My Blog Week: March 1 to March 7
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A Word on the Week
Henry Higgins, stat
As I’ve said before, one of the propagandist’s first-rank tactics is making hay of the Problem That Can’t Be Solved.
To illustrate, say you wanted to paint your living room. You’d begin with a task list: push furniture away from walls; tape window/door frames and baseboards; dropcloth furniture and carpet; foambrush borders around moldings…
And each item would be something to check off, in aid of the goal.
A propagandist undertaking the same project would say, first: “Painting the living room is very important. This family can’t enjoy the quality of life we deserve unless the living room is painted.”
He would insist on this point. Everyone agrees on how essential it is to get this done…
But: “We have to consider the fairness of the labor distribution; while also, some people in the house pay more in upkeep than others”; “We have to ask ourselves, who is going to underwrite the expense of the supplies?”; “We need to study the proposal and determine whether a week is a realistic timeframe”; “Moving the furniture will lead to disruption and inconvenience; we need input on whether that can be afforded at present”.
The propagandist seeks to maintain exactly this balance, a state in which (in this case) the living room very much needs painting; the family suffers for the lack of a fresh-painted living room—but, no one can do anything about it now.
So, electing a woman president of the United States is, if the word comes from political entities that would rather not, a problem much the same. We all agree it’s important; we all agree it’s time…but somehow, no. And somehow it never can be.
Because the voters aren’t ready. Because of what’s at stake…
Another propagandist practice, well showcased by the Trump administration, is what I’ve been calling Stupid Loyalty. It features a rearing-up behavior whenever someone goes as far as noticing a true thing, and commenting that it’s a true thing.
The Democratic establishment would like Joe Biden for their nominee.
Biden is, factually, a problematic candidate. He sometimes claims to have done what he didn’t do. He doesn’t respond to criticism with grace. He does respond gracelessly to criticisms that are really part of the dialogue. He shows a quick tendency to grow belligerent, on the apparent suspicion that people he invites to ask questions are mere plants sent to stir trouble. And his mental acuity is iffy. If, the slurred speech, the inability to reach for an appropriate, or at times comprehensible, phrase or anecdote, is not the decline of age, it can be fixed. (If it can’t be fixed, it is.)
His handlers ought to provide an elocution master, and teach their candidate some speechmakers’ memory tricks, e.g.: Associate your Declaration of Independence reference with an assistant’s long blonde hair—like one of the Allman brothers—so you’ll remember: “…all men are created equal”.
At any rate, no one owes anyone Stupid Loyalty, and everyone owes to the public discourse, the truth.
The video below shows Biden speaking at length, extemporaneously, with the level of articulation, and the accent, he had at the time of his 1988 presidential campaign. Notice towards the end he misspeaks, and is able to correct himself.
On Monday, a poem from Rattus, “Field Marks”. Tuesday, a new episode of “Bride to Be”, with the guest rethinking a first impression. Wednesday, Cartoon Stories, a synopsis of the Dynamo Brothers storyline. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “The Apparition” complete, about the human will to believe. Friday, the sixth part of “The Recalcitrant One”; the Totem-Maker taking an independent journey. Saturday, a new Folly, “And the Other”, Falco’s second victim’s body having come to light.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: March 1 to March 7
Field Marks (poem)
Bride to Be (part ten)
Poetry Foundation: Muriel Rukeyser, “The Book of the Dead: Absalom”
Cartoon Stories: The Dynamo Brothers
Frédéric Boutet: The Apparition (complete)
The Totem-Maker: The Recalcitrant One (part six)
And the Other: Ninth Battle Stations