An English In Kentucky


















Saturday October 19th 2019Tim Candler9


     A crack-up was an expression used in the early days of aviation to describe a plane crash. It was this sense of crack-up, of structural failure, that came to be used to describe mental break down. There you are flying your airplane and suddenly things aren't right. Kind of enjoy the relationship between a plane crash and a mind going nuts. In its origins the word crack is associated with a sharp sound, as in you can hear ice cracking. There's a use of the word crack that refers to a warm friendly chat, and there's a wise crack, "They crack me up!" There's a nut cracker, and it goes on. And the question: is there a crack in the Republican Party or is it something else? It's a question that appears regularly within the community of pundits.


      Rather than mess with this hole finger in the dyke nonsense, my own view would suggest that the expression Crack-Pot sums what remains of the Republican Party nicely, and has done so for at east ten years. For those in doubt, a crack-pot is an expression that's used to describe an unstable person, as in "Don't have anything to do with him, he's a crack-pot!" It's also true that people will sometimes say "He's a lot of fun, he's a crack-pot!" It's an entertaining quality, a populist, but not for everyday. The point being that a crack-pot can suddenly go full blown crack-up, or it could struggle eccentrically on for year after year. The other thing about a cracked-pot, it has even less overall tensile strength than an un-cracked-pot. This means a tiny little tap on just the right spot, there's a terrible noise and everything stops because you got a kitchen floor to tidy up. Then the issue is whether or not the shards are worth gluing together again.


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