Although there's no mistaking that things turned
grave this week in Seattle, some are less sure about certain facts.
heard one puzzled observer remark: "Why are activists from all over the world gathering in Seattle to protest the
, one of the great rock bands of the 1970s? I grew up listening to WTO and 'Taking Care of Business' rocks."
Of course, we aren't thick enough to confuse
World Trade Organization
, but we also were surprised by this week's events in Seattle. The protests have redefined about how we all think about trade and about economics in general. Indeed, the world appears to be changing daily as we sit at our computers and, later, eat at expensive restaurants in Manhattan.
So many words are flying about the media, like so many gleams of light off U.S. Commerce Secretary
head, but what do they all mean? What is
talking about? Why are those young women dressing up as turtles? To explain, we present a mini-glossary of important words from the week that just was. Read, learn and take care of business.
. Adjective. Rejecting all forms of coercive control and authority. Practiced in recent decades by various Beat poets, various
, CEO of
. Noun. The manipulation of biological resources into commodities for human consumption. Not to be confused with bionics, an equally important science involving the development of superhearing, superspeed, sideburns and bright red track suits with silver stripes down the side.
. Noun. The process of breaking down national economic barriers by removing trade restrictions between countries. The term originally was derived from
, an international company that produced such movies as
Masters of the Universe
King Solomon's Mines
Alien from L.A.
vehicle. A revolt against the firm began, for purely aesthetic reasons, with the 1985 release of
. Noun. The advocacy system, or theory of protecting domestic producers by impeding or limiting, as by tariffs or quotas, the importation of foreign goods and services. Also:
. Noun. When fathers won't let their daughters go out with perfectly nice guys with
. Noun. A shop or factory in which employees work long hours at low wages under poor conditions. Examples include
manufacturing plants in Indonesia, automotive factories along the Mexican border and the offices of
The Wall Street Journal
. Noun. An incredibly delicious crustacean that must be conserved for the sake of oceanic biodiversity and for inclusion on bar mitzvah buffet tables.
. Proper noun. Anywhere but here.
. Noun. An organization that exists to protect the rights of workers. No longer necessary in today's economic climate, because increased competition will raise the standard of living for everyone. Now, please vacate the perimeter or we will fire rubber bullets.
Neal Pollack lives in Chicago, where he works as a staff writer for the Chicago Reader. He has also written for Salon.com and The New York Times Magazine, and is a regular contributor to McSweeneys, both the online and print editions.