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Saturday, August 18, 2018


These are hard times, and the only way to survive them is to take whatever pleasure one can find, wherever it is offered.   Which brings me to Omarosa.  Omarosa Manigault-Newman is a forty-four year old ordained minister with a Master’s Degree from Howard University who has recently held an extremely high-level position in the White House.  She is also a classy, good-looking, intelligent, well-spoken, back-stabbing, self-promoting, treacherous Reality TV star who has tapes.

What is not to love?

So much really bad stuff is coming down that we all need something to get us through the day.  For me, right now, it is the hope, the dream, the faith that Omarosa will release another tape.  Does anything really important depend on it?  Hardly, although if she has a tape showing that Trump had advance knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, that really would be something.  But we cannot listen to Bach, read Dickinson, and eat soufflés all day long.  Each of us has a low side, a backside, an inner streak of vindictiveness and vulgarity, and mine is tickled, amused, gratified by Omarosa.

President Donald J. Trump deserves her.


Anonymous said...

I think that Omarosa and Trump deserve one another—make it a threesome and throw Kellyanne Conway in their vicious circle, too. I remember what happened to Anita Hill, who was every bit as “classy, good-looking, intelligent, [and] well-spoken” as this troglodette, and had plenty of other real virtues and none of Omarosa's vices—but no tapes. But the tapes—so what? If they exist, and if anything of weight is on them, they won’t change many peoples’ minds here. (And that’s the only thing that matters.) There were tapes before—with Trump and Billy Bush, or whatever that fool’s name is—and that didn’t stop The Great Grabsby from getting elected. –Sol Lipsizt

Guy Tennenbaum said...

I watched a few reality shows that featured Omarosa (your looks of judgement mean nothing to me!), and she always struck me as the most miserable sociopath. She’s just the worst, and it isn’t even an act. She’s almost as bad as T***p. I have to say, to see the two of them seated in the halls of power, side by side, was one of the most surreal aspects of this whole bizarre nightmare we’ve been living through. I have scars from all the times I had to pinch myself.

But I agree: to see her now turn on him, and to have a glimmer of hope that she might do real damage, is deeply gratifying. It reminds me, somehow, of the following video. (Warning: DO NOT click if you are at all squeamish about snakes.)

MS said...

Ed Barreras,

Thank you for the video link. Yes, I guess the image is appropriate - Omarosa, Trump's female doppelganger, turning on him.

Apparently it is known in regions inhabited by rattlesnakes that it is not safe to pick up a rattlesnake's head after it has been decapitated. It was reported last month that a man in Texas did that, was severely bitten and had to be hospitalized.

(Just as an aside, talking about proper English usage, I was going to write "where rattlesnakes habitate," but apparently "habitate" is not an acceptable English word. But I am sure that I have heard people - even educated people - use it. And it sounds like it should be a word.)

Nice Nihilist said...

Gather your Charlie Rose-buds where ye may. Only, Christiane Amanpour just isn't as good as the disgraced Charlie Rose.

Anonymous said...

Reply to MS
Use habitate all you want and don’t worry about it. You’ll have the Oxford English Dictionary to back you up. Habitate has been around since at least the early 17th century (to mean accustom or habituate) and took on the intransitive sense of to dwell, in the middle of the 19th century. The OED notes that the word is “long rare,” but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to use it. The OED has your back.

MS said...


Thank you, It's wonderful that we have a semanticist (that's a word - I checked) as a contributor to Prof. Wolff's blog. "Habitate" is not in my Webster New Collegiate Dictionary (a remnant of my long gone college years), nor is it in my official Scrabble dictionary - although "za" is, for pizza. Go figure.

s. wallerstein said...

"Habitate" seems very different than the example we started out with a few threads ago, "disinterested" vs "uninterested".

Any reasonably cultivated reader will understand what "habitate" means. I don't see anything wrong with coining the verb "habitate" from the noun "habitat". It makes life a bit easier.

On the other hand, if one uses "uninterested" when the meaning calls for "disinterested", then the reader may well be confused.

I'm defending the right to coin words if that does not detract from clarity. If I say that Professor X metaphysics in his lectures, well, even though " to metaphysic" is not a verb, most readers will understand.

MS said...

s. wallerstein,

Thank you for your vote of support, This is a sophisticated website, and I was reluctant to use a word which, according to my lexicography, does not exist and thereby be deemed an ignorant cad. James Joyce and Charles Dodgson could get away with that sort of thing with impunity, but I am a humble person and do not regard myself as in their league. Besides, you have already pointed out to me in a previous comment that a little knowledge, when applied by me, is a dangerous thing. (Joke)

s. wallerstein said...


My apologies if I was uncivil with you previously.

MS said...

s. wallerstein,

No apology necessary. As you also pointed out in another comment, the world is not our mother - we have to learn to roll with the punches. I suspect that you and I will disagree about certain issues from time to time, but if we met in a bar, we could have a congenial conversation and enjoy a beer together. To paraphrase Thomas Hardy, "[Q]uaint and curious [the internet] is! You shoot a fellow down You'd treat if met where any bar is, Or help with half a crown."

s. wallerstein said...


Charles Pigden said...

Omarosa is indeed a despicable human being (though as Professor Wolff says) both well-spoken and good looking as well as being a fair bit smarter than Trump. However, three of her tapes are gems, and she has managed to provoke Trump into making one of his most self-damning tweets to date. So for the moment I am a fan.

Omarosa's contributions to the Case Against Donald Trump and his Gang:

1) The General Kelly tape (made in the Situation Room!) in which it is hard not to construe Kelly as making thinly veiled threats (Shut up and be a good girl or else).
2) The Trump post-sacking tape in which it becomes clear EITHER that Trump is simply lying to Omerosa OR that his Chief of Staff is out of control OR that his mental state has deteriorated to such a degree that he has managed to forget that he has authorised Omarosa's firing.
3) The Lara Trump tape in which she is pretty clearly offering Omarosa hush money (in the region of $180,000!).

Then there is the Trump tweet in which he confesses, boasts or blurts that although he knew Omarosa was a terrible employee he kept her on because she said GREAT things about him. In other words it is his policy to keep incompetents on so long as they are assiduous suck-ups. The tape also contradicts his claim that he only employs the best people.

Not bad for one week's work.

Charles Pigden said...

Sorry, the penultimate sentence should have been 'The tweet also contradicts his claim that he only employs the best people'.

Anonymous said...

To: Charles Pigden:

To Charles Pidgen:

It is a sobering thought that, regardless of how entertaining und schadenfroelich the Omarosa angle is, the real issue is in the hands of the Republicans. They will stonewall this: I guess, the new word is "gaslight" it. In the hands of the Republicans--what a depressing and rebarbative thought. Just think: hope is in the hands of Mitch McConnell, Louis Gohmert et al. (or however those fools' names are spelled (as if literacy really meant anything to them)). I looked up Nate Silver's projections for various congressional races in November: Gohmert is far more than 90% sure of being reelected. Have you ever heard this fool in action, making laws for the rest of us? Apparently, his constituents in Texass think he's just fine. And, of course, he's just one of the flock of quacks. And so on.

Anonymous said...

To: MS and S. Wallerstein
I am with you 99+% about the disinterested vs. uninterested distinction. I think that we should not synonymize the two words. Use disinterested for impartial; and uninterested for not caring about something, etc. That said, the history of these words is complex—there are two histories: one for each, but they’re twisted together into one messy, thorny thicket. You can find more than you probably want to know about this in the OED or in Merriam-Webster’s. But rather than reinvent the wheel by giving an account of their history, I’d refer you to the great note on the two words in any recent edition of M-W under disinterested. It’s probably in the M-W online (for free), too. You can find out a lot in about three minutes. It’s really worth the effort to those of us who are “disinterested” in this labyrinthine history and want to understand it. As a foretaste, “uninterested” originally meant non-partisan—i.e., what we today want “disinterested” to exclusively mean. And “disinterested” originally meant not caring (about something)—i.e., what we today want “uninterested” to mean. And it gets worse after that, until a few decades into the 20th century. We can take our stand on this distinction, but history is not wholly on our side on this one. I am reminded of Nietzsche’s barb that (I’m modifying it) lack of historical sense is the family failure of all philosophers—and pretty much everybody else, most of the time.
With regard to neologizing the word metaphysics into a verb—I wouldn’t do it. Metaphysics is of course a word, and so (unfortunately) is metaphysic. But the latter is etymologically illegitimate. The source of our noun metaphysics is in terminology used by ancient editors and compilers of Aristotle’s works who called certain of Aristotle’s treatises ta meta ta phusika—meaning the (books) after the (books called) the Physics. (Aristotle didn’t use the term metaphysics himself.) These books were placed by the editors in their collections after (meta-, or next to, following, etc.) certain of Aristotle’s books on nature. (These treatises were all of them multi-volume works, hence the plural—i.e., physics, instead of physic, meta-physics, instead of meta-physic, etc.) The imposing early 20th century British philosopher R.G. Collingwood sneered at the term metaphysic, calling it a mistake “due to pedantic imitation or ignorant translation of” the original Greek. (There is that word pedantic again, with which RPW humorously started this thread a few days back.) In other words, the English noun ought to be plural because the Greek is. So, if you believe Collingwood, “metaphysic” isn’t a proper English word at all, but a solecism engendered by inept translation. You propose to make a verb out of metaphysic by sticking an s on the end of it—making it a singular verb. But you just generate thereby the noun metaphysics. Doesn’t look like a verb to me, and it isn’t a gerund either. Suppose you have two professors who always turn their lectures into exercises in metaphysics. You’d drop the final s, right? (He turns; they turn.) So now you’re back to they metaphysic. Bad noun, worse verb. Whatever. This all sounds fine to me, with the Chilean red wine my wife and I are drinking here this evening, up in New England. All the best. These are troubling times, and history is a respite.

MS said...


Thank you for your exhaustive etymologies of these three words.

Yes, these are depressing times and any distraction to remind us that there still is intelligent life on this planet is welcome.