Words of Others | A Capital Idea

Last week I complained on the Interwebs about newspapers' common practice of using the names of capital cities as shorthand for the current government of those countries, as it is used in this New York Times article:

It is Berlin, citing the very treaties that it now wants to adjust, that has resisted the boldest answer to the euro crisis — using the European Central Bank as the euro zone’s lender of last resort. Berlin does not even want to sanction American-style quantitative easing to promote economic growth, one recipe to stoking growth and reducing the debt burden.

For me, this always conjures up images of a city talking, or negotiating, or objecting, or whatever. More importantly, it is too ambiguous, I think. Who is Berlin meant to represent here? Angela Merkel? The German Parliament? Both? Neither? It's really kind of lazy.

At any rate, my complaint prompted my friend and fellow Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Chapel Hill boot camp 2004 survivor Niko Dugan to post this on my Facebook wall. (Contains language.)

IAEA: "Hey, y'all, did y'all know that Iran is working on nuclear weapons?" MOSCOW: "Pfft, totes already knew that. I wish Washington would stop tweeting about it already. We get it!" WASHINGTON: "Moscow, you're such a bitch! I'm just sayin ..." MOSCOW: "You been 'just sayin' forever, gurl. You need to get over yourself. Besides, let Tehran do what Tehran gon' do." TEHRAN: "Why y'all gotta be always be up in my business? Ain't nobody invited you! I ain't said shit about no weapons program! I need to keep the lights on, dammit! You bitches worry about your own prollems. Sheeeeeeeeeeeet." WASHINGTON: "Whatever, Tehran. You crazy. TEHRAN IS CRAZY, Y'ALL!" JERUSALEM: "What'd this dumb bitch do now? I hope y'all gonna start payin' attention?! I done told you this stupid bitch would fuck errrything up!" TEHRAN: "Shut yo mouth, dumb ho!" JERUSALEM: "Don't call me a ho, ho!" JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY!

I put it to you that connecting Jerusalem and the Jerry Springer chant is the comic gold moment of 2011.