CONVENTION, n. When political and national in dimension, a gathering which in three days collectively emits more methane than does the entirety of domestic livestock in a year.
PUNDITRY, n. A vector for the spread of opinion.
OPINION, n. A viewpoint, generally constituted of received notions rather than original thought. It is viral in its ability to replicate, epidemic in its rate of infection, and incurable even when detected early. When adjusted for inflation (a condition common to most opinions), it is today one of cheapest things to manufacture and distribute, costing newspapertelevisionradio only half of what it did just thirty years ago, and only 20% of what it cost in the 1940’s. Despite this, opinion is still invariably overvalued by its owner and willingly sold to any fool who might buy it.
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions. —Leonardo da Vinci
BUREAUCRAT, n. A minion of deskpotism.
BANSHEE, n. In both the Irish and the Scottish mythologies, a female spirit whose wail is said to herald the imminent demise of a family member: preferably one with money.
As a portent of death, the banshee is now attested to abroad (esp. Indochina, Chile, East Timor, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria), and manifests not as a plaintive, feminine howl but as the ghostly form of Henry Kissinger.
FORKED, n. Of, relating to, or resembling the shape of a statesman's tongue.
RIDER, n. The pan in which pork-barrel legislation is roasted and the taxpayer rendered.
REPUBLICAN, n. A member of the political faction forming the near right wing of the Democratic Party.
GUILLOTINE, n. The blade best suited to cropping heads of state.