Saturday, June 21, 2014

In the forecast: Scattered apologies, heavy at times


An excellent article in this morning’s Washington Post:


It offers several choice examples of the “non-apology apology”, e.g.

“I regret very much that the efforts on health care were badly misunderstood, taken out of context and used politically against the administration,” said Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities,” Reagan said to the nation in March 1987. “As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I’m still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior.” It’s an I’m-sorry-my-subordinates-are-so-terrible apology.

It's about time!


We ourselves, on this site, have perfected the groveling apology to a fine art.  Choice examples here:




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This just in!   Setting the stage for a “mass apology”, held in a stadium on international television, chanted in unison by thousands of penitent breast-beating Mexicans:


SÃO PAULO, Brazil — FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Mexico team for what it has called the “improper conduct of spectators” at the World Cup.

Mexican fans taunted the opposing goalkeepers in Mexico’s 1-0 victory over Cameroon last Friday and in Tuesday’s 0-0 tie with Brazil with a traditional cheer that ends by shouting a word widely regarded as a derogatory term used against gays.

Mexicans have taken to social media and television to defend the chant.
“Why do they want to take away this cheer that identifies us, that is lovely, that is euphoric, and that is in no way homophobic?” asked Martha Figueroa, a host on ¡Nuestro Día!, a morning television show on the network Cadena Tres.

 Homophobic slurs are nothing new to soccer stadiums around the world. During the tournament’s opening ceremony, Brazilian fans directed a chant — usually reserved for opposing players and referees — against their own president, Dilma Rousseff, in an episode that caused much hand-wringing around the country.


“Nuestra culpa -- nuestra culpa!  Nuestra máxima culpa!”

  


The New York Times being too genteel to print the actual word and let us judge for ourselves, here is the original in Spanish:


[ !! Trigger warning !!    
The following paragraph contains words in some sort of strange foreign kind of language.  Some of the letters even have these pointy little thingies on them, of unknown function.  Shield your children. ]

La costumbre (extendida en México) de gritar 'puto' ['maricón'] al portero del equipo rival cada vez que este saca de puerta podría acarrear a su federación de fútbol una sanción económica que, en caso de recurrencia, podría traducirse incluso en una penalización deportiva.

And a similar incident in Portuguese:

e insultos de “viado” (“maricón” en portugués) por parte de muchos .


[Latest update!]  This site has just been obliged, owing to a consent decree with the World Mathematical Authority,  to issue yet another humiliating retraction:




[Update 24 September 2014]  In Ferguson, Missouri, everyone has been walking on eggshells so as not to offend the already offended.   Here, a man responding to an accusation of X, states that X is false -- but “apologizes” anyway.

Authorities said the cause of the blaze is under investigation. Steven Rosenthal, the Ferguson fire chief, said the burning candles usually surrounding the memorial may have started the fire. But residents said that they smelled gasoline and some believed that the fire had to have been set on purpose.
Tom Jackson said in a statement Tuesday that the first police officer who responded tried to put out the fire but was unsuccessful.

“To anyone who believes we didn’t do everything in our power to put this fire out I want to apologize and let you know that was not the case,” he said.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/24/a-day-of-unrest-in-ferguson-ends-with-protesters-and-police-facing-off/?tid=hpModule_9d3add6c-8a79-11e2-98d9-3012c1cd8d1e

Here, apologize no longer means ‘to express repentent regret for something bad one has done’, since the man in question had done nothing wrong to begin with.  Rather, it means ‘to grovel for reasons of political correctness; to genuflect in the direction of a victims’ lobby’.


[Update 25 September 2014]  Hmm, not enough;  grovel a little lower, please.

Ferguson, Missouri, Police Chief Thomas Jackson apologized Thursday to the parents of Michael Brown, as well as to any peaceful protesters who feel he didn't do "enough to protect their constitutional right to protest.


Here, by the way, is as glimpse of the exercise of that constitutional right:

While many peaceful protesters took to the street Tuesday night, violent elements within the demonstration stoked chaos, attacking police with guns, rocks and bottles and vandalizing and looting businesses, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said. One person threw a Molotov cocktail at a parking structure, and there was an attempt to set a gasoline fire at a custard shop, he said.
Two officers were injured, one of whom was struck by a rock below the eye.

There have, of course, been no apologies for this behavior, from Ferguson blacks.  The apologies run only one way.
(The guilty officer has apologized for interfering with the constitutionally protected free trajectory of the rock.)



[Update 25 September 2014]  Good lord, now this:

Cameron to Apologize for Saying Queen ‘Purred’
David Cameron, the British prime minister, disclosed Queen Elizabeth II’s reaction to the result of the Scotland vote.

Look -- It’s not as though he said she “meowed”.

Rx:  No world leader should ever publically say anything.   Let your thoughts be known only through spokespeople, who can always be reprimanded and sacrificed.

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