Archive for the ‘Definitions’ Category


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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(here’s a sample from the book in pdf form; while we await the new printing, we’re giving away the remaining copies from the first printing, but for the cost of shipping)


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)

 


REVOLUTIONARY LEADER, phr. The only proper term of respect for a dictator admired by the left, the term “dictator” being an offense against good taste and an unpleasant reminder of reality.

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

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

(more definitions [in pdf form] can be found here)

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Today’s definition seems apropos given the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. We’ll put up another pertinent definition tomorrow and, we hope, a fairly lengthy post on Castro and his counter-revolutionary regime on Wednesday or Thursday.


[the] PEOPLE’S WILL, phr. A variant spelling of “God’s Will.” Curiously, even though the usage and meaning of the two phrases are virtually identical, those who use the one are habitual enemies of those who use the other, though “habitual competitors” might be more accurate.

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

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

(if you’d like more definitions [in pdf form], you can find them here)

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Today’s definition seems apropos given the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. We’ll put up another pertinent definition tomorrow and, we hope, a fairly lengthy post on Castro and his counter-revolutionary regime on Wednesday or Thursday.


EXPERIMENTAL, adj. In relation to the arts, obscure, incomprehensible. A term applied to the works of those who invent new and startling ways to demonstrate their incompetence.

This is not to suggest that all experimental works are artistically worthless—far from it. Only 90+ percent of such works lack merit, a percentage in keeping with the historical record. When most people contemplate even the second-rank masterpieces of the past, in the fields of music, visual art, or literature, they tend to forget that they’re only seeing (or hearing) the tip of the iceberg; they don’t give a thought to the huge, indeed astounding, number of execrable—and now mercifully forgotten—works produced in past centuries.

Many years ago, a relatively enlightened optimist estimated that “Ninety percent of everything is shit.” While we sympathize with his generous sentiments, we disagree with his overly optimistic assessment. The true percentage is about nine points higher.

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

(if you’d like to read more definitions [in pdf form], you can find them here)

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


Ambrose BierceFREEDOM, n. Exemption from the stress of authority in a beggarly half dozen of restraint’s infinite multitude of methods. A political condition that every nation supposes itself to enjoy in virtual monopoly.

Liberty. The distinction between freedom and liberty is not accurately known; naturalists have never been able to find a living specimen of either.

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary