"We ARE x !"

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Nov 16 22:47:06 UTC 2011

I thought the points are more of solidarity, bandwagon and/or plain folks.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Nov 16, 2011, at 2:31 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:

> Here in Ohio, the group advocating against (if that makes sense) the anti-union bill called itself "We Are Ohio". Local high schools when rallying its sports fans will use the PSU-like "We are X." They'll also put it on bumper stickers, etc. to advocate for tax levies: "We are Raiders", etc. It's as if simply identifying yourself as some group or entity is supposed to induce the hearer to accommodate into the common ground that said group or entity is awesomely powerful.
> I've considered searching the usual corpora for this phrase template, but "we are" is so common anyway that I've never tried.
>> On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>> News reports over the past several days have occasionally included
>>> Penn State students both defending and deploring legendary coach Joe
>>> Paterno as well as offering gestures of goodwill to the alleged
>>> victims of Jerry Sandusky.
>>> The sudents can be heard chanting or emphatically asserting as
>>> individuals, "We ARE Penn State!"  I'm not sure what that's supposed
>>> to mean beyond, "Harken to us!"
>>> A few years ago, "We ARE Virginia Tech!" was the refrain of an alleged
>>> poem by Nikki Giovanni, written in the wake of an even worse
>>> situation. It seemed to mean, "We of VT are strong enough to get
>>> through absolutely anything unfazed."
>>> Both of these usages seemed familiar, but how?
>>> In another one of those epiphanous moments, I suddenly recalled that
>>> 1976 film _Taxi Driver_ ("You talkin' to  me? You talkin' to *me*?
>>> Well, you must be talkin' to me, 'cause I'm the only one here!")
>>> featured a slick political candidate, target of the insane Travis
>>> Bickel, who was running on the slogan "We ARE the People!"   (Cf. "We
>>> ARE the 99%!" )
>>> The irony seemed to be that the slogan in the film was utterly vapid.
>>> It reminded me of the equally inane, but seriously intended, "Nixon's
>>> the One!" of 1968.
>>> Moral: yesterday's inanity, today's inspiration.

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