April 8, 2012

Romney, the man who says "marvelous."

Obama mocked Romney this way: "He said that he's 'very supportive' of this new budget, and he even called it 'marvelous' — which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget." Comic pause. "It's a word you don't often hear generally."

This Reuters article takes the position that Obama meant us to think that a man who says "marvelous" is "out of touch" because "marvelous" is "a seemingly out of date" word. Reuters also quotes a polisci prof saying, "It's a word you kind of associate with the upper class, and I think that the intention was to tweak Romney for being wealthy and, you know, sort of brought up in the kinds of circles where they would say ‘marvelous.'"

Wealthy? Old fashioned? My first association, on hearing one man mock another for saying "marvelous," was: Gay. It's an I'm-more-manly move. I heard a smidgeon of homophobia. Perhaps I heard it because, a few days ago, on winning the Wisconsin primary, Romney introduced Ryan, saying: "Congressman Ryan, he's a great leader, wonderful speaker, but he's not gonna take Ann's place." (Ann being, of course, Mitt's wife.) At the time, I quipped: "Combatting the 'bromance' rumors!"

This is just a meme watch. Note that the budget Romney was talking about was Paul Ryan's budget. The alliance of Romney and Ryan is so good that I suspect the Obama campaign will toy with mockery that has a homophobic edge. Let's make their "marriage" seem unseemly. Not so blatantly that they can't deny it. Any homophobia can be disguised within a socially acceptable distaste for the rich. The word "effete" was practically created for this purpose. Do you remember when Vice President Spiro Agnew derided antiwar protesters as "an effete corps of impudent snobs"?

The word "marvelous" — which means "Such as to excite wonder or astonishment (chiefly in a positive sense); wonderful, astonishing, surprising; worthy of admiration" (OED) — is a very old word, going back to c1330: "Þe fift ledde Andalas, A kniȝt of meruailus los he was." (Arthour & Merlin.) The first use with modern spelling — the double L remains current — is from Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan ii. xxvi:  "Miracles are Marvellous workes: but that which is marvellous to one, may not be so to another." And I like the  D. H. Lawrence:  "Their loving grew more mechanical, without the marvellous glamour." (Sons & Lovers xiii. 365.)

By the way, there's also an archaic and regional use of "marvelous," but that is as an adverb. You get things like:  "Nancy Clemens... quoted a farmer who had been hurt in a motor accident: ‘No bones broke,’ said he, ‘but I sure was scratched up marvellous.’" (V. Randolph & G. P. Wilson Down in Holler 161.) That seems quite the opposite of effete. It's folksy. I could imagine some politician using that, probably quoting somebody... some farmer.

But Romney uttered "marvelous," the adjective. He was talking about Paul Ryan's budget, and Obama snickered. Am I wrong to hear a tone of homophobia? I Googled "gay men say marvelous." Sorry, to be so crude, but research can be so easy and I got the most marvelous return. It's Noël Coward's "I've Been To A Marvellous Party," in which male homosexuality and excessive wealth are merged marvelously. Listen to the whole thing, but here's the penultimate verse:
I went to a marvellous party we didn't sit down til ten
Y'know young Bobby Carr did a stunt at the bar with a lot of extraordinary men
And then Freda arrived with a turtle which shattered us all to the core
And then the Duchess passed out at a quarter to three
And suddenly Cyril cried 'fiddle-de-de'
And he ripped off his trousers and jumped in the sea
I couldn't have liked it more...
I'm just waiting for young Paul Ryan to do a stunt at the bar with a lot of extraordinary men and then for Mitt Romney to suddenly cry "fiddle-de-de" and rip off his trousers and jump in the sea. And then Obama arrives with a turtle...



Who doesn't like the turtle? And the Leviathan?

110 comments:

Comanche Voter said...

Are you saying that Obama is homophobic! My stars and garters! Why would Obama show deviance from a Democratic standard?

Seriously, The Bamster, with his mom jeans and cute little bicycle helmet, and general air of metrosexuality is in no position to mock any male.

Michael said...

He mocks because he cannot be mocked.

pm317 said...

Am I wrong to hear a tone of homophobia? [in Obama's mockery]

No. I like your analysis of this and in fact I was thinking when it happened how broad minded Romney was to crack that joke about Ryan not replacing Ann. You could tell it was not scripted and it was a cute thing to say. It shows a mature man who can take such memes as bromance with Ryan in his stride and comment on it appropriately.

Obama on the other hand, not so much. He is cracking gay jokes to make Romney unacceptable. That is homophobia.

EDH said...

When I hear "marvelous" I always think of two iconic 1970s characters.

First, a black man from the West Indies.

HA HA HA HA HA!

Can you guess the other?

rhhardin said...

(V. Randolph & G. P. Wilson Down in [the] Holler 161.)

A book which I have.

"In the Middle West people generally use wonderful and marvellous to describe something pleasant or at least harmless. But it is not the case in the Ozarks. Of a woman who died in childbirth it was said that "she suffered somethin' wonderful." A hillman may speak of a wonderrful big storm that destroyed his property. Nancy Clemens, Springfield, Missouri, quoted a farmer who had been hurt in a motor accident: "No bones broke," said he, "but I sure was scratched up marvellous."

traditionalguy said...

Noel Coward actually was an effete playwrite with a flair for British Upper Class comedy. He is roll on the floor funny, provided that you understand the in jokes of British Society between the Wars.

Obama is still a lower class thug who wants to remake us all to be like him and wills to impoverish and kill us to get that done.

rhhardin said...

Am I wrong to hear a tone of homophobia?

Yes.

It's a 50s sitcom word, as Romney uses it. Like "That's just fine" that Armstrong and Getty use as an out-of-touch Romney sound clip echo.

I'd say it's mocking his Mormon good old American clean way of life.

Gay would be about window treatments or something; and even that would be appreciative and amused rather than phobic.

Political opposition to gay interest groups isn't homophobic.

AllenS said...

EDH. Dirty Harry? That was the first thing that came to my mind when I heard he mentioned the word.

Curious George said...

You want gay? Here's gay

rhhardin said...

I'd say, incidentally, that "I was scratched up marvellous" uses marvellous as a predicate adjective.

SGT Ted said...

President Uhhh...uhh..Uhhhhh..uuhh of the 57 States, where they speak Austrian and their Supreme Court never overturns duly passed legislation, has no business making fun of other peoples speaking skills.

Jimmy Carter at least pretended to be humble with some sincerity.

dreams said...

The liberal media will do their part too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
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Joseph Schmoe said...

EDH, gotta be Billy Crystal's Fernando character, no?

Paul said...

I heard it as just more typical, juvenile, petty rhetoric from this classless jackass as he further debases the office he holds.

You are over thinking this. If you start from the premise that the guy is simply a king sized asshole everything he does fits that template.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I suspect the Obama campaign will toy with mockery that has a homophobic edge.

Not a good move on Obama's part. Especially since the story in many parts of the 'internet world' is that Obama is gay and that Michelle is his beard and that Reggie Love is more than just a 'body man'.

The guys at Hillbuzzwho ARE gay claim to have evidence.

If Obama tries this move it will only add fuel to the fire.

Hagar said...

I think the Professor needs a walk in the fresh air this morning.

"Marvellous!" just makes me think of a Fred Astaire movie song.

Kansas City said...

Obama and company no doubt thought this was perfect. They could cast a gay slur and have complete deniability based on the rich old fashioned explanation. Having said that, I think you need to give them credit for coming up with a little cute humor and not leaving any fingerprints. Romney does use unusual words sometimes, and he will continue to make those minor missteps. It is fair game for Obama to try to score points on them.

Psota said...

Mah-volous analysis!

ricpic said...

Ricardo Montalban: You look marvelous darling...in your CORdoba...with rich corinthian leather.

Johanna Lapp said...

Here's some other words we're not normally hearing in a discussion about the budget: Passed. Honest. Thrifty. Slashed. Responsible. Realistic. Accountable. Gutsy. Austere. Earnest. Manly.

I'd rather have a president who talks like a homo than a president who acts like one.

Triangle Man said...

At the first Romney / Obama debate, Mitt should say "Barack, you look marvelous tonight. "

Gays dtereotypically say "fabulous" or "fierce" these days, don't they? Maybe Barack is pointing out how white Mitt is. Maybe Romney should have said the budget is "tight".

Ann Althouse said...

"EDH, gotta be Billy Crystal's Fernando character, no?"

Was that character supposed to be seen as gay... or just South American?

Apparently, the character was based on Fernando Lamas, and, according to Wikipedia:

"n archetypal playboy,[3] after his death, Lamas's image lived on in popular culture via the "Fernando" character developed by Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s. The character was outlandish and exaggerated but reportedly inspired by a remark Crystal heard Lamas utter on The Tonight Show; "It is better to look good than to feel good." This was one of the Fernando character's two catchphrases along with the better-remembered "You look marvelous!" (usually spelled "mahvelous" in this context)"

EDH said...

Bingo! AllenS

"Marvelous" = Tough guy catch phrase?

QUOTE 1:

Well... I think you're a disgrace to this city!

Okay, nobody move!

Marvelous
.


QUOTE 2: (Clip ends early)

Mustapha: Uh, just you.

Black Guys: Don't worry, pig, we'll see she don't get lonesome.

Harry Callahan: Well, that's mighty white of you.

Black Guys: [start to move closer to Kate Moore with mischief looks]

Kate Moore: Now gentlemen, before anybody does anything uncalled for, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out to you that I am a police officer, and if you touch me with intent to do bodily harm...
[fades out as Harry continues inside]

Kate Moore: [... moments later when Harry exits shop, the confrontation is still going on]

Harry Callahan: Having fun, Inspector? If you're through socializing, we do have work to do.
[leaves the shop]

Kate Moore: [to herself] Son of a bitch.

[She catches up to Harry]

Kate Moore: Look, Inspector, if you have some sort of objection to the way I handled myself, I wish you'd just say so... I thought I was doing all right.

Harry Callahan: [aside to the camera, after getting in] Marvelous.

LilyBart said...

Obama is really a small, small man.

edutcher said...

I think Zero's just mad because the Romster knows words like that and can use them without TOTUS.

And I'm willing to bet the way Barry says it, it probably has a bit of a swish in it, anyway.

(and Little Zero probably knows all the lyrics to "S'Wonderful" (S'Marvelous); he's heard it at the country club so often)

PS IIRC, Fernando, which was originally intended to to a send-up of the idiosyncracies of Esther Williams' hubbo (he was originally introed on Weekend Update that way), was more 80s.

But great point.

Ann Althouse said...

Wait. That was the wrong quote. I wanted this:

"In one of his most memorable moments on The Tonight Show, Lamas intimated that "sometimes other men said that he was gay, and nothing pleased him more than proving them wrong with their own wives.""

Ha. So... does that mean that Crystal's Fernando was supposed to read as gay? I can't remember the skits well enough to figure that out at the moment.

ricpic said...

Hey, Johanna just put down homo behavior. Isn't that the dreaded hate speech? A major no no on a site by and for beeyootiful peeps.

Hagar said...

Congress certainly did not use the word "marvellous" about Mr. Obama's last two budgets.
Now if the President could prevail on his Senate majority leader to present a budget proposal suitable for "reconciliation" talks, that would indeed be "marvellous!"

AllenS said...

The Enforcer (the movie)

Father John: I'd like to see the credentials, right now.
Harry Callahan: If you insist.
[slugs suspect out cold and then gets his credentials out]
Harry Callahan: Callahan, Inspector.
Father John: Well, Callahan... I think you're a disgrace to this city!
Kate Moore: [bursts into the church, gun drawn] Okay, nobody move!
Harry Callahan: Marvelous.

Another scene, another marvelous.

Kate Moore: [to herself] Son of a bitch.
[She catches up to Harry]
Kate Moore: Look, Inspector, if you have some sort of objection to the way I handled myself, I wish you'd just say so... I thought I was doing all right.
Harry Callahan: [aside to the camera, after getting in] Marvelous.

Starfish said...

I remember when Mitt was running for governor in MA, he was mocked for using the word "unbecoming", which he used in describing some of his opponent's behavior. My speculation is that this incident is more of the same.

The tone I hear is one of the "cool kids" making fun of the square who uses big words. I'm not a fan.

bgates said...

he even called it 'marvelous' — which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget

Certainly it's a word you don't hear used to describe Obama's budget, which was voted down 414-0 in the House, nor to describe budgets produced by Obama's allies in the Senate, since they haven't managed that task in several years.

somefeller said...

Obama is still a lower class thug who wants to remake us all to be like him and wills to impoverish and kill us to get that done.

(and Little Zero probably knows all the lyrics to "S'Wonderful" (S'Marvelous); he's heard it at the country club so often)

One of these things is not like the other. But different people express their bugbears in different ways.

somefeller said...

Also, I don't see any homophobia here. Making fun of someone for coming off in a precious manner (and for the record, I don't think Romney is coming off as such and I don't think implying so will be a successful line of attack for Obama) doesn't constitute homophobia.

phx said...
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NitneLiun said...

It's more than a little amusing for Bathhouse Barry to suggest that Romney might be a little light in the loafers.

Clint said...

My interpretation is that Obama was trying to make Romney look like a nerd, i.e., cool guys pick NCAA brackets, they don't go around calling things marvelous. I didn't pick up the gay reference at all.

Icepick said...

Can you guess the other?

Dirty Harry. Easy.

leslyn said...

Criminy, you see something sexist in ANY non-sexist remark. This isn't verging on paranoia, it's full-blown.

Joseph Schmoe said...

Ann, you're right. Fernando was definitely a ladies' man, but if memory serves he did preen around in a somewhat effeminate manner. Could be read either as a closeted gay man or as the lithe movements of a latin dancer.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

Oh my stars and garters aren't we all just over-analyzing a little regional speech quirk. So a legitimate word that isn't used all that often is used in correct context by a political candidate and we all have vapors. At least, Obama would like us to have vapors. I can tell you as a Westerner who's lived all over the Western states from Oregon and California to Idaho, Utah and now Wyoming it's perfectly normal use and I've heard it many times. Romney probably got it from his parents and grandparents regional use of it.

I hope we get a little more mature about the things we find to carp about the candidates, but I'll bet we don't. We're close to the nadir here, but those with nothing of substance to say will find an even lower point.

phx said...
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Paul said...

Aw, just because Prez Dickweed laughs as someone does not mean anything.

Considering all of Obama's stupid gaffs he has uttered over the last three years he is the one person that should not mock anyone.

Do I have to remind everyone of the '57 states', and the 'Transcontinental Railroad', or his mentioning Hawaii is in Asia, or his Special Olympics joke, or his 'bitter clinger' remarks, or his "Ten thousand people died -- an entire town destroyed." remark (12 people died and the town was not destroyed", or his... Well you get the picture.

Mark my words, once Obama is unelected his name will be banned from speech as it will be considered a derogatory word for blacks.

EDH said...

Clearly, Dirty Harry is using "marvelous" sarcastically because the SFPD is being so "stylish" (uses the word twice in the clip), trendy and politically correct.

Billy Crystal uses the term to connote stylish and trendy in his Fernando Lamas parody. Notice all the dated pop culture references.

"You Look Marvelous"
by Billy Crystal

Saludos, my dahlings, and you know who you are!
C'mon, let's mingle
So nice to see you
Throw your hips into the air
Like Syd Charisse and Fred Astaire
Let's crazy romance!
Just looking into your eyes, dahling
I can tell that you have the legs of a dancer
So bring those legs, and the rest of your body, over here
And be 'Nando's private prancer!
Dahling, I've got to tell you something
And I don't say this to everybody
You look mahvelous. Absolutely mahvelous! (Mahvelous!)
You know, my father used to say to me, " 'Nando, don't be a schnook.
It's not how you feel, it's how. You. Look!"
He was mahvelous!
But you, dahling, hmmmm, you look mahvelous!
Absolutely mahvelous!
And this is from my tongue which is deep inside my body
It's better to look good than to feel good.

(Fernando.)
Dahlings?
(Who's mahvelous?)
Try me!
(Cyndi Lauper?)
Mahvelous!
(Tina Turner?)
Still mahvelous!
(Jayne Meadows?)
She's mahvelous!
(Grace Jones?)
Humongous!
(Cher?)
Mahvelous!
(Shankar?)
Mahvelous!
(Vanity?)
Mahvelous!
(Apollonia?)
Ditto
(Madonna?)
Her belly button is absolutely mahvelous!
I'm about to lose control - and I think I like it!
Oh, look, there's Sting, looking for his last name at the dip!
I am what love is all about!
I've got American teeth and a Spanish mouth...
Please ... hold me while I tango!
So, my dear, it's been a blast.
You were not my first, you won't be my last. Ciao!
I've got to mambo!
Nothing lasts forever, dahling
But it's not the end of the world.
When I was fired by Paramount
There was still MGM (MGM!)
I love you young people today.
With your rock and roll
Like that Eddie Van Heflen (Van Halen!)
Whatever!
When I look into your eyes, dahling,
I see the reflection of me!
Look at me dancing around in there!
I look mahvelous! Absolutely mahvelous! (Wonderful! Mahvelous!)
You know dahling, I love dancing.
Dancing to me is like standing still.
Only faster... you know what I'm saying to you? (Mahvelous! Wonderful!)
My dear, do you understand the term 'Full grown midget?'
Must be me. (Wonderful! Mahvelous!)
There are eight million stories in the naked city, dahling
Let's me two of them.
I'm kidding you. I'm a kidder!
Let's you and I go back to my private hideaway.
You'll put on soft music.
I'll put on my Spider-Man pyjamas.
And we'll do things I'm going to tell my friends we did anyway! (Mahvelous! Wonderful!)
Dahling, I'm worried about the Cabbage Patch kids.
I mean, when they grow up, will they be confused that these people are not their real parents?
If a train is leaving Chicago at 11:00am in the morning with five thousand pounds of bluefish
And another train is leaving Phoenix at exactly the same time...
And Bert Convy is still hosting 'Tattletales'...

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

Wait. That was the wrong quote. I wanted this:

"In one of his most memorable moments on The Tonight Show, Lamas intimated that "sometimes other men said that he was gay, and nothing pleased him more than proving them wrong with their own wives.""

Ha. So... does that mean that Crystal's Fernando was supposed to read as gay? I can't remember the skits well enough to figure that out at the moment.


They always struck me as a send-up of the narcissism of Hollywood's Beautiful People.

The tag line Crystal always used, "It is better to look good than to feel good, if you know what I mean", seems to scream, "Where's a mirror? I need to check myself".

somefeller said...

Obama is still a lower class thug who wants to remake us all to be like him and wills to impoverish and kill us to get that done.

(and Little Zero probably knows all the lyrics to "S'Wonderful" (S'Marvelous); he's heard it at the country club so often)


One of these things is not like the other. But different people express their bugbears in different ways.


But the miracle of modern image management allows them to be combined in one repulsive personality.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Two co-eds at a southern university met after summer vacation.

The first said,"How was your summer, honey?"

"Well, I met a very rich man."

"That's marvelous."

"He took me around the world in his Learjet."

"How marvelous."

"He asked me to marry him but I turned him down."

"Marvelous."

"And how was your summer, dear?"

"Well I went to finishing school this summer, where they taught us to say 'marvelous' instead of 'bullshit'.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ha. So... does that mean that Crystal's Fernando was supposed to read as gay? I can't remember the skits well enough to figure that out at the moment.

I'm pretty sure his character was straight, but people associating his character with gay may have carried over from his previous role, when he played Jodie Dallas on Soap.

shiloh said...

"This isn't verging on paranoia, it's full-blown."

No, Althouse is just pandering to her anti-Obama flock as per usual.

Nothing to see here. Let's move on to another anti-Obama thread, shall we.

Happy Easter!

Joseph Schmoe said...

EDH, the Marvelous lyrics are hysterical. Thanks for posting. I'm a Gen Xer, and I was pretty young when I first saw those skits. I love the period references. I'll have to check out some Youtube vids when I get a chance.

Rialby said...

I think there are two negative connotations. One is that Romney is a snob - it's very playground - like when a smart kid doesn't use the right phrasing on the playground, he's beat up. The other is gay.

Both of these are meant as an appeal to his non- white base... Look at this overeducated homo. That plays very well in both the Black and Hispanic communities where class envy and homophobia are significant.

shiloh said...

"class envy and homophobia are significant"

Indeed, no class envy and homophobia in the white community. :-P

There are inane generalizations and then there is this blog.

JohnJ said...

“The tone I hear is one of the ‘cool kids’ making fun of the square who uses big words.”

I think that’s exactly right.

And it would be a mistake for Romney to put much effort into fighting that characterization. He should embrace his blandness with the knowledge that the voters likely are ready to choose a competent, pragmatic square over a cool, hipster ideologue.

jeff said...

"Ann, you're right. Fernando was definitely a ladies' man, but if memory serves he did preen around in a somewhat effeminate manner. Could be read either as a closeted gay man or as the lithe movements of a latin dancer."

No she isnt. neiither are you. he was presented as extreemly narcisistic, but most definately a laidies man. Who would be shocked if the woman existed who didnt want him.

B said...

pm317 said...He is cracking gay jokes to make Romney unacceptable. That is homophobia.

It isn't really important or even germane whether or not Obama is homophobic. What matters is that Obama was very obviously attempting to leverage homophobia.

The more polarized the country becomes in the next few months and the more inflammatory the issues are that divide it become the better for Obama.

Or so he hopes.

Paco Wové said...

"embrace his blandness"

Word. There's a lot of us whitebreads with normal-sized vocabularies out there.

edutcher said...

JohnJ said...

The tone I hear is one of the ‘cool kids’ making fun of the square who uses big words.

I think that’s exactly right.

And it would be a mistake for Romney to put much effort into fighting that characterization. He should embrace his blandness with the knowledge that the voters likely are ready to choose a competent, pragmatic square over a cool, hipster ideologue.


Agreed.

Let the Romster present himself as the man who knows all the words (I hope he uses corpsman a lot) and all the facts without needing TOTUS to tell us they speak German in Vienna.

roesch/voltaire said...

I guess those metro sexuals look marvelous and use marvelous all the time, and I always thought the SNL skits poked fun at the vanity of it all-- In any case, marvelous is not something I would expect from a businessman/politician and just another indication of the etch-a-sketch mind of Mitt.

JohnJ said...

“In any case, marvelous is not something I would expect from a businessman/politician…”

I heard him say “inauspicious” at a campaign stop in Iowa a few months ago.

Get used to it.

Rialby said...

"Indeed, no class envy and homophobia in the white community. :-P"

Ok jackass. If a Leftist Democratic politician is using homophobia to appeal to voters, who do you think he is trying to appeal to? Who is homophobic in the Democratic coalition that might peel away and vote for a Mitt Romney? The squishy center? The average white liberal? Hardly.

SGT Ted said...

Criminy, you see something sexist in ANY non-sexist remark.

You mean like the statement "I think women should pay for their own birth control out of pocket and not make everybody elses insurance more expensive by demanding it be covered, when its just for recreational sex."

That's a non-sexist statement that the entire "War on Women" political propaganda meme distorts into a ban birth control to bash the GOP with.

The actual argument is about being economical, accepting personal responsibility for your body and about equal treatment under the law. It is an argument to NOT be sexist in favor of women when making laws.

How did womens genitals and their desire for recreational sex unimpeded by biology become something that requires other peoples money?

How did it become more important to have no co-pay than someones cancer drugs?

The libs who post here won't even take these idea on.

They just parrot and squawk the latest DNC talking points that polled well with a control group.

My grannies, both of them, who were oppressed by the patriarchy, managed to fund their own genitals and that was even during the depression. So does my mom and my sister and my niece. But, somehow, thats just not possible anymore in America in 2012.

madAsHell said...

Whenever I read about Obama being a wonderful guy, I'm always reminded of this Karl Rove quote:

"Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by."

...and then I wonder what happened to his beautiful date!

madAsHell said...

Stupidly

Joe said...

If you listen to Obama's quote, like always, it's very stilted and forced and he comes off as a condescending prick.

Every time I hear Obama speak, I remember the statements by comedians after his election that Obama wasn't readily mockable. Yeah, right.

William said...

Tyrone at 10;09 offers an excellent exegesis of both the connotation and denotations of the word marvellous.....In the spirit of compromise, I would like to propose that marvellous entered the langauge with Billy Crystal's send up of Fernando Lamas and that the word was given durability by the gay community's picking up on both the word and the send up......At any rate, despite the Eastwood clip, marvellous is not a word that cool guys yse.....Remember when Billy Crystal could credibly mock Hollywood phonies? Now he himself has morphed into one. He's had way too much plastic surgery. Are facial wrinkles such a disgrace in Hollywood?

Zach said...

I don't think marvelous reads as gay. More upper class than anything, unless you're talking about "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry.

What I do notice is it seems like every couple of weeks, ever since he came into prominence, Obama makes some snide and overly personal remark putting someone else down. You have to wonder how the people who put Obama on a pedestal last time around are dealing with that. Is anybody going to put up those beatific posters if they think in the back of their mind that the guy's a prick?

RueMom said...

FoxNews in reporting this story showed a clip of O himself using the word "marvelous" on several occasions. He's such a tool!

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't see the problem with marvelous, but then, I'm not an Obama voter.

Freeman Hunt said...

Especially humorous coming from Mr. Arugula.

roesch/voltaire said...

Folks remember words are used on context and the use of "marvelous" applied to to a serious matter like the budget vs the superficial appearance of fellow metro- sexuals, reveals a superficial mind.

36fsfiend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
36fsfiend said...

Ann said,

"I heard a smidgeon of homophobia."

From the president who pushed for the repeal of DADT? Really?

Kirby Olson said...

I didn't understand the commentary around the word "marvelous," until I read this analysis. I guess that's what's going on.

The average American has an active vocabulary of 700 words. Use 701 and you're gay, apparently. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This is a perceptive and subtle set of observations. Who knew? Within the PC party there are still currents of open intolerance.

The Godfather said...

"(Comic pause)"? This was supposed to be FUNNY? Obama has to have the worst comic delivery in the world.

el polacko said...

it's like how, in the black community, being educated is considered to be 'white' combined with the brand of homophobia portrayed in the movie "idiocracy" where being relatively intelligent, having a decent vocabulary, is 'gay'. what obama is implying, in his middle-finger-on-his-cheek style, is that that white guy, romney, is kinda gay, ain't he ?

Paco Wové said...

Idiocracy

"Don't wanna sound like a dick or nothin', but it says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded."

Paco Wové said...

"the use of "marvelous" applied to to a serious matter like the budget vs the superficial appearance of fellow metro- sexuals, reveals a superficial mind"

What are you babbling about, R-V?

leslyn said...

Wow, I think that's the most incoherent bigot-post I've read on this blog yet.

Have a few too many beers with the Easter dinner did we, polacko?

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

Perhaps we should re-christen Obama as "Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho". No fag-talkin' there!

Paco Wové said...

"Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded."

The 2010 Obama campaign in a nutshell.

Paco Wové said...

OBAMA 2012:

He's Not in your Underpants, Talking like a Fag.

TCB-n-a-Flash said...

Sometimes Professor, you just call it like it is. Great Post.

Ralph L said...

The stone that the builders threw away has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!

From a psalm, spoken by Elizabeth Tudor (in Latin, IIRC) when told that her sister Mary had died, making her no longer a traitor but a queen. And not *that* kind.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

In re: Paul Ryan taking the place of his wife, well you know there is the religious angle, Paul's Jewish and he's, just kidding. I think this comes up as a kind of mixed background talk. CNN was broadcasting questions of Romney from the Newspaper Editors' meeting and the second question was about The R's being 18 points down among women in the battleground states. The comment likely reflects that Ryan has been discussed as a potential vice presidential running mate as has a woman (who wouldn't take the place of Romney's wife).

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

In re: Paul Ryan taking the place of his wife, well you know there is the religious angle, Paul's Jewish and he's, just kidding. I think this comes up as a kind of mixed background talk. CNN was broadcasting questions of Romney from the Newspaper Editors' meeting and the second question was about The R's being 18 points down among women in the battleground states. The comment likely reflects that Ryan has been discussed as a potential vice presidential running mate as has a woman (who wouldn't take the place of Romney's wife).

Titus said...

Paul Ryan is not jewish.

He is catholic.

Ralph L said...

The psychiatrist could be confusing Ryan with Eric Cantor of Virginia.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Yes, Ralph. Seemed to make the joke fit. Aside from the joke which got lost, I think 'the Paul Ryan not replacing his wife' comes up in the background context of both Paul Ryan and a woman being considered for VP running mate. The thought about a woman may be driven by the Republicans being down 18 points among women in the battlegrund states. So the 'real context' is the 'woman being conidered for running mate' 'not replacing Romney's wife' and 'Paul Ryan' gets joked about in the same context because he aslo is bing considered for VP running mate.

Sara (Pal2Pal) said...

It isn't if Obama hasn't used the word marvelous often enough.

http://youtu.be/nLZoeV1Zjmc

gk1 said...

Most of the comments have already pointed out obama as a candy ass, mom jean wearing pussy. He's as threatening as Mr.Garrison from South Park. I would imagine obama will try another tact in a few weeks after people get up off the floor laughing.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Blogger 36fsfiend said...

Ann said,

"I heard a smidgeon of homophobia."

From the president who pushed for the repeal of DADT? Really?


He hates the military more.

*ducks*

Craig said...

Tom Robbins had a character named Marx Marvelous in his first novel, Another Roadside Attraction.

David said...

Incredible graphics on that Hobbes first edition.

Suppose Calvin did the work?

David said...

Give Obama a break.

He was making a joke.

No one will tell him he isn't funny.

Invisible Man said...

So, some conservatives here are NOW concerned with homophobia. That's rich.

Paul said...

David said...

"Give Obama a break.

He was making a joke."

And was his 57 states a joke? His Transcontinental railroad a joke? His Hawaii is in Asia a joke? Or maybe it was a joke when Obama could not find a word in 'Austrian' language (hint hint.. there is NO Austrian language.)

Or was it a joke about the special Olympics?

Yea he makes jokes. Stupid ones IF they are jokes at all.

Unknown said...

I I think Reuters is onto something: Marvelous is a word that one would hear only in upper-class circles. This proves that Mitt Romney is out of touch with Real America, because he lacks Barack Obama's common-man authenticity -- an authenticity gained through tough times growing up at the Punahou School, Hawaii (some would say the Western Pacific)'s most expensive and prestigious private academy; Occidental College and Columbia University; and Harvard Law School. Barack's seen some real struggle, yo. I mean, there was that one time when he couldn't score weed and all the seats at the coffeehouse were taken.

Segesta said...

Well, if Bill Clinton can be the first black president, why can't Mitt Romney be the first gay president?

Or something.

David Pinto said...

Nice use of penultimate.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Seriously, The Bamster, with his mom jeans and cute little bicycle helmet, and general air of metrosexuality is in no position to mock any male.

That's part of the point, I think. He's preemptively attacking Romney in order to diffuse the charge against him. If he makes the attack first, any later attacks on him on the same grounds make the original charge look more credible.

The success of the strategy depends on Obama actually being credible as a manly he-man (but not in a gay way). I don't think that's going to work, and not because he's a manly he-man in a gay way.

Fat Man said...

"The first use with modern spelling — the double L remains current — is from Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan"

The King James Bible, still the text used by many American Protestants, uses marvelous 22 times, e.g.:

"Psa 118:23 This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."

Which is quoted in Matt 21:42 and Mark 12:11.

Of course, the Reverend Wright was too busy denouncing the US, to preach on scripture to his flock.

Tarzan said...

Obama's wishing he could be as marvelous as this dude:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfwccrTEvx8&feature=fvst

Amartel said...

"Marvelous" reminds me first of Billy Crystal's character Fernando on Saturday Night Live ("Dahling, yoo looook mahvelous"). Fernando wore an ascot and was knowledgeable about old Hollywood which could be stereotypically gay or stereotypically rich, or both.

Second, "marvelous" isn't really a richy-rich or gay word, even despite the Fernando association. It's a little old-fashioned for everyday useage but it's a good for low-key sarcasm, verbal punctuation, or just for when "awesome" or your go-to approbation word has become tedious. The fact that Obama hasn't heard the word in association with budgeting should not come as a big surprise given that no one seems to like his budgets, esp. lately.

Third, Obama is now demonizing previously blameless words. Maybe next week he will denounce a letter or a number. "I grind thee under my symbolic bootheel in the name of fairness and political gain."

I long for a President who doesn't feel a burning need to try to be cool all the time and continuously fail. It would be marvelous if he could recognize and play more to his strengths, whatever those are.

RampagingJackass said...

Tell Marvelous Marvin Hagler that it's "effete".

JewPoint said...

One word for Barack Hussein Obama:

CRAPTACULAR.

Bonus:

The perfect anagram for PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA is
AN ARAB BACKED IMPOSTER.

Emery Calame said...

" Obama mocked Romney this way: "He said that he's 'very supportive' of this new budget, and he even called it 'marvelous' — which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget." Comic pause. "It's a word you don't often hear generally."

Yeah as you may or may not remember, most people don't worry about the price of Arugula going up at the Whole foods either MR. President. Just sayin'.

RebeccaH said...

If you had watched Obama swish onto Jimmy Fallon's stage last night, you'd have to wonder about his own orientation. Or maybe that was just an upper-class pimp roll.

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