My father had little joke phrases that he told me as a child that had circulated among his first generation English speaking friends who found their unlikely role of interpreters of the world to their Yiddish speaking parents a unique conundrum. These joke phrases were sentences comprised only of single letters. Here is one, vintage circa 1926:
O A B, C D B?
M N O B.
O S A R. C M P N?
With allowances for the Coolidge era adolescents’ sensibility of what’s funny, I’ll leave you to your own devices to decipher its meaning. But I do think I can help decipher an equally opaque bit of speech which has garnered out sized international attention this week.
When Ms. AOC says something morally obtuse to draw attention to (herself, of course, and) the temporary incarceration of those arrested for crossing the borders illegally and/or awaiting asylum application, the forces of reason are tricked into barking at the moon in protest over ownership of the term “concentration camps”. Yes, the United States own Roosevelt administration did use that term for the places they detained Japanese US Citizens, as well as not equally well remembered, Germans and Italians. Why? Because Ms. Cortez and you are speaking entirely different languages.
The real news is that the ground has shifted and the moral compass is stuck at “outrage”. And you may not have gotten out your Roosevelt era Captain Midnight Decoder Ring to help decipher. In its popular 1930’s and 40’s era radio shows, Little Orphan Annie, Captain Midnight and others would give little secret messages that listeners could decode by using these decoders. To understand the secret message, young listeners had to get Mom to buy Ovaltine which came with a Decoder Ring as a free gift.
Today, the secret buy-in is not a chocolate beverage, it is entering the “woke” world where all “struggles” are the same. This will open to you the world of Intersectionality which is AOC’s zeitgeist, her faith. The illegal immigrant’s “struggle” is the same as the Palestinian “struggle” and for that matter, the quest for all other types of “rights”. You fill in your “struggle”, spin the decoder ring, it’s all the same. No one is going to shame AOC and her flock out of this one, she’s already doubled down and told you non-woke folk to “deal with it”. In fact, your outrage is only confirmation to her that she is right. you don’t understand that all things “woke folk” can plausibly label as “hate” are exactly the same. (Decoder ring tip: phrases that refer to people as “folk” are Captain Midnight clue that you need woke-ness to understand). Thus you don’t understand that the Nazi’s forced arrest, execution, ghastly medical experiments, unspeakable mistreatment and national mobilization of commerce, science and a legion of sociopaths to murder of 6 million Jewish civilians and millions of others is not EXACTLY the same as illegal immigrants overwhelming our legal system and being held in makeshift detention facilities. You are a reprobate. She is a true believer. She is the Captain Midnight of the Bronx. I fear that with all the outrage over her statements, we have failed to understand her worldview that animates them.