Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Portrait of the Politician as a Paraprosdokian Poet

From a story on Page 5 of today's The New Indian Express, Bangalore edition (My thoughts are all Green.)

"Senior Congress leader Siddharamaiah on Tuesday called for introspection among the party leaders, following the defeat the Assembly elections in the State." (Introspection? Not a denouncement that the polls were rigged? Nor an attack on the victor's character? Surely, there must be a suggestion of a scam or scandal or fraud on the victor's part, or in the very least, wife-beaterhood? No? Illve Illva? That's interesting, read read read)

"After being felicitated at a party meeting here, he said the party was confident of bagging the simple majority "The air across the State was also in favor of the Congress. Bit the party had to be content with only 80 seats" he said. "Though the party won fewer seats than the BJP, the voting per cent was in favor of the Congress" he added. (Eh? How could that be? Glory be, is he hinting at something like Parrondo's paradox, where you make a big win by making small losses, moving ahead by seemingly taking steps backward? [1] Maybe a particular form of the Condorcet election method? Shiver me timbers, verily, he is a Statesman! Pluto was a planet the last time a politician sent me scurrying to Wikipedia to understand his deep intent! What more has this sagacious seer to say? Go on, go on, go on.)

"Maintaining that the Congress will make no efforts to destabilize the government,

(Mummy! Somebody hold me, please! Could anyone have imagined something of such wisdom and forethought coming from a politician's tongue? Hark, unbelievers, Rama-raajya is nigh! Udayavaagali namma cheluva kannada naadu! Behold the golden age of polity, the transformation of the Opposition into the ever-vigilant watchdog of Democracy from the rabid mongrel that it has been so far, a reign of Justice, Truth and Liberty paralleled only, if at all, by the reigns of the icons of the Raghuvamsha, (exhale, exhale, wipe tears of joy) what more does this doyen of Dharma have to say?)

He said that the BJP-led government would fall on its own."



[0] - A paraprosdokian is a fine little thing that, well, is the reason why Groucho Marx so funny. It's a figure of speech in which the later part of a sentence is so completely unexpected that you need to read the whole sentence all over again. My favorite, told by SK, which I added to WP sometime ago: "Generally speaking, women are." And the ever dependable Winston Churchill, commenting on an adversary: "A modest man, who has much to be modest about." And in case you really have time, this one by Groucho Marx.

[1] - Did you see the moonwalking bear?