Thursday, January 18, 2007

"unique and somewhat anomalous"

Here's the understatement of 1944 (the year when one federal judge wrote the following): "the relationship as between the United States and the inhabitants of the Philippine Islands has always been quite unique and somewhat anomalous." (read: we didn't know what the hell we were doing so we made it up as we went along.) What this means translated from legal-speak is roughly as follows : "it worked to our advantage to retain complete and unquestionable sovereignty over the Philippines - both the land and people. So, we carefully ensured that laws and court decisions leveraged our exploitative advantage while maintaining a pitifully thin veneer of democratic intent towards these recipients of our benevolent largess."

Have you noticed how some academics chose to cannibalize their evidence in the title of their books or essays? They use some snippet of a quote they found in the course of doing their research, like "Move Like Hell" or "Tell the Court I Love My Wife." I have decided that this is an annoying trend. I want titles to offer a straightforward and concise premise of the history (I have a limited amount of time and the quicker I can assess the main argument the better). This quote - "unique and somewhat anomalous" - is just the type of snippet that I could see heading the article of someone who is not me.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

but it's so ... catchy. :)