Freakin’ Geopolitics

“History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.”

—George Santayana, Spanish philosopher, born December 16, 1863

lossless-page1-157px-USSR Postcard Soviet Dominance over the Arctic.TIFWilliam Lyon Mackenzie King’s crack (what a great name!) about his country is oddly appropriate for this week when Canada announced plans to claim the North Pole as its territory. Because of climate change (in case you haven’t heard, the ice is melting fast up north), the Arctic is a geopolitical timebomb. Petroleum and other mineral resources attract attention from strategists in every country with claims to territory in the Arctic. New sealanes are opening: ice free Northwest and Northeast Passages will be a reality in a few more years. Canada has joined Russia, which planted a flag on the seabed 14,000 feet under the Pole in 2007, in asserting expansive new claims to sovereignty in the Arctic.

HitloHI did not know that Mackenzie King, the longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history was a convinced Spiritualist who shared a deep love for Richard Wagner’s operas with Adolf Hitler. King believed that Hitler was a great man like Wagner’s heroes, who embody the struggle between good and evil, and would reject the dark side and redeem the German people. King always explicitly rejected the anti-Semitism and brutality of Nazi Germany, and strongly supported the Allies once the war started.

When did people start saying “frickin‘“ for ”friggin’”? And why did they change? There’s the alternative “freakin’” that you hear from time to time also. I’m a foul-mouthed baby boomer and tend to cut to the chase. More about words that we erroneously think are offensive novelties in 16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem.

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Dude, D’ya Have to Use So Many Cuss Words?


“No frigging way! Frigging has been around since the late 1500s, though it originally referred to masturbation and would not have made your sentence sound any more polite than it would have with that other word that frigging usually replaces. Since the beginning of the 1900s it has served as the more family-friendly substitute for that other word. In this 1943 quote, it can be seen in action alongside a few other ingenious substitute words: ‘This shunting frigging new arrangement…has got every flaming thing foxed up.’”

16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem

The Last Word

“If some countries have too much history, we have too much geography.”

—Mackenzie King, Canadian statesman, born December 17, 1874

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