Sunday, 24 November 2013

Words Still Have Meanings

So I'm back, and I am once again compelled (not really) to point out that words have meanings.  The English language, as well as History, are commonly suffering serious abuse from the ignorant and the mendacious, and while it is true that language is fluid, facts are not.  A recent controversy reared its perfectly coiffed head when Sarah Palin, part-time governor of Alaska, complained that President Obama's economic policies were putting the US in debt to China and this was, on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, just like slavery.  This is patently absurd, though as with everything in the history of ever, apologists appear to try to polish this turd.  Usually the explanation is along the lines of "the Bible/dictionary describes debt as also being slavery in a sense", which would be remotely relevant if Palin were capable of reading either.  The context of her remarks make it clear the particular type of slavery to which she was referring, and MSNBC's Martin Bashir took great offense.

Then his offense caused offense in the Republican camp, because they cannot accept that anyone on their primitive tribal side could ever do anything remotely wrong.  Bashir summed up the horror of slavery with a story from the diary of a slave owner who recounted twice forcing one slave to shit in the mouth of another.  He then used this as a pointed attack on Palin having the temerity to imply that one country owing money to another (most of that debt, as it happens, having been accrued under the previous Republican administration, often off the books), and suggested that if she had gone through something similar, she would not be so casual or ignorant with her terminology.

Cue sharp intakes of breath and a torrent of appalled commentators at Bashir's remarks.  The man even spelled out the word 'shit' on TV!  Appalling.  Outrageous.  Completely inappropriate.  Even liberals were disgusted with Martin Bashir, though they were quick to continue sniping at Fox News' professional outrage in their own way.  Just not while defending Bashir, you know.  They do not condone what he said, because saying Palin should eat shit and die is completely indefensible.

I can defend Bashir's remarks, and I shall: he didn't say Sarah Palin should be forced to eat shit, he said that if she had an inkling of what it was like to be the sort of person others found it acceptable to force to eat shit, that might be enough to get her to understand what slavery truly is and how wildly inappropriate her remarks about debt to China were. His point was that she lacks empathy and lacks perspective and her entirely selfish nature means it may require simply putting her through the same circumstances in order for her to get it. He did not, at any point, suggest that it should actually be done. It was a colourful and complex metaphor pushing back against an obtuse and despicable abuse of history.  It was, in a word, accurate.

The commentariat of the left has got to stop crumbling into a litany of mea culpas the second somebody says something a bit awkward. This woman could have ended the world with her ignorance if she got into the White House, she encouraged shooting political opponents, and we're falling over ourselves to make sure we're clear that we don't condone somebody insulting her in a manner deliberately misunderstood by the Republican whinge machine?  I call enormous, several storeys tall and stinking bullshit on that.

And The Blaze's Amy Holmes can fuck off with her infantile remarks about Bashir's show not having particularly high ratings. This is fucking politics you fucking moron, not a playground argument about which comic book hero is better because he sold the most issues. When the commentary turns from pushing back against bullshit to hand-wringing and token apologies for daring to say something that is true, this kind of inane crap gets to be floated unchallenged and the viewing public get just a little dumber by osmosis.

Now, since I said the word 'fuck' a couple of times, obviously I am much worse than a serial liar who ignores reality and upends political discourse on a zany whim between helicopter hunting trips.  At this point, might as well contort what I said into a suggestion that Palin should be fucked by a polar bear or something equally ludicrous and flat out wrong, because in the present media climate, what you say and what they hear are two entirely different things.

Until next time, your moment of zen:


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