Archive for the ‘Definitions’ Category


“[T]here aren’t any ‘jobs’ left. Just financial engineering and politics. I’m not qualified for either. For one thing, I can’t say ‘meritocracy’ with a straight face. . . . It’s the height of self-serving circular bullshit, isn’t it? We’re the best people we know, we’re on top, therefore we have a meritocracy. How do we know we’re the best? Because we’re on top. QED? The most amazing thing about ‘meritocracy’ is that so many brilliant captains of industry haven’t noticed that it’s made of such radioactive bullshit that you could spot it in orbit.”

–“Hubert, etc.” in Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway

(review coming soon)


Of late, every vocabulary-deficient knuckle dragger on Craigslist seems to use the word “vintage” — often several times — when posting an ad for music gear. (I’m waiting with bated breath for them to start using the term “artisanal.”)

So, it seems like an appropriate time to remind readers of what the term actually means.

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VINTAGE, adj. As used on Craigslist, old, overpriced, beat to hell. More simply, “shit,” as in “vintage guitar amp.”

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–from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


INCOME TAX, n. A particularly painful form of economic sodomy inflicted upon the public during the IRS’s annual rutting season in mid-April.

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


DEMOCRATIC PARTY UNITY, phr. Allowing the architects of the current electoral disaster to engineer, unchallenged, further disasters. Some low minded skeptics have suggested that the desire of the masters of disaster to maintain control is due to their wallowing in rivers of corporate cash, but this is obviously not so. They advance corporate interests not out of petty, personal venality, but out of the purest altruistic motives.

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(This one isn’t in The American Heretic’s Dictionary, but it will be should we ever getting around to publishing a further updated edition.)


press secretaryPRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, n. 1) A pathological liar suffering delusions of grandeur; 2) An office which confers upon its holder vast coercive power as well as the means to commit mass murder—an opportunity of which all recent U.S. presidents have taken advantage. Because of this, some observers have concluded that only the worst type of individuals seek the office of president. This unkind assessment is, however, incorrect. It is more realistic to conclude that only the worst type of individuals are elected to the office; 3) A golden boy with a fixation upon trickle-down . . . . . . . economics.

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–from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded)

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REPUBLICAN, adj. Having an affinity for gold, in both bullion and shower form.

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–from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded)

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(A large sample from the book in pdf form is available free here.)


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(We ran this a year ago and weren’t planning to do it again, but this past bummer of a year lent this definition new relevance.)

NEW YEAR’S DAY, n. An arbitrarily chosen day, celebrated for its arbitrariness, in which the horrors of the previous year are forgotten in anticipation of those of the year to come.

The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded)