A short defence of Svanberg

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a little disgusted. More than just a little disgusted perhaps.

Okay… He’ll concede that he is angry and frustrated at BP for the continuing problems in the Gulf. As more and more news comes out it seems more and more clear that BP really screwed the pooch on the Deepwater Horizon well. It is clear that BP will have to bear as much of the cost as is possible for them to bear in the cleanup and recovery of the area as a result of their ineptitude and failure.

That said, your Maximum Leader is disgusted at his countrymen for the hullaballoo over Carl-Henrik Svanberg’s “small people” comment yesterday.

No one in the America likes to be called “small people” it is insulting. But on the other hand no one seems to be very offended when we associate ourselves with being “the little guy.” We like politicians who lie and say that they will “fight for the little guy.” We want to “stand up for the little guy.” We feel kinship with “the little guy.”

Surely your Maximum Leader isn’t the only person in America who has (mostly unsucessfully) studied a foreign language. And furthermore he shouldn’t be the only person in America thinking that Carl-Henrik Svanberg is trying to make a heartfelt comment under tremendous stress and in a language that is not his native tounge. Your Maximum Leader wouldn’t be surprised in fact to learn that English is Svanberg’s fourth or fifth language.

WTF? We can’t cut a guy a break at all when he is trying to string together some words in a language that is probably not spoken by reflex in such a way that sounds both sincere and colloquial? Great jeezey chreezey. We can’t have a little understanding in this case. The news outlets that continue to report this story with (your Maximum Leader feels) no context are not doing themselves any service. Your Maximum Leader would like to see any big-name reporter go to Sweden and order off a friggin’ diner menu and see if they nail it.

NB to Carl-Henrik Svanberg: Your Maximum Leader apologizes to you for this specific incident becoming a big news story. Normally Americans are big-hearted people who appreciate it when you come to America and try to speak English. You happen to be in a tough spot and apparently we expected more from you in this instance than we would normally. If you would ask for a suggestion on how to handle this next time, your Maximum Leader would recommend that you either stick with scripted remarks or speak in Swedish and use a translator.

Lighten up everyone. That is an order.

Carry on.

Joan said:

My thoughts exactly.

George Pal said:

Parsing a word, phrase, or comment: commence with ungenerous, then, continually moving leftward, arrive at hateful, followed by dangerous. If you venture onto to stupid… you’re on your own; see ‘niggardly’ incident for details.

Robbo said:

By your command.

There is a funny off-color joke involving this sort of thing floating around deep within the empty, cavernous recesses of my brain, but it’s just too far back in the dark for me to get my hands on it.

Thanks Joan, George and Robbo. I knew that there must be some others out there who didn’t get their knickers in a knot over this. Sadly, this was the first “news” story I saw this morning when my lovely wife turned on the “Today” show. As I watched it I wanted to reach through the TV and just strangle Ann Curry. I’d like to see her (or any one of the other reporters “covering” this story) try and work out an off-the-cuff apology to anyone in Sweden.

George: I’ll never forget the whole “niggardly” episode. It didn’t surprise me at the time (it being DC and all). I am still shocked by it.

Robbo - remind me to tell you the Pope and the Rabbi joke next time I see you.

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