“You Say Tomato, I Say……”

In the aftermath of the notorious event that took place at the U. S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, the most crucial question facing our nation is what to call the event.  

To the surprise of virtually no one, Harvard University has taken the lead in addressing this challenge.  The school’s Department of Government is sponsoring a 4-day conference this week (January 13 — 16) in which scholars from across the country are debating the most appropriate word or phrase to characterize what happened in Washington, D. C. on January 6th.  According to Department Chairperson Jeffry Frieden, “once we name the problem, we can do something about it.”

The conference is exploring arguments for and against various labels, with participants voting for their favorites on Saturday.  Among the candidates being considered:

—  “Incident”:  Favored by economists and mathematicians; a neutral, non-partisan descriptor

—  “Insurrection”:  Currently trending; not to be confused with “Resurrection,” the first choice of a splinter group of Bible College faculty in Arkansas

—  “Erectile Dysfunction”:  Preferred by psychologists who see the event as a cry for help on the part of working-class white males experiencing “endowment issues”

—  “The Riot to End All Riots”:  Proposed by historians who study the Victorian era; these scholars become exceedingly nervous when observing couples arguing in a restaurant

—  “Mutiny”:  The choice of Oceanography professors who don’t understand what “mutiny” means

—  “Act of Sedition”:  Fans of the 1980s punk-Rastafarian band bearing this name claim the January 6th event closely resembles a raucous performance given by the group at the Sweat Stain Lounge in Brooklyn, NY in June 1987; police intervention was required

—  “Uprising”:  Many soil scientists believe this term best captures the miasma of the January 6th participants clawing their way out of the primordial ooze

—  “Political Flesh Performance Art”:  The choice of  nearly all postmodernists, many anthropologists, and Taylor Swift

—  “Devil Dance of the Deplorables”:  Hillary Clinton offered this suggestion during her keynote speech opening the conference; the phrase has been officially deemed “hurtful” by the Feelings Caucus of the American Sociological Association

The results of the conference vote will be announced at halftime of the Browns/Chiefs NFL playoff game on Sunday, January 17th on CBS.  President-elect Biden has promised to use the winning term or phrase in all of his public statements regarding the event in question.