Friday, October 05, 2007

Back To Basics. What Ya'll Really Need to Pay Attention to.

Main Entry: bullshit
Date: circa 1942

Intransitive senses - 1 usually vulgar: to talk foolishly, boastfully, or idly. 2 usually vulgar: to engage in a discursive discussion. Transitive senses - usually vulgar : to talk nonsense to especially with the intention of deceiving or misleading.

I am just reminding ya'll why I use this word so much; because there is so much bullshit. And Bullshit is hurting the country. If you were not half as convinced of that before recently as I am, the crap in the public sphere and particularly in Washington D.C. over the past two weeks should have brought you around. Just in case not, I am going short on my original content here and will post some of an article that came out after Professor Frankfurt's seminal work,"On Bullshit," was released.

I keep going back to this subject because I really think it is that important. Well, I could instead talk more about Petreaus/The Surge Is Working (which explains why Iraqis who can, are still leaving Iraq in droves, and millions are staying out, for the time being/violence is down in Baghdad because of the surge (not because of ethnic cleansing )/Limbaugh really doesn't criticize people who disagree with him/He does! Shocking! I had no idea he was a fat-mouthed, fat-assed douchebag, color me surprised! And Outraged!/Well, the DOJ, under direction of Gonzo the Dominatrix General, did not really mean they were secretly approving torture when they drafted that secret memo that authorized secretly using the harshest interrogation techniques/Rudy Is a Hero -- he takes calls from his wife during speeches as an excuse to mention 9/11 -- opps sorry -- BECAUSE of 9/11/Obama is not wearing a flag pin anymore because of the war. Horray! Obama is not wearing a flag pin anymore because of the war. Hippie Commie Pinko Socialist Traitor.

(Get the Point? Ya should, as I was excessive about it.) Anyway here is the refresher course on the evils of bullshit.

Why should bullshit be so prevalent now? The obvious answer is the communications revolution. Cable television and the Internet have created an unending demand for information, and there simply isn't enough truth to go around. So, we get bullshit instead. Indeed, there are some troubling signs that the consumer has come to prefer bullshit. In choosing guests to appear on cable news, bookers will almost always choose a glib ignoramus over an expert who can't talk in clipped sentences. In his book Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline, Richard Posner found a negative correlation between media mentions and scholarly citations for the 100 public intellectuals most mentioned in the media—and these 100 accounted for 67.5 percent of all media mentions!

The Bush administration is clearly more bullshit-heavy than its predecessors. Slate's founding editor, Michael Kinsley,put his finger on the Bush administration's particular style of lying three years ago:
If the truth was too precious to waste on politics for Bush I and a challenge to overcome for Clinton, for our current George Bush it is simply boring and uncool. Bush II administration lies are often so laughably obvious that you wonder why they bother. Until you realize: They haven't bothered.

But by Frankfurt's lights, what Bush does isn't lying at all. It's bullshitting. Whatever you choose to call it, Bush's indifference to the truth is indeed more troubling, in many ways, than what Frankfurt calls "lying" would be. Richard Nixon knew he was bombing Cambodia. Does George W. Bush have a clue that his Social Security arithmetic fails to add up? How can he know if he doesn't care?

Yes, bullshit is bad for the country. I know a lot of people seem to be not only too comfortable with it nowadays, but even seem to like it better than truth/reality.

Again, need I say? All this bullshit is a bad thing?


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