October 2, 2008

DIDN'T HELP PETE COORS:

Barack and the brandy (Roger Scruton, 02 October 2008, New Statesman)

Only one feature of Obama seems to present a clear obstacle, in redneck eyes, to his prospect of being elected, and that is his first name. How could anyone get a name like Barack? What does it say about a guy, that he comes into the world with a name that nobody else could conceivably have as his own?

As a contribution to peace between the factions, I offer to my neighbours an explanation of Obama's name. "Barack" means apricot in Hungarian. Of course, you have to pronounce the "c", and it is only when written down that you get the point. But, to those in the know, this name evokes a direct path to peace and reconciliation.

The Hungarian apricot brandy - barack pálinka - is one of those drinks that form an immediate atmosphere of goodwill and toleration between potential rivals, and the habit of taking a glass of it before a meal explains why Hungarians have lived through all the trials of modern times without falling out. Of course they quarrel, but usually over important issues: women, or religion, or the principles of tonal harmony.

Politics vanishes from their consciousness with that first fiery assault on the oesophagus, and usually by the time the meal is served they are ready to sit down in affable goodwill beside their opponent. It is thanks to apricot brandy that the Hungarians were able to set aside all differences in 1956 and unite against Soviet occupation.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 2, 2008 7:11 AM
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