It may seem P.C. or peevish to ask writers to resist kabuki. (Is Kabuki resistance itself Kabuki?) The request is impractical, I admit. If a former theater critic such as Frank Rich can't be trusted to use it properly, who can? This is one of those writerly words that is helpfully absent from ordinary conversation, that says, "Stand back, pundit here!" (Slate writers, by the way, have also abused Kabuki—repeatedly!) But how would you feel if your favorite art form, ballet or truckers' quilts, say, became another nation's derogatory epithet? How many Americans today steer clear of actual Kabuki(it is regularly performed here) because of the word's reputation? And there's a final reason to ditch it: Posturing is far too tepid an indictment of contemporary American politics. I'd sooner opt for Grand-Guignol, which Wikipedia aptly defines as "graphic, amoral horror entertainment." It is seppukutime for Kabuki.
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