‘Res Ipsa Loquitur’: The Thing Speaks for Itself

Acrylic on cardboard.

“Zelensky is basically an ungrateful, international welfare queen.”

(Donald Trump Jr., quoted at https://www.washingtonpost.com/doonesbury/, 12-22-22)

Billingsgate of this sort pervades the lowest rungs of public discourse in America. What’s notable for the student of rhetoric is how, even though the target of the slur is male, the speaker doesn’t say “welfare king.”

“When a man’s honor hasn’t been soiled by baseness, then every garment he puts on is beautiful.”

That’s the first verse of the legendary poem of a sixth-century Arab Jew whose name is proverbial for fidelity. President Zelensky, in his commanding olive-drab attire, epitomizes what the poem celebrates — a stalwart authenticity that deeply disquiets reactionaries.

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

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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