The Meaning of the Word “Serious”

It can mean the opposite of funny.

Or it can mean significant.

In his March 28 column in The New York Times, Roger Cohen wrote: “Trump’s United States of America has become an unserious country, the offender of the free world.”

He meant insignificant.

He concluded: “It is the hour to stand up for the European Union. Its democratic shortfall, weak external borders and shared currency mistakes have contributed to a political backlash. Less appreciated are the peace and stability it has provided to hundreds of millions of people over generations and the myriad ways – from disappearing cellphone roaming charges to cheap borderless travel – it has improved life for Europeans whose forebears lived in a charnel house. No miracle ever marketed itself so miserably.

“Merkel is the personification of the Union’s values; she was just bolstered by a local election victory. Russians have taken to the streets to protest against Putin’s corrupt regime and been brutalized. This is not over. Truculent Trump has abdicated responsibility. Europe must step into the void.”

What could be more serious?

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4 responses to “The Meaning of the Word “Serious”

  1. king townsend

    Seriously. The virtues of the EU need such appreciation. Excellent!

  2. Excellent description of the virtues of Europe. The Euro was a big mistake though.
    The other day I heard an economist call Brexit an economic suicide letter.

  3. mike holliday

    A suicide note is the last but one act of a person so desperate that they see no solution other than an complete retreat from this world. What does Brexit say about national feelings when more than half the voters supported it? A few might have sought to restore Britain’s world status, won centuries ago through military prowess, but most simply rejected a system that they felt had destroyed their way of life. Look at the distribution of wealth. Most of the south-east rolling in loot while large areas north of Birmingham economic wastelands. No jobs. No industry. No hope.

  4. The European ‘project’ is still relatively young, and has been extraordinary in getting so many countries to work together. Yes, it has made huge mistakes: the Euro, especially the too rapid expansion of the Euro. “more than half” was 52% (of those that voted). Not enough to win you the Presidential Election in the States. And I find when I talk to Brexiters about the all of the supposed benefits of exit turning out to be untrue of the complexity of exit, they just don’t want to know or learn. And as for job losses: Thatcher killed off more manufacturing. Globalisation then sped things up. As for ‘restoring Britain’s world status’ – are you serious. As long as it’s convenient for the world powers to have us do certain things, then we might be allowed to.