Dada Besmirched

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

It is radical in its inanity, a legislative chamber designed by dadaists.

No, Ezra Klein! Comparing the U.S. Senate to a Dada design sullies Dada and its legacy.

There’s a better comparison elsewhere in Klein’s essay:

In 2012, Steven Teles, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University, published a paper arguing that American public policy had become defined by kludges. “The term comes out of the world of computer programming, where a kludge is an inelegant patch put in place to be backward compatible with the rest of a system,” he wrote. “When you add up enough kludges, you get a very complicated program, one that is hard to understand and subject to crashes. In other words, Windows.”

Or the Senate.

(Ezra Klein, “The Senate Has Become a Dadaist Nightmare,” NYTimes, 2-4-21)

I encountered the term “kludge” as a novice programmer. I pronounced it to rhyme with “sludge” until I heard it uttered by a real programmer, who rhymed it with “Scrooge.”

From my current perch in the Apple cybersphere I have fondly receding memories of the bad old days of Microsoft Windows. The memories are still vivid enough, however, for me to appreciate the wicked aptness of Klein’s comparison of the Senate to buggy software.

(c) 2021 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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