Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Thursday, September 02, 2004
Demanding Satisfaction
On Hullabaloo I found out that Zell Miller apparently wanted to challenge Chris Matthews to a duel : "I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel". This brings more credence to the theory that Zell Miller is channelling the spirit of Andrew Jackson--Jackson, as you may recall, was an ardent duelist who actually killed a man for insulting his wife--along with the whole betrayal-of-people-who-fought-for-you thing** and race-tinted populism.

Anyways, enough Jackson. Wouldn't it be cool if Miller and Matthews did duel? Of course, I'm not advocating violence--there's too many people dying because of politics already. What I am advocating is a nice, competitive bout with blunted fencing-style swords, Paintball guns, fisticuffs, or oratory. Of course, Miller must follow the proper challenging procedure, as immortalized on The Simpsons:
1. Slap opponent with glove
2. Say in commanding voice, "Sir! You have insulted my honor! I demand satisfaction! I challenge you to a duel!"
3. Wait for acceptance, whereby your opponent names the weapon to be used.
I believe that historically there have also been the naming of seconds and the scouting out of a beyond-the-law local involved. However, as no one dies during this duel, we can hold it at Madison Square Garden after the Republicans clear out of there.

Come to think of it, this would be a good tool to use whenever anyone utters offensive remarks--challenge them to debate using the language usually associated with dueling. The Southern Poverty Law Center could challenge the KKK to a debate and put their nonexistant manhood on the line; Bill O'Reilly could challenge Al Franken' Mary Cheney could challenge Alan Keyes. All duels, of course, will be broadcast on the Internet, if not on television.

*History Lesson: Rachel Robards nee Donelson was married to a cheating, absentee husband when she fell in love with Jackson; when the two of them heard that Mr. Robards had gotten the divorced finalized, they married. Whoops--the divorce hadn't been finalized yet. The situation was resolved, but Jackson always remained touchy about insults to his wife's virtue.

**History Lesson 2: About five hundred Cherokee fought with Jackson against the Creeks during the Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the war of 1812; among these was the warrior Junaluska, who is credited by many historians with saving the battle for Jackson. Then came the Trail of Tears in 1838, where every Cherokee the US Army could find in Appalachia--including those who had fought alongside Jackson twenty-four years earlier--were rounded up and forcibly marched to Oklahoma; a third of them died. Junaluska walked back to North Carolina from Oklahoma; in 1847 the North Carolina Legislature gave him a large tract of land, a hundred dollars, and state citizenship for his service to the United States.

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