Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is James Clyburn Lapsing in the Heat?

Gentle Readers, I'm sitting here in the cool green mountains...well, they really are green, anyway. The temperature's been in the eighties all day; the humidity's been in the nineties. Any two things that aren't supposed to stick together, e.g. clothes and skin, are sticking tight. Any two things that are supposed to stick together, e.g. shoe tops and shoe soles, are falling apart. And I know that, due to the similar weather pattern plus the local warming effect, the air in Washington and Baltimore is equally humid and hard to breathe, but the temperature is probably fifteen degrees hotter. I've been there. I survived, by staying in fully climate-controlled buildings all day. I know this is not the kind of day when anybody's brain has been running at its best...

Well, I hope for his family's sake that U.S. Representative James Clyburn (D-MD) is at least in some relatively cool place like Clarksville or Frostburg. In D.C., people who looked younger than he does have died in this kind of weather. And although poor Mr. Clyburn seems in the photo to be standing up all by himself, according to Becket Adams, he isn't making a lot of sense...

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/22/conservative-blogs-are-like-nazi-propaganda-dem-rep-says/

Like Nazi propaganda? We are like Nazi propaganda? How, exactly, Mr. Clyburn, could you try to tell us how? We certainly are not "Pure Aryans." I'm multiracial, and the writers cited, linked, and published here are a mixed group. We're anti-censorship. We post things that aren't "conservative" and things that aren't Christian and all sorts of other things that reflect viewpoints different from mine, or Grandma Bonnie Peters', or Gena Greene's. Sometimes we don't even bother to mention how different. We're opposed to all violence, all totalitarianism, and nearly all interference with whatever other people choose to do as long as it's not materially harming someone else. Nazi propaganda? ???

No. I have to be fair--after all I'm not a Nazi. Propaganda is propaganda. All successful propaganda works partly by exploiting and incorporating the basic properties of gossip and chatter. Blogs are electronically published gossip and chatter. What you're reading here is the kind of thing you might hear me say in a coffeehouse, if I still hung out in coffeehouses. It's not deliberately manipulated; I welcome corrections; how many times do I have to type here that, if you catch me in an error of fact, I want you to shout it out? It's as accurate as I know how to make it, and that's not all that much less accurate than the standard for even decent newspapers--I've caught plenty of errors of fact in the Washington Post over the years too. But it's certainly not perfect. It's chatter. It's what I saw this afternoon, and what somebody told me, and what somebody sent me in the e-mail. It's dedicated to the Highest Good of all--which does not preclude, in the case of certain politicians who don't seem to understand our Constitution, their being happier and more productive in non-political jobs. It's talk, Gentle Readers.

Nazi propaganda also included talk, although in their case the talk was deliberately manipulated by deliberate Big Lies. If Mr. Clyburn wants to say that talk resembles Nazi propaganda, he's right, as far as that goes. But he might at least acknowledge that his talk resembles Nazi propaganda at least as much as mine does.