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Politics beckon, we're better off dead than alive on Nauru or Manus

  • 05 May 2015

THE THIN ONES The fugly Horrible in appearance, dreaded in strife. Unpleasant to look at; an ill-tempered wife. Ill-shapen, deformis, a loathed entity; Disagreeable. Homely. Turned away from. Ugly. Deprived; of no value. Shameful and cheap. A gallows-end ghoul from whose presence we leap. Repulsive, detested. Better off dead. The Old Irish ‘cinneide’ (Kennedy; ‘ugly head’.) Unclean hideosity; corrupt, with a stench. Ornery, unlovely, confined to the bench. Such words are applied; such terms used to shun: gorgon, changeling and duckling. Unchosen one. The Norse ‘ug’ means ‘to fear’; their faery-left oaf was meant to identify, provoke sign and oath to herd from the tribe the unsightly and frail and allow noble visage (message) to prevail. The fugly remain, in the Bludger and Widow. The Reffo. The Abo. The Sheila. The Sicko. Politics beckon, edge miscomprehension and toecutters revel in gnashing a pension. Images seem too obscene for the viewer? PR is fishing line, branding is lure. The vat (Farsi, via Middle Persian, for ‘bad’) Cruel, lacking skill, defective, diseased morally warped and viciously teethed. Anglo-Saxons and Germans and Dutch and the Frisians all saw ‘the evil’ as inferior breeding. Defiling and faithless (the Slavs added ‘timid’), insipid and stinky, supernaturally wicked. When you’re tagged as ‘bad’ or evil it seems you’re guilty of dreaming non-tribal dreams. The African-American ‘n-word’, ‘bad nigger’ was tribal rejection by white folks de rigueur. But for coloured folks? The phrase stood for truth, a 'bad man' untamed, not traduced. Unsubdued.   What profits a language to polarise people, to impale an emptied church upon a steeple? Why push rationales for linguistic control that associates colour with purity of soul? Dark was the devil and white was the saint. Reason and charity beat on, though faint. Politics beckon, edge miscomprehension; indict ‘the other’, exacerbate tension. Images seem too obscene for the viewer? take a well-earned bow, immigration führer. The gut (German, for ‘good’) The Old English ‘god’ holds fast as a tether for hosts of ‘fit’ phrases; ‘belonging together’. Good is ‘advantage, benefit; gift’. Good is virtue; property; thrift. Expressions of joy, tempered by pleasure. United. Associated. Suitable. Weathered by the Latin: melior, optimus, bonus the worth of a thing seems to carry the onus of greatness, abundance, of favour that tarries (the Scots’ ‘good neighbours’ was slang for ‘the fairies’). Excellent, happy, the good