GIVE TIL IT HURTS

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THANKS!

Awestruck

That’s my visceral response to what I think just might be one of the most well-written and -constructed, punchy, and just plain fun to read paragraphs I ever did see, by our good friend and colleague Fran Porretto. Dig, if you will:

Gentle Reader, if you’ve never reflected on the penchant political columnists possess for bending, folding, stapling, and mutilating our sacred language into shapes unimagined by the greatest origamists in human history, now would not be a bad time to start. And for a bonus dollop of illumination: that phrase “would not be a bad time to start” is called a periphrasis. It’s a technique for using negatives to convey a positive suggestion. Paradoxically, this underscores the positive notion. It has the side benefit of making the user sound like W. Somerset Maugham.

See what he did there? A judiciously light dusting of alliteration early on; a reference to “our sacred language,” which I do NOT consider at all hyperbolic or over the top, as I do that “sacred democracy” twipe being thrown around WAY too often nowadays; a direct slap at “journalistic” manipulation via a metaphor so colorful and bright it dazzles; the paradoxically entertaining and educational “bonus dollop of illumination”; lastly, a sly Somerset Maugham reference, which I hope to God I will never come to think of as a bad thing.

That’s the penultimate (well, give or take) ‘graph of a brief post on Doublespeak which is richly deserving of your time and attention, from whence I gleaned a truly rollicking Spencer piece I had til now overlooked. To wit:

Imagine this scenario: a wildly unpopular and manifestly incapable president is running, however haltingly, for reelection. Initially he seemed like a lock, but then he encountered an unexpected challenge from a scion of an old American political family, a man who defies all the conventional categorization of political candidates and has set the establishment on its ear by challenging not only the superannuated corruptocrat in the White House but many of that establishment’s most cherished assumptions.

It would make a great novel, but it’s real life, and it’s an exhilarating reminder that America is still a republic, still a place where the elites can be challenged at all, however entrenched they may appear to be. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has not only challenged the elites, he has frightened them to the core, and that’s wonderful to see. The latest indication of how much of a threat they consider him to be comes from the Los Angeles Times, always a reliable organ for far-Left propaganda. The Left Coast Times is so scared of RFK Jr. that on Monday, it proclaimed, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a threat to your health — and our democracy.”

Now, this is absurd on its face and an insult to the intelligence of the handful of remaining Los Angeles Times readers. The Left has now become so divorced from reality that Times writer Michael Hiltzik would have us believe that a contested Democrat party primary is bad for “our democracy.” But a full-out coronation of Old Joe to serve another four years as the figurehead for the shadowy individuals who are really running things? Why, that would be “our democracy” personified. One candidate, inevitable outcome? Good democracy! Two candidates, unclear outcome? Bad democracy!

For the millionth time, we don’t have a “democracy,” we have a republic. But the key point here is that, once again, Leftists have confirmed the fact that when they talk about “our democracy,” they don’t actually mean anything democratic at all. They are referring not to any kind of democracy, but to their own hegemony. The only “democracy” that involves one candidate receiving the forced adulation of the masses and reelection by acclimation from all those who don’t want to end up in the gulag is the type that is practiced in states such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea.

The North Koreans will happily explain to you how the personality cult of Kim Jong Un is the very embodiment of the popular will and thus the quintessential expression of “democracy,” and that’s what Michael Hiltzik and the Los Angeles Times have in mind for the folks at home. “Democracy” means we all learn to love Old Joe, or whomever the elites decide ultimately to replace him with. It doesn’t mean that we actually have a choice between different candidates, unless those candidates all have elite approval, and RFK Jr. decidedly does not.

Nobody out there ought to be holding their breath waiting for me to endorse RFKjr, lest they end up purple-faced, suffocating, and deeply disappointed. That said, I do enjoy the fact that—as one Donald John Trump also did not so long ago—he gives the creeping fantods to a whole bunch of people I despise from the very depths of my gizzard.

13 thoughts on “Awestruck

  1. In the context of the paragraph in which it is written I have to correct and error that bugs me much like writing “loose” when something has gone missing.
    Whence means “from where” so writing “from whence” is redundant.
    “. . .deserving of your time and attention, from whence I gleaned a truly rollicking. . . 

    1. Heh. Apologies, Steve, I knew that. There are several little stupid grammar no-no’s I commit on purpose regularly, just ’cause I think it’s funny. I’m really, really bad about going completely nuts with the excess alliteration every once in a while, for example. Using terms that have come to be considered archaic and improper, like “whilst” instead of “while,” is another faux pas I commit often.

      It amuses me, but I certainly get how you feel about such foolishness; in fact, when I see other people doing it, it grates on me like a friggin’ mosquito buzzing around my head. I really need to cut that silliness out, I guess. Misspellings like the one you mentioned I especially can’t stand, they just kill me.

      I must confess, though, that I still do have issues with “who” and “whom.” Nobody has ever explained the rules on those in a way that I could keep straight in my head. So when I screw that up, you’ll know that it’s not just me goofing around–it was an actual, for-real fuck-up.

      1. Whom replaces who after a preposition as in For Whom the Bells Toll.
        More technically, who is subject form and whom is the object form.

        While we’re on the subject of grammar, you have a tendency (perhaps on purpose) to use disinterested (neutral) when the proper word is uninterested (not interested).
        For example, a judge trying a case should always be disinterested but never uninterested.

        1. Thanks, Henry, never did hear the who/whom dilemma put quite that way. Disinterested and uninterested calls to mind another pair of troublesome words that have always given me fits: mistrust and distrust. I always feel like I’m using the wrong one just about every damned time.

          Man, I been doing this writing-professionally thing since I was 15, you’d think I’d be better at it. 😀

          1. I like the way you right write just fine. My children are all skilled writers, skilled in the use of the English language*, and when they write a text or email they discard those skills for brevity.

            Discarding the perfect spelling/punctuation/grammar rules to make a point or provide a bit of levity works just fine IMO.

            *and others

      2. I understand about your use of grammar no-no’s. I actually enjoy them and I often insert malaprops into my speech for subtle humor or just to see if anyone will catch them.

    1. Ain’t it, though? That’s another good ‘un I picked up from Huck Finn, if I remember right. “Shivering fantods, or “screaming fantods” it was, I think. At any rate, it sounds like something Huck would have said.

      I DO know I picked it up from some book or other I read as a kid, and I loved Twain’s writing so much I musta read Huck Finn about forty bazillion times back in the days of my youth. I always did like the way the word felt, but seems like there’s just never near enough opportunity to trot it out.

  2. Fran is a fine writer, I read his stuff frequently.

    I’ll disagree on the definition of periphrasis however. It is the use of more words, a longer phrase than necessary.

  3. “threat to democracy” and “the science” are two of the latest marxist party twisting of the language to mean the exact opposite of what they actually are.

  4. It’s their democracy, not our democracy, they own it, we pay for it. As for RFK Jr, his campaign will come to the same end as Bernie Sanders – the DNC, a privately held non-profit corporation headquartered in New York City – will choose the candidate it desires, and they can ignore primaries, refuse to seat delegates, and do whatever they wish in order to give their preselected candidate the nomination, and they will be upheld by the courts. The same goes for the RNC – look at what happened to Ron Paul in 2012. Neither party is democratic in the least, primaries are for increasing name recognition and voter engagement and nothing else. Promises to run a fair and impartial process are not binding and will not be enforced, no matter how blatant the fraud and cheating. The only remedy is for the aggrieved voter to vote for someone else. The Democrats – the DNC – could nominate Biden, public opinion and polls be damned, and the Republicans – the RNC – could similarly nominate Jeb “Please applaud” Bush, and no court would hear any case about the matter. As I said in my first sentence, It’s their democracy, not our democracy, they own it, we pay for it, and unless this system is altered or abolished, it will continue, no matter how loudly you protest or how hard you vote.

    1. Pretty accurate, but there are some additional points worth exploring.

      “It’s their democracy”. True, but who is “their”?
      “not our democracy” True if you are not a member, false if you are.

      The republican party (which I am not now, nor ever have been a member*) consists of those that band together for their own reasons, nothing more.

      You can join and become a “their”. How much influence you have will depend upon your checkbook.

      While the courts are reluctant to get involved with private political party’s, as they should be, fraud and cheating may very well fall under the courts purview. It all depend upon the harm shown. Contract law and rules are still enforceable.

      https://prod-static.gop.com/media/Rules_Of_The_Republican_Party.pdf

      *I’ve also been registered as an independent my entire life since turning 18, and in that time of 52 years have voted for one (1) democrat, a congressman who was the father of a girlfriend (and a conservative Southern democrat)

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