerant mass which will smash most of the things you treasure but which, nonetheless, contains the people you are fond of: there is no deciding how to relate to it.

Major-league Asshole: Adam Clymer, a reporter for the New York Times, according to George W. Bush, speaking to Dick Cheney in Naperville, Illinois, September 4, 2000.

Maladjustment: The twentieth century's version of evil, which is more confusing than the old kind.

Malfeasance: An action made easy by lack of self-censure.

Malice: The genuine motive of a politician speaking feelingly of the public weal.

Malignity: Publicizing embarrassing incidents of private life for political reasons.

Mana: The spirit of good or evil in a person or thing which sets it off from neutrality; take the mana of prudish bigotry out of Jesse Helms, for example, and he would become simply an avuncular drudge.

Manacles: Restraint forged by unrestrained passions, according to Burke, who might have done well to consider the relationship between passion and silly impulse.

Management: A delusion delightful to proto-fascist persons.

Managers: The form social oxidation takes in our time.


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