or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Out of Sight

On Wednesday morning, we woke up around 5:30. As Jim was getting ready to go to the gym before work (he likes to get it over with), I fired up the Mac and checked the news. "Barack Obama won," I reported, to which Jim replied, "Oh thank god!"

It's as if a miracle occurred the previous night. Like a lot of people, I didn't think that anybody but an old(ish) white guy would be elected president in my lifetime. (Canadians, I think, could elect a black guy Prime Minister and nobody would even bat an eye. We've already had a female PM, and our last two Governors General have been an Asian woman born in Hong Kong and a black woman born in Haiti. Canadians are not magically un-racist, no more nor less so than any other people, but they tend on the whole to very laissez-faire about such things: mostly all they care about is whether the person in charge can do the job.)

I was a little afraid that the Republicans would steal another election, but no, this one seems to have been won fair and square (or as much so as a modern election can be). Now we just have to hope that nobody takes a shot at the president-elect, although everybody I've asked agrees that it seems pretty likely, if not actually certain.

My other blog is concerned with scents, and in poking around the Internet for new things to obsess about, I stumbled upon this website, which is marketing a fragrance called, hideously, POTUS 1600. (For those of you to whom this reference is not immediately clear: POTUS is an acronym for "President of the United States", and 1600 refers to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the address of the White House. There's no shame in not knowing this if you're not American.) It looks fairly awful--the bottle is cheap, the website no less so--and the front page contains this text:

A limited edition, historically commemorative fragrance that insights Hope for Women and Men.

I tried, and failed, to convince myself that the "insight" was deliberate, a play on words. Clearly it's just a mistake, and not just once, but twice. Even if they'd spelled the word "incite" correctly, it's very much the wrong verb. You incite someone to do something they probably oughtn't to; you can incite a mob to violence or insurrection, you can incite them to riot, but you really can't incite anyone to hope. There are plenty of other words that the site's designer could have chosen: they could have said "promises hope for...", or "stirs up hope in...", or "sparks hope...", or just about anything but "incite". Or "insight".


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