Jeb: Unleashing Chang

After naming Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, as Florida's House speaker, Jeb Bush got weird(er), invoking his "mystical warrior buddy," Chang:
Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society. I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down. [Then, unsheathing a gold (and presumably phallic) sword, which he gave to Rubio, he added:] I'm going to bestow to you the sword of a great conservative warrior.
While this is all a reference to Jeb's dad's foray into eastern mysticism years ago (Chang means elephant in Thai, and the 1927 film Chang, set in the jungles of northern Siam, was a precursor to King Kong), I wonder if the Florida governor knows the other Thai translation? Chang is often used by moms, combined with the Thai word for "little" (Chang noi), to describe a young boy's penis.

(Via The Killowatthour.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Woot-woot for Eyeteeth at the blog of the Guardian's Giles Foden:"More from readers on the Bush family catchphrase that probably originated as a cold-war rallying cry for Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek. Habitually used by George Bush Sr, it was recently garbled by Jeb Bush into "unleash Chang" in a political speech. The original phrase was "unleash Chiang on the mainland", reports David Blumberg, a carpenter from South Carolina. Another view comes from Paul Schmelzer in Minneapolis, who says that as well as meaning "elephant" in Thai, "chang" is often combined by Thai mums with the word "noi" (little) as a euphemism for a young boy's penis. The two derivations for the phrase may not be so far apart as first appears. In the 1950s the CIA backed the Kuomintang to retake mainland China by force. Using civilian cargo planes, they transported food and weapons to a Kuomintang base in Burma. The returning planes were filled with opium, which was then sold in Thailand. The drug running continued long after the original military plan had been abandoned. Did the gung-ho anti-commies running the show pun "chang" and "chiang" late one night in Bangkok? Did Bush Sr (at one stage deputy CIA station chief in Beijing, under cover of being special envoy, later director of the agency) pick up on the phrase as it became fashionable in hawkish circles? Only Chang knows, and perhaps we must put the whole thing down to genes."