From Reuters Fri Aug 26 2011 9:47 GMT: “SOMALI MILITANTS BEHEAD BOYS IN MOGADISHU ATTACKS”
From Merriam-Webster Free Online Dictionary:
definition of MILITANT
Examples of MILITANT
- an angry and militant speech
- political radicals with a militant unwillingness to compromise on any issue
Well, sure, beheading does indicate a certain intransigence.
Definition of ATTACK
Well, okay, head-taking certainly would fall under the legal category of assault, and whoever did this most certainly got up in the morning feeling more than a little belligerent.
Then lost his head, so to speak.
And even definitions 3a and b work,since these guys definitely have a strong desire to sever skulls, and do it repeatedly,
Now, this really isn’t funny: neither the actions themselves, which bad as they are, can be expected from the quarter whence they come. What is worse is this kind of reporting which day after day reduces horrors to the mundane, and eventually banal, and sanitizes evil as savagery is called militancy in a cause. It as if Holocaust histories were written without those grainy photos of heaped corpses, and instead used MSexcel generated graphs.
Here’s how they might have done it i the old days when there were no journalism schools, and reporters wore fedoras, smoked cigars and yelled “gimme rewrite” just before deadline.
“Islamic terror leaves headless kids across war torn Mogadishu.”
A more uptown approach might have been something on the order of:
“As Al Shabab Islamists emulate the barbarism their prophet founder, Muhammed, first demonstrated against the Jews of Khaybar in the Seventh Century, the headless corpse of Qadar Omar Siyad, 19, was found among trash and offal in the city’s cattle market. He was the latest victim in a string of brutal murders of young boys over the last few weeks.”
Note the parenthetical historical context, of the sort most reports on such actions in the Islamic world never contain. This would refer later to a wrap up paragraph showing that beheading is inherent in Islamic texts and actions, across regions and history.
Not bad as a lead in, if I do say so myself. “Trash and offal” set the scene economically, in a sensory manner. You can smell the filth and see the flies, and this boy’s body given no more consideration than the waste of the slaughter house.
The story writes itself from there. I learned this stuff in high school. What they appear to learn in journo school these days is a a kind of etiolated prose that fills column inches, but sucks away meaning, so that “news providers” have become a self reinforcing constellation of ministries of truth, a gulag archipelago for language from which truth rarely escapes, with nary a Winston Smith or Solzhenitsyn among the workers feeding the memory hole.