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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Things certainly were different before all these new-fangled changes

black boy

We can all remember a more innocent time, driving through the country-side and spying a copse of 'black boys' -- how they cheered our hearts as we imagined them to be a clutch of aboriginal youths, waving at us merrily from some delightful patch of dirt.

Of course, it was not so long ago that the bureaucrats, wowsers and pointyheads got together and deemed that it was unacceptable to call this happy plant a 'black boy' -- for reasons that remain beyond me to to this day. But this band of black-hearted killjoys did not stop with this humble plant in their bid to cast a dark pall upon the human spirit by way of sucking the poetry from our noble language. Alas not!

Therefore, more in sadness than anything else, I present two further kingly representatives of the plant kingdom whose true names were torn from the bosom of our English tongue:

jewbush

The money-grasping, hook-nosed Jew bush

Alas this shrub, first named by Joseph Banks in 1785 in respectful homage to his wife's Hebraic physician, no longer wears this name. Today it goes by the rather more soulless sobriquet of the 'Eastern Sunrise Tree.' Hardly rolls off the tongue, does it? Chalk up another victory to the spineless technocrats in Canberra.

lebbush

The get-your-tahini-and-dirt-encrusted-toes-off-of-our-golden beaches, you monobrow-sporting, bath-and-bacon-dodging lebbo thug bush

Another piece of our history seemingly gone forever, this plant is now called the 'Levantine Banksia'. These new words, which taste to me of urban decay and corrupt centralised government, stiffen and rot in my very mouth. And this is progress?

I weep sometimes as I look back on this earlier less suspicious time when we knew where we stood as a nation, did not have to lock our doors at night and knew that words could be relied on with the solidity of housing bricks. Today, negotiating the shifting sands of our 'politically correct' but poetically stagnant 'culture' surely means giving up another tiny piece of our soul that we will never get back...

17 comments:

redcap said...

We had one of those jew bushes in our backyard, but I had to dig it out. Its leaves turned a funny colour every time we cooked bacon sandwiches.

Jo said...

Aaah, Nick. You're not afraid to call a spade an african-american.

elsewhere said...

heh heh heh! Seriously tho, what is the PC name for a 'black boy'? Before i get caught out...

nick cetacean said...

They're now called 'Mail Order Brides.'

Actually: Grass-trees, Xanthorrhoea...

I know everybody *knows* this but just to make sure... it's clear I'm joking right...?

FDB said...

I'm not racist, but......



I actually hate the renaming of the blackboy and refuse to participate.

Then again, I've got some wandering jew in my yard that could use a good gassing.

I saw that spelt 'wandering dew' the other day somewhere. Stooopid!

The Man at the Pub said...

And canola oil was called "rape" oil a few decades ago. Funny how the meaning of words shift around with socio/political weather. I fear for another plant that would have lost it's originality, if we hadn't stopped speaking Latin years ago. The Amorphophallus titanum, meaning "giant deformed penis".

But surely a rose, by any other name, would smell just as sweet. (Apart from the Amorphophallus, which smells like a rotting mammal).

redcap said...

You were joking? /sarcasm

nick cetacean said...

I'm not racist either... as Nigel Powers said: "There are two things I hate: intolerance and the Dutch."

Man at the pub: you commented on *my* blog about a giant deformed penis? That is *such* a coincidence!

Yes, redcap: I thought I'd belabour the point so that people think I'm a nice guy who doesn't hate other races.

Just, you know, edgy. Like Sarah Silverman. Only not female, Jewish or remotely succesful.

jessie mo said...

also a great piece, Nick.

Anonymous said...

What necessary words... super, excellent idea

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