Anil Dash on Sarah Palin and Language

Discuss

104 Responses to “Anil Dash on Sarah Palin and Language”

  1. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    Well, this penetrates closer to heart of the state of America these days then I’ve previously seen.

    In the US, there seem to be a large number of people who think in terms of (for lack of a better word), symbols, rather than content. These people trade symbols instead of actual meaning, and identify one another by whether or not they understand certain symbols in the same way.

    Bush and Palin and, to a lesser extent MkKane, know how to stimulate that symbolism response in middle America. their art, as it were, is to try to stretch this language of symbols to cover new and unclassified information or people and subsume their perceived reality through the language of these meaningless symbols.

    Thus, Obama is in this language, not truly Amerikan and might be taggable with the “terrorist” symbol.

    The scary thing is that nobody in many parts of the country seem to be actually “thinking”: these symbols do the thinking for them.

  2. minTphresh says:

    rleass…beeotch, pleez!

  3. 1up mushroom says:

    Well, Anil, was this the conversation you were hoping for?

  4. TharkLord says:

    This is an interesting evaluation of her use of language.

    It is important to view her statements from the perspective of right wing evangelical Christianity. What we see as absurd, insulting or dishonest statements have a totally different read to the evangelical base.

    Palin’s statements are viewed as “prophetic” or “inspired”. What she says comes from her being “possessed by Christ” and are fundamentally factual. Arguments against her claiming support from reason, logic or observable fact are just deceptions of Satan. From her type of religious perspective are only two types of people in the world, those filled with the “spirit of Christ” and those possessed by demons. There is no middle ground. I am sure many of her followers may believe Sen. Obama is “unknowingly” being manipulated by Satan, but that does not make him any less than a threat in their eyes.

    This is why it can be very difficult to deal with the evangelical mind set. It doesn’t matter what you say or do, if you aren’t inside the circle of of born-again Christianity, you are outside in the demon-haunted world.

    True Story: I told my cousin about starting a meditation practice. He was genuinely concerned that I was making myself vulnerable to demonic influence. And this guy is a very smart, college grad. There are a lot of very knowledgeable, successful people out there with one foot in the Middle Ages.

    Weird and kind of scary.

  5. tony41454 says:

    Wht s wrng wth y ppl? Thr’s nthng wrng wth Srh Pln. Sh’s nt vl. Th ppl wh r syng sh’s dmb r fls. thnk ‘m gng t stp vn cmng t bngbng, t sms t b lbrl blg ddctd nly t rppng th rpblcns. Wll, lt m sy ths: F bm wns (nd tht’s nt gvn), y wll hv Mrxst/Sclst/Trrrst bttr fr Prsdnt nd h wll snd ths cntry dwn t hll n hndbskt. Y hrd t hr frst: f bm s lctd, h wll b th WRST. PRSDNT VR.

  6. rleass says:

    #29: word

  7. zuzu says:

    LOL @ Focus on the Family.

    Though I’d like to be able to keep my assault rifles and have free entry competition among medical companies for my business as a health consumer.

    But the idea that porn and queers are going to “warp” the minds of children is ridiculous beyond any credibility.

    (Especially the remark, inflecting the Mormon subversion of the Boy Scouts, about how gay counselors are going to sleep in the tents with young boys. The rhetorical conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia is so fucking tired.)

    (Then again, regardless of sexual proclivity, once I was old enough that I was thinking about sex, the fantasy of fucking with the camp counselor was certainly an open possibility… like sex with the hot teacher, or sex with your therapist.)

  8. 1up mushroom says:

    Im going to be away from my comp for the rest of the evening, so, if you would be so kind as to check back here for my response tomorrow ill (hopefully) have something coherent to say. Thanks in advance.

  9. Nelson.C says:

    RLeass @95: We do know who you are. You’re the guy who agreed that Obama was a Marxist-socialist-terrorist. What more do we need to know?

  10. Frank_in_Virginia says:

    She speaks for the American Taliban. Her power is in getting their message out to a broad (albeit typically “friendly”) audience. The sound bites that are broadcast to a wider audience, by news organizations, are intended for those sitting on the fence.

  11. 1up mushroom says:

    ‘Trfng t Tkn mns pstng smthng h prcvs s nt sffcntly hstl t rpblcns.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @1up mushroom, you’re being really rude, and that’s neither fair nor accurate. Keep it up and you’ll be asked to refrain from posting here.

  12. virgil says:

    #’s 29, 30:

    No.

  13. CopyrightMe says:

    Sarah Palin is a dangerously uninformed person. She also seems very happy about it.

  14. Takuan says:

    I have never made any bones about being opposed to evil.

  15. rleass says:

    I suppose that’s fair, although I was actually agreeing that Sarah Palin’s not crazy/evil and that Obama could easily be a bad president.

  16. Teller says:

    #15: This is election is bigger than I ever imagined.

  17. minTphresh says:

    i’ll second that , xeni.

  18. Drewkulele says:

    You wrote: “Palin has used deliberate choice of language to avoid these connections…”

    I think you mean “Palin’s HANDLERS have used deliberate choice of language to avoid these connections…”

    Left to her own devices, the woman is not capable of stringing together a sentence of any great import, and attributing anything she says to her, herself, is similar to her revelation regarding the $150K wardrobe… “These are not my clothes, this is not my property…” She’s just a life-size Vice President Barbie doll and McCain’s camp is having fun dressing her up and putting words in her mouth.

  19. 1up mushroom says:

    Also, you used “shrill”, which is such a reliable genetic marker for the right-wing blogosphere — they’re forever describing their opposite numbers as shrill — that the term is a standing joke on the left. For example:

    Mushroom, did you look at the publication dates of any of those links I stacked up? Did you by any chance notice that the earliest posts on Shrillblog date from September 2004? That’s right: it was an established cliche well before that date, and already being laughed at so much that it warranted a separate blog to track new instances of it.

    No, i didn’t read any of the links you provided, why should I? I have no doubt that *you* believe that shrill is a reliable genetic marker for the right, after all, you said it. What difference does it make if someone else believes it too? Do you think that a weblog counts as proof? How can it be, what your expressing is an opinion, not a fact.

    Which leads me into the second part of what I said, that you simply assumed you that your *opinion* is established fact to prove that right wingers are conformist. This is totally absurd on its face. You make a broad generalization about a whole class of people (right-wingers thoughtlessly use the word shrill to vilify their opponents) then use your own generalization as proof of conservative conformity. Totally illogical.

    I’d offer to go dig up a bunch more if I thought you would read them, but since you don’t appear to have read this lot, I don’t see the point.

    Your right, there is no point, what you are expressing is opinion, not fact. It may be well established opinion on the left, but it is opinion none the less.

    Ill give you a second possibility,

    No. Either I made that logical error, or I didn’t. If you honestly think I did, you can’t present it as one of two alternate possibilities.

    I think you did make a logical error, but there is no reason why i cant compare my possibility to your incorrect one, that is the whole point. It’s a means to illustrate why your thinking is incorrect, by contrasting it to another, more reasonable point of view.

    Look at it this way, right wingers are often described as jingoistic. Is this because a) The left is terribly conformist or b) The right is often jingoistic? Which explanation seems more reasonable to you?

    Mushroom, no sane person who has any acquaintance with the left would describe it as being terribly conformist.

    No kidding, that is exactly why I offered it up as an analog to my earlier argument, which, you’ll recall was “either a) the right is terribly conformist or b) shrill is an apt label”. Notice the similarity to my first argument? Thats intentional to illustrate why your point of view is incorrect.

    The appropriate question is whether the right has any characteristics which would naturally lead an observer to describe its behavior and beliefs as jingoistic. The word, by the way, means “Extreme or unreasoning nationalism, marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy.” Since that is in fact an attitude the leftward blogosphere criticizes in the rightward wing, there’s nothing remarkabout about the left using what is, after all, the precise word for it.

    Ill go one further and say you dont have to be leftist to describe the right as jingoistic, in other words, “jingoistic” is not a reliable marker for the left nor proof that the left is conformist because they use that word.

    Now lets just apply the same logic to “shrill”

    The appropriate question is whether the left has any characteristics which would naturally lead an observer to describe its behavior and beliefs as shrill. The word, by the way, means “Betraying some strong emotion or attitude in an exaggerated amount, as antagonism or defensiveness.” Since that is in fact an attitude the rightward blogosphere criticizes in the leftward wing, there’s nothing remarkabout about the right using what is, after all, the precise word for it.

    And again, you dont have to be a rightist to describe someone as shrill, just someone who thinks the term is apropos.

  20. minTphresh says:

    riiiight.

  21. KWillets says:

    Boingboing qualifies as an apolitical site, given that everyone who posts here is insane.

  22. Deviant says:

    FTA: [...]far beyond any other candidate in vice presidential history in the dangerous and irresponsible implications of her attacks[...]

    Oh, come on. Things are tame compared to how they were in the early days. Remember, we had a sitting VP shoot and kill a politician over nasty accusations.

    As for the numbered points, if you think Obama will behave differently about #2, you’d better learn more about your candidate. That’s exactly his philosophy as well.

  23. 1up mushroom says:

    Ok fine I take it back. But I am curious, was RLEASS’s account really disabled? Why? I dont see him being rude, really. Or attacking anyone, just expressing his opinion.

    As far as I can tell, “echo chamber” is what you guys say when someone gets kicked out for being pointlessly rude — which in fact was what happened to #29.

    So was RLEASS pointlessly rude? Or did you kick him out for some other reason? Because I say echo chamber when people are excluded for having a differing opinion, kicked out for refusing to toe the line, censored for expressing a viewpoint that the powers that be dislike.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @1up mushroom: Your story has become tiresome. Liebe meine abst-monkey. There are plenty of dissenting views here, but we don’t tolerate trollage or sock puppetry. Now: DANCE.

  24. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Rleass @53: just once, I’d like to see a dittohead pause to check whether a thread actually shows an unnatural uniformity of opinion before calling it an echo chamber.

    As far as I can tell, “echo chamber” is what you guys say when someone gets kicked out for being pointlessly rude — which in fact was what happened to #29.

  25. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    As for the GOP tacitly inciting to assasinate, this isn’t quite so farfetched as it seems.

    Remember that this is the same party that led or sponsored a large number of very extreme activities which they in all liklihood believed to be in America’s best interest. And this, despite how much these activities were illegal or corroded our fundamental freedoms. Need I list them?

    The point is that within the GOP, there seems to be a core of “true believers” who find it ideologically reasonable to suggest that someone like Obama is somehow anti-American so that, as a result, even if he is democratically elected, they will feel it perfectly justfiable if someone takes matters into their own hands.

  26. minTphresh says:

    #29 & #30, im calling shenannigans! i don’t give a rat’s ass how many “mccain points u are gettin for this crizz-app, it is not helping your cause. we here, for the most part, do not drink of your tainted kool-aid. if it bugs you, get out yer cell, and call someone who might give a shit. better yet, get you’re incredibly intelligent ass on over to mccain.com and tell them all about the bad, mean- old anti-american boing-boing posters, and how damn rude those n*&&*r-lovers are over there. plus they’re all gay and married! RUN!

  27. Antinous says:

    As for the numbered points, if you think Obama will behave differently about #2, you’d better learn more about your candidate. That’s exactly his philosophy as well.

    Please provide a citation from a credible source for that statement.

  28. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Mushroom, you think you’re the only headache on the Boing Boing threads right now? Think again.

    Concerning your comment, currently #75

    Echo chamber? Riiiiiiiiiiight. We aren’t the ones who are so conformist that they can be spotted by their adjectives.

    Heres the problem with that line of thinking Teresa, your assuming your conclusion then using that conclusion as proof.

    Nope.

    In other words, you say “your right wing because you use certain words” then go on to say “you right wingers are conformist because you can be spotted by your words” Your assuming you are right in the first instance to prove the second.

    (Sighs; closes eyes; pinches bridge of nose.)

    Mushroom, did you look at the publication dates of any of those links I stacked up? Did you by any chance notice that the earliest posts on Shrillblog date from September 2004? That’s right: it was an established cliche well before that date, and already being laughed at so much that it warranted a separate blog to track new instances of it.

    You know, you’ve got your bloody nerve, whining and complaining about logical errors I haven’t made, when you haven’t even taken the time to look at all those nice links I found for you. Do you think you have a God-given right to win arguments no matter what you say? Got news: you don’t, no matter how sorry for yourself that thought makes you feel.

    Back to the issues at hand:

    If you had read Brad DeLong’s article on The History of the Shrill, you’d have discovered that the cliche got started all the way in 2001. And who was Victim Zero in this epidemic of people being labeled “shrill”? None other than Paul Krugman, the fellow who was just awarded a Nobel Prize for Economics. (If it cheeses you off that he won it, go ahead and explain that it’s actually the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which in all other respects is exactly like getting a Nobel Prize.)

    At the time, the Bush Administration was trying to dismantle and privatize Social Security, so that the money in it could be invested in the Stock Market instead. (Wouldn’t that have made the last few months even more fun than they’ve already been?) Krugman kept denouncing Bush’s plan as the incredibly bad idea it was. He also pointed out that Bush & Co. were lying about a bunch of stuff. Right-wingers couldn’t rebut anything he was saying, so instead they all said he was “shrill”.

    Ever since then, “shrill” has been the right’s quick-use meaningless epithet of choice for anyone making a sustained argument they can’t rebut, and the left has been laughing at them for doing it. I only listed links to ten examples because I figured ten would be enough. I’d offer to go dig up a bunch more if I thought you would read them, but since you don’t appear to have read this lot, I don’t see the point.

    As for “echo chamber”, KYAGB. I’ve been using it as a right-wing marker for a long time now. If you want to check on whether I’d used it before yesterday, you can ask the other moderators here, or one of the regulars at Making Light.

    Ill give you a second possibility,

    No. Either I made that logical error, or I didn’t. If you honestly think I did, you can’t present it as one of two alternate possibilities.

    the right (or non-left) calls you guys shrill because the description is apt.

    No. The description is meaningless. As of this moment, I don’t believe you know what you mean by it.

    Of course, if I leave it at that, you’ll go look it up, then claim that you and RLeass have meant all along its third- or fourth-string meaning, “betraying some strong emotion or attitude in an exaggerated amount,” since that’s the only definition of it that can possibly apply. But was that what RLeass meant when he said it? I don’t think so. He was summarizing his own comment #25, which in its entirety read:

    man, this whole thread should be disemvoweled.

    I’m pretty sure he picked it up as an all-purpose pejorative, which is how the right-wing blogosphere uses it.

    I originally cited his use of “shrill” when explaining why I’d referred to him as a dittohead. Your last argument, upcoming, is useless for rebutting that. If I can accurately place him by his vocabulary, then I can, and the existence of characteristic vocabulary in other web neighborhoods doesn’t change that.

    However, since you brought it up:

    Look at it this way, right wingers are often described as jingoistic. Is this because a) The left is terribly conformist or b) The right is often jingoistic? Which explanation seems more reasonable to you?

    Mushroom, no sane person who has any acquaintance with the left would describe it as being terribly conformist. That’s a pathetically frail little argument. The only way I can imagine you arriving at it is via your habit of asserting that any fault the right is identified as having must also be found in the left, only much worse. That’s never a valid analytical method when used on its own; and in this case, it’s led you to take a risible position.

    The appropriate question is whether the right has any characteristics which would naturally lead an observer to describe its behavior and beliefs as jingoistic. The word, by the way, means “Extreme or unreasoning nationalism, marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy.” Since that is in fact an attitude the leftward blogosphere criticizes in the rightward wing, there’s nothing remarkabout about the left using what is, after all, the precise word for it.

  29. Takuan says:

    welcome home Kwillets!

  30. sammich says:

    OMG minTphresh – what have you done! They’re going to stop coming to BoingBoing! How will we manage to entertain ourselves?!

  31. 1up mushroom says:

    Well, if you believe this, then you kinda have to throw the whole “Palin is totally stupid” meme out the window.

  32. 1up mushroom says:

    Echo chamber? Riiiiiiiiiiight. We aren’t the ones who are so conformist that they can be spotted by their adjectives.

    Heres the problem with that line of thinking Teresa, your assuming your conclusion then using that conclusion as proof. In other words, you say “your right wing because you use certain words” then go on to say “you right wingers are conformist because you can be spotted by your words” Your assuming you are right in the first instance to prove the second.

    Ill give you a second possibility, the right (or non-left) calls you guys shrill because the description is apt. Look at it this way, right wingers are often described as jingoistic. Is this because a) The left is terribly conformist or b) The right is often jingoistic? Which explanation seems more reasonable to you?

  33. Old Geek says:

    Why shld Pln b sbtl? bm hs prvn ts wth n nt-mrcn prchr, trrrsts (bth frgn nd dmstc), h hs ntrfrd n ntrntnl ngttns by th prprly lctd gvrnmnt f ths cntry, h hs vcd hs pln t rdstrbt wlth lk mrxst. Th mn s vl nd dngr t th mrcn wy f lf. Hw cn nyn nt s ths? t’s trly bynd my ndrstndng why nyn wth ny ntllgnc, dctn r mbtn wld spprt hm.

  34. sammich says:

    Crikey Takuan – this is strong stuff – “World Jewry declared economic war on Germany”????

  35. Takuan says:

    well mushroom, wouldn’t it save time to self-apply your analysis? As for “left” and “right”, I myself only distinguish between “consistently honest” and “not”. A whole nation is up to its knees in the ashes of the consequences of lies.

  36. Takuan says:

    just change Germany for America”, “Al Quaeda” for “World Jewry”, keep the communists.

    People: Please. Take time to read this stuff. Remember the audience was really no different and remember where it led.

    Words have Power.

  37. Takuan says:

    Palin is not intelligent. Neither is Bush. Intelligence does not bring the entire planet to ruin for personal gain.

  38. sammich says:

    Whose version of events is this?

  39. Takuan says:

    ach ye auld geek, ye realize o course all yer sayings are the purest codswallop an breek’s tripe?

    no really, in the face of all evidence, common sense,logic, human decency and science; do you honestly BELIEVE what you just wrote?

  40. sammich says:

    @39 was written before @40 appeared

  41. ray ray says:

    I don’t think so 1up. She can still be totally stupid and still recite what the speechwriters give her.

    They know exactly what they are doing when they make the kinds of word and dialect choices that Mr. Dash highlights in his article.

  42. Enormo says:

    Just to frame the importance of what Xeni is saying, realize that the term “rhetoric” is most often used as a pejorative misappropriation of the word’s true meaning.

    All communication is rhetorical. We make choices on what words to use, what words to not use, what sort of arguments to make and what sort of metaphors to conjure. By doing so, we create a verbal reflection of our reality. In the case of those who are heard by millions this image is very powerful. So powerful, that many great thinkers consider words/speech/writing a form of action. (If you think the pen is mightier than the sword, hold onto your seats with television and the internet.)

    Palin’s words are not to be dismissed as just “campaign rhetoric.” There is motive behind her rhetorical actions as there is motive behind all of our rhetorical actions. I’m not saying she’s implicitly evil, but the form of her speeches is unsettling to me. For those who are interested in the dynamics of our rhetorical nature look up Kenneth Burke. One particular work in 1939 might illuminate the best.

  43. Takuan says:

    just the speech, Sammich, just the speech.
    Now that I look at the framing text, it likely is from some nazi wingnut site. Sorry to soil us with the link. Nevertheless, read Hitler’s speech to the Reichstag carefully and ask yourself who’s voice you hear.

  44. sammich says:

    I meant
    @39 was posted before @ 38 appeared

  45. 1up mushroom says:

    Takuan @#77

    I have no idea what you mean by that.

  46. mdh says:

    I do so enjoy it when you do that TNH.

  47. Takuan says:

    ah, another temporal anomaly

  48. wrathofthekitty says:

    i have been saying this sort of thing for a while now, and i am glad that someone like Anil is out there to say it so much more eloquently.
    one thing i kind of disagreed with was at the very end of the entire essay (see link). he used the following phrase:
    “unamerican display of irresponsibility.”
    if he was suggesting that irresponsibility is unamerican, i would beg to differ…just look at the current economic state of affairs (loan crisis etc, etc). i feel like we revel in our irresponsibility, and have been doing so for quite some time; therefore, i wonder what at what point irresponsibility is unamerican…

  49. Deviant says:

    Antinous:

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/128653.html

    This sums up his ideology nicely. He is (and has never claimed not to be) highly interventionary.

  50. george57l says:

    Anil Dash has it just right.

    IMHO the 2 neo-nazis caught today are in all likelihood simply the ones stupid enough to get caught, and have many cleverer and more focused and more determined unknown fellow-travellers out there in right wingnut redneck land. As a Brit, you may criticise my ignorance of certain American subtleties or my easy generalisations but it has been clear even to me for some time that there is a lot of very carefully calculated dog-whistle politics going on here and the dog-whistle is deliberately designed to be heard by white men with guns who will genuinely believe that a black, communist/socialist, terrorist, anti-troops, muslim sympathiser is about to gain power – and they will want to stop it by the only means at their disposal.

    If it happens (I fervently hope it does not) Palin and co will weep more crocodile tears than anyone else’s genuine tears, and maybe even really kid themselves they played no part in such an outcome. This is the only difference between this American Taliban and the real Taliban – the real ones would celebrate the demise of their enemy, the American ones are more hypocritical.

    What she is spouting is hate speech, pure and simple. But clever enough to be missed by many in the media and silent enough to be heard most clearly by the intended dogs with the acute hearing.

  51. Takuan says:

    I leave you to Teresa’s tender mercies but I do caution you think twice before accusing her of the most elementary error of rhetoric. She might very well take in her mind to fisk you.

  52. sammich says:

    Takuan- I can’t get though the whole speech without mentally retching – I ~have~ tried, I’m tempted to conclude that in order to swallaw such a speech, it would need to be delivered to me by a charismatic leader…
    excuse me while I discreetly chuck up.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Her words are deliberate. Hate-mongering and fear-mongering are the central tactics of the McCain campaign.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnRYAM7Ddo4

  54. Anil says:

    Xeni, thanks (again!) for the link. 1UP: I clearly believe Sarah Palin is *not* stupid. I fear we have the same pattern setting up where people underestimated George W. Bush and thought he’s stupid, and suffered greatly as a result. We have to stop insulting those we disagree with and stop assuming they’re foolish or stupid. Our arrogance is our weakness.

  55. Takuan says:

    millions bought it.

  56. george57l says:

    … and there was me in all innocence thinking shrill was a word to describe a sort of high-pitched whistling sound – a bit like that dog-whistle Sarah Palin keeps blowing.

  57. Takuan says:

    would be nice to sees her prosecuted for that. Or did they pass immunity law along with that no-war-crimes-trial-for-Bush legislation?

  58. sammich says:

    yeah, I know, perhaps including Neville Chamberlain and the Duke of Windsor – but I, in 2008, and hopefully most of us with an inkling of the reality of history, feel physically ill.

    Of course it’s all entirely different today, it’s been proven that we can’t dissapprove of Jews or Gypsies or homosexuals or the mentally deficient – but hell – we can still blame the Muslims and the Asians and the Darwinists!!!

  59. 1up mushroom says:

    So it looks like my fisking will have to come another day.

  60. Takuan says:

    don’t forget the redistributors.

  61. angryhippo says:

    I think she is intelligent as far as what it takes to get elected and hold onto power. I do think, however, that she is incompetent in actually *doing* the job. She plays the crowds well, whips up base support, etc. But like others in her party, once they get in they run the office into the ground.

    I liken it to a car-jacker who can’t drive a stick.

  62. rleass says:

    man, this whole thread should be disemvoweled.

  63. buddy66 says:

    By their adjectives ye shall know them.

    If I didn’t give a damn, one way or another, for politics, I would still spend much more time reading lefties than I would righties because, with few exceptions, the lefties are better writers. It’s not merely the content of the right’s arguments that I find so exasperating, it’s the, the . . . shrillness.

    And they are almost never funny.

  64. 1up mushroom says:

    Anil, i agree completely, however, you and I are in the minority here on BB.

    Also,

    We have to stop insulting those we disagree with and stop assuming they’re foolish or stupid. Our arrogance is our weakness.

    QFT!

  65. sammich says:

    we’ll never forget the restribters

  66. KWillets says:

    I myself have noticed that she often speaks in English, a language understood by Freemasons.

  67. Michael Leung says:

    Anil Dash works for Six Apart, right?

  68. frankiefourfingers says:

    Sarah Palin uses terror and fear systematically as a means of coercion. She is a TERRORIST!

  69. rleass says:

    Teresa: you -still- don’t know me (you wouldn’t – you haven’t asked me a single question).

    Furthermore, your arguments for why you don’t -like- the words “shrill” and “echo chamber” are sound (although I really didn’t know any of that), but your reasoning in transferring that dislike to -me- is just lazy thinking. Saying “republican a-holes use the word ‘shrill’, so whoever uses it must me a republican a-hole” is like saying “cats have fur, so everything with fur is a cat”.

    Finally, if you hadn’t led with an insult, “dittohead”, and if you had just answered my question about why #29 was de-voweled, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    I may have said some things you don’t like (accidentally, really, w.r.t. the overall effect – I would have toned it down a bit had I had any prior experience with you), but you jumped to conclusions and over-reacted.

  70. rleass says:

    #94: see, I agree with that. Who knew? (not Teresa…)

  71. Maddy says:

    Hell-to-the-YES comment #6. First off, it’s very important to note that George Bush lost his earliest election being portrayed as an Eastern establishment, Ivy League smart guy.

    Second, all I know is if I’m at a party, and someone mentions they have one of the more prestigious degrees in the country (an MBA from Harvard) I tend to give them some cred. I know, I know — he bought this degree and his Yale undergrad degree was gotten for him by his smarter frat boyz in Skull&Bones, riiight? But the research suggests that his grades at Yale and Kerry’s (fellow Skull&Bones) were pretty close.

    Third, I have super smart friends (they pity me) with lotsa degrees, business success who have met George W. They thought he was really bright.

    The folksy act is just that — an act. He may not be a genius, but he’s got TWO Ivy League degrees. Call him dummy and stupid all the time just makes you look like a ner’do-well sitting on the Court House steps making fun of the current mayor. Limbaugh used to call Clinton “dummy” too.

  72. Julian Bond says:

    So are her handlers using her as a Rhetor or an Incanter? Are the speeches designed to change the past or the future?

  73. 1up mushroom says:

    Well Ill have to risk a fisking, i suppose.

  74. JoeS says:

    The consideration is not whether Palin is or is not stupid. She is obviously mentally competent and able to learn. Unfortunately she is also talking and acting as irresponsibly as a rabid rabbit. The wounds she leaves are not deep, but they can be fatally effective. John McCain has bestowed on us a monster in fluffy pajamas.

  75. minTphresh says:

    1up, perhaps you would be happiest if you were to go and fisk yourself.

  76. Takuan says:

    you got here four days ago? When traveling to foreign lands it behooves one to learn the language and customs to show respect and goodwill.

  77. rEDcELL says:

    Thank you so much for pointing out this overlooked but vital attack by Palin. She knows what she is doing.

  78. KWillets says:

    Skull and Bones is not a fraternity. It is a secret society, similar to the Freemasons.

  79. rleass says:

    #57: I use the term “echo chamber” to refer to sites that censor posts (and that’s what disemvoweling is) that come from one perspective, but not censoring comparable posts from other perspectives.

    If I like Sarah Palin, I might take offense at being called the “American Taliban” (as is done in #16), and that’s clearly the intent. However, #16 is left with it’s vowels intact and #29 is not. In my opinon, that’s censorship and bias.

    Note that -I’m- not being rude, just standing up against what I believe is either an unfair or perhaps dishonest practice (if BoingBoing -promoted- itself as a walled-garden for the anti-Republican crowd, that would be different).

  80. Anonymous says:

    Have heard that my way of talkin’ is good means of stirrin’ up support among rural voters, obscurin’ issues, and, in general, winnin’ election. Have compiled list of most effective Palin-isms and their English translations so as to increase use of most useful expressions in future speeches.

    Love yah!
    The Secret Diary of Sarah Palin

  81. Takuan says:

    let’s see; four posts, starting yesterday, all the same. I find it easy to think Rleass is turfing. Turfing is dishonest.

  82. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    1Up Mushroom, I was using “kicked out” in a loose and general sense. RLeass’s account was untouched at the time I said it.

    RLeass, I called you a dittohead because the “echo chamber” trope is strongly characteristic of the far right. (Which is funny, because their forums are considerably more into orthodoxy than those on the other end of the spectrum.)

    Also, you used “shrill”, which is such a reliable genetic marker for the right-wing blogosphere — they’re forever describing their opposite numbers as shrill — that the term is a standing joke on the left. For example:

    Salon: Dictionary Alert by Paul Rosenberg.
    Shrillblog, which tracks who’s been labeled shrill.
    CafePress: The Poor Man’s Shrill t-shirt.
    Brad DeLong, The History of the Shrill.
    Brad DeLong, The Ancient and Hermetic Order of the Shrill Has a New Grand Heresiarch!
    Fafblog, Introducing: Medium Lobster Mailbag.
    William K. Wolfrum Chronicles, You can never be too thin or too shrill.
    TangleBones, Suddenly, Everyone Is Shrill.
    Derivative Work, Aaaaiiii! Aaaaiiii! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh…
    Brad DeLong, Tyler Cowen Seeks to Join the Ranks of the Shrill.

    Echo chamber? Riiiiiiiiiiight. We aren’t the ones who are so conformist that they can be spotted by their adjectives.

  83. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    Ah…Anathem reference already!

    As for being uninformed and ignorant, with more knowledge comes more complexity and your problems get bigger. Who needs that?

    Far better to have a nice simple world,so that anything one’s little pea brainn can think of certainly looks like it’ll work as a solution.

    It’s happy happy joy joy.

  84. rleass says:

    #57: besides which, “dittohead”? Please – you don’t know me, or what I stand for or believe.

    Just once I’d like to see someone like you ask some questions before resorting to insulting labels.

    Like I did.

  85. Cowicide says:

    #4 POSTED BY WRATHOFTHEKITTY:

    i have been saying this sort of thing for a while now, and i am glad that someone like Anil is out there to say it so much more eloquently. 
one thing i kind of disagreed with was at the very end of the entire essay (see link). he used the following phrase: “unamerican display of irresponsibility.”

    I hypocritically think the term should be avoided on all sides and find it ironic that it was used in the article considering it’s about language.

    In Understanding Power, Chomsky explains that a term like “anti-American” is “a pretty standard propaganda triumph, actually. Like, go to Italy and try using the word ‘anti-Italianism,’ [or] call somebody there ‘anti-Italian’ and just see what happens—they’d crack up in ridicule. But here [in the US] those totalitarian values really do mean something to people….”

    I’m guilty myself of calling people (like Karl Rove) anti-American in the past when I really should have just said that he should be tried for treason and leave it at that. I don’t like capital punishment or anything, but if we are going to have it anyway… I think Karl should be executed if found guilty in a court of law. If that pipe-dream was ever to happen, I’m pretty sure the elite would be quick to ban capital punishment & finally claim it an unevolved, inhumane, barbaric punishment as it is (bonus!). But I shouldn’t really call the fat, evil bastard anti-American because I’m just playing into their wicked game and helping to validate their totalitarian terminology.

    ______________________________

    Speaking of Skull & Bones (elsewhere in this thread) and although I really do hope Obama wins, take a look at his economic advisor (cough). Let’s get Obama in, but then watch him very carefully afterwards and double our efforts to keep his administration in line the best we can. IOW, voting him in is the (relatively) easy part… what American citizen do afterwards (get involved you fucking boobs) is what REALLY counts.

  86. buddy66 says:

    Yup. Aiding and abetting.

  87. 1up mushroom says:

    #85 Thats how these things usually end, anyway, so I went ahead and got started with that.

  88. error404 says:

    It would be insane to assert that the Palin handlers/speech writers are using deniable subtexts to goad some “publically spirited” individual to assassinate Obama.

    Just like it is madness to imagine that the last 2 elections were shanghaied by massive electoral fraud and gerrymandering.

    It does appear in all seriousness that the GOP is trying desperately to hint that some “patriot” should off this uppity community organiser.

    And yes I am usiong the word uppity in ALL of it’s loaded unpleasantness.

    I wonder if any of the casinos are running a book on what the assassins middle name will be?

    They always have middle names.

    £20 on Hussien.

  89. rleass says:

    #62: whatever “turfing” is, I’m not doing it intentionally (I don’t think, anyway). I’m certainly not being dishonest – I just joined a thread and voiced my opinion, which could be summarized as:

    -”the whole thing sounds sort of shrill” (#25)
    -”someone said somthing that I agree with”
    (parts of it, anyway)(#30)
    -”this person’s post was disemvoweled, when
    none of the others were, and that seems
    deliberately unfair” (#53)
    -explained my usage of the term “echo
    chamber”, and why I think applies here (#61)

    How is that turfing? (seriously, I’m asking…)

  90. Takuan says:

    heh heh ….yahhh, I love you Teresa!

  91. Cowicide says:

    #20 POSTED BY TAKUAN , OCTOBER 28, 2008 3:21 PM

    Palin is not intelligent. Neither is Bush.

    I wonder if they are “intelligently” catering to the electorate vote outside of the cities. Watch videos of Bush when he was Governor of Texas and observe how much more well-spoken and articulate he was until Rove, etc. had him “turn on the charm” and appeal to the wider electorate vote (and serve 2 terms as President).

    Could it be they are actually fantastic actors and not unintelligent in the least? Seriously compare Governor Bush videos with President Bush videos and see for yourself. It’s fricken’ scary, like two different people.

    Kind of fits with Palin’s “dumb” statements about cities not being worth a shit compared to the sticks. I think they know what they are doing, but I hope most everyone has finally had enough of these people (unintelligent or diabalical or otherwise) and will vote in such large numbers for Obama that even the vote rigging hijinks can’t compensate.

    Prediction: Obama will win with 328 electoral votes. It would be more, but there will be serious GOP cheating.

  92. rleass says:

    why was #29 disemvoweled? Because it’s a dissenting voice?

    I call “echo chamber” (which is what #34 seems to want…).

  93. rleass says:

    this is me, letting it go…

  94. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Response imminent.

  95. Daemon says:

    I hadn’t realized that there was anything remotely subtle about palin’s assertations.

  96. Takuan says:

    some vile republican propaganda to entertain during the intermission
    http://focusfamaction.edgeboss.net/download/focusfamaction/pdfs/10-22-08_2012letter.pdf

  97. buddy66 says:

    I seem to remember that a short time — days? a week? — before JFK’s assassination, Adlai Stevenson was whacked on the head by a woman carrying a picket sign at some function in Dallas where Stevenson was to speak. The wirephoto got a lot of exposure.

    I wonder if Lee Harvey was there?

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