Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fancy Word For Pushing Some Dude Out The Window

Roger Cohen's semi-weekly dispatches from Iran have been one of the recent highlights of the NY Times' editorial page. In his column today, he argues that it may be best for Obama to refrain from any new diplomatic outreaches to Ahmadinejad as a means of putting pressure on that country after it's tumultuous election. Truth be told, I mildly disagreed with his arguments, but not enough to write about it, until I saw this! [emphasis mine]:

The price of Obama’s engagement may just have become Ahmadinejad’s departure. I think it has. His defenestration is not impossible; it would be forced from within where disaffected clerics and moderates abound;

Holy moly! For those unfamiliar with the definition of defenestration, here it is:

-the act of throwing a thing or esp. a person out of a window: the defenestration of the commissioners at Prague.

Good lord! Roger Cohen, respected op-ed columnist for the New York Times wants to throw I'm-a-dinner-jacket out of a window! What is this? Prague?! Again, from the ol' dictionary:

1620, "the action of throwing out of a window," from L. fenestra "window." A word invented for one incident: the "Defenestration of Prague," May 21, 1618, when two Catholic deputies to the Bohemian national assembly and a secretary were tossed out the window (into a moat) of the castle of Hradshin by Protestant radicals. It marked the start of the Thirty Years War.

That picture is from the wiki-dinner-jacket article on defenestration. Cohen may have left himself a legal out, though, as the wiki definition claims [emphasis mine]:

Although defenestrations can be fatal depending on the height of the window through which a person is thrown (see Falling), or lacerations from broken glass, the act of defenestration need not carry the intent or result of death.

You're a smart cookie, Cohen! But you'll slip up someday, and when you do, ComedyandPolitics will be there.

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