Tuesday 20th August 2019

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Words, Words, Words

August 10, 2019 Frontpage No Comments


Who said it first? Was it Hamlet? Or Liza Doolittle? In the 50’s my father, who headed a presidential commission for Eisenhower, found one of its members to be especially loquacious. Apparently one Hubert Humphrey, a new senator from Minnesota, had a little machine that he constantly dictated into. It was always hanging around his neck, ready to spring into action at the very first hint of a thought.
“Hubert gets paid by the word,” Dad laughed. (As the youngest of a very talkative family, I thought that sounded like a pretty good idea. In retrospect, I did my honest best to earn my room and board.)
In 1984 (yes, Orwell’s), Symes was assigned by the Ministry of Truth to rewrite the Newspeak Dictionary. His goal was to reduce the number of words in the English language to somewhere around 500. In fact, his mononymous name reflects the urgency of his effort (I had to look it up: mononymous indicates a person whose full name is one word. The rock & roller son of our former sheriff here in the middle of nowhere actually went to court to change his legal name to a one-word description of his music. I don’t recall what word he chose, but “horrific” would have been appropriate. His father, who helped me chase trespassers off our bottomland, said his son made tons of money after that. Unfortunately, Symes didn’t enjoy the same fruits of his labor. He was vaporized).
But back to NewSpeak, where that last paragraph-as-one-sentence would have gotten me vaporized too. So: In order to achieve his frugal goal, Symes invented several neologisms. One of his techniques was quite appealing. Instead of “good, better, best,” he coined “good, plusgood, and doubleplusgood.” And he doubled down by adding “ungood, plusungood, and doubleplusungood.”
All in a day’s work.
Today, Symes’ apostles would be pleased. In the past 35 years (since 1984 — although Orwell wrote the work in 1948, and reversed the last two digits), the Left has reduced their vocabulary to well under a dozen words. Of course, this is in reference to Trump, but what else do they talk about but Trump? And those words, so familiar to us all, constitute the Left’s entire metaphysical universe — except they don’t believe in metaphysics, being dialectical materialists — you know, like Teilhard.

Artificial Pearls And Real Swine

But I digress. The chosen words of America’s Left rattle like artificial pearls, cast by real swine, as they fall off the parched and petulant lips of their faux versions of Demosthenes (wasn’t he the guy who practiced speaking with pebbles in his mouth, walking along the beach and perfecting his oratory skills?). We hear these words thousands of times a day — or perhaps per hour, if your radio is on. So I thought I would look a few of them up and match them with the president’s name on Google, that Versificator Machine that Big Brother would have died for (and which he allegedly controls in real life — but that’s another story).
The results of my search inquiry are instructive. Here are a few:
Pairing “Trump” and “fascist” renders twelve million results. That means that Google can link me to twelve million unique web pages or videos that call President Trump a “fascist.” Put “Trump” and “Hitler” together and you’ll get 74 million (why so many more? Well, today’s students kinda know that “fascism” is bad somehow, but they’re very sure about Adolf). Pair “Trump” and “hate” and you get a cool billion. Search for “Trump” “racist” and you’ll have 279 million links to choose from. “Trump” and “divisive” gets a paltry 21 million, but most of them are newer, given that even duller minds eventually get worn out drinking the stale sauce.
Now, I wanted to be even-handed, so I paired the same terms with “Obama.” Unfortunately, however, most of the results — in the fewer millions — merely referred to Obama and his allies calling Trump “Hitler,” “fascist,” “hate,” “racist,” and “divisive.” No one would dare, apparently, to call Obama a “racist” or “fascist,” and certainly not “Hitler.” To paraphrase former Senate Republican Majority Leader Howard Baker, “that door doesn’t swing both ways.”
Oh, I even tried “Hillary” — at random, I chose “divisive” for this aspect of my superlatively thorough scientific inquiry. The first result was, “Hillary Clinton calls Mike Pence a divisive, anti-woman. . . . ” — so I gave up.
Now, using another advanced scientific tool, I added up the results for all of the Trump totals and got about two billion. Then, to pacify any possible scholarly critics, I also employed what we savvy social science researchers call a “double-blind” test. Although I don’t quite know what that term means, I Googled “free porn.” Wow, I got half a billion links! I just got 500,000,000 very enticing, engaging, and sophisticated invitations to free porn sites!
It took me a while to let it sink in, but the results are inescapable. We live in an advanced age. We are approaching the noosphere (that’s for Teilhard fans), the apex of scientific knowledge and civilized discourse. In this moment that represents the peak of evolutionary perfection, calling Donald Trump “Hitler,” “fascist,” “hate,” “racist,” and “divisive” is four times as popular as getting really good porn for free.

The Pornography Of The Will

OK, I admit it. I didn’t bother to go find my Liddell-Scott-Jones Ancient Greek dictionary. It is buried in one of those piles of my once-treasured reference books, several shelves worth, which my beloved better half has stacked vertically to save space in the next room. So I Googled it. I searched for “Ancient Greek Word Pornos.”
I got a page full of sites offering “Ancient Greek Porn Videos.” I’m not kidding.
I’m not the classics major in the family, so I passed on that opportunity. But I recall the term originally referring to prostitution (“pornos” being the masculine version). Now apparently, prostitution was considered bad, but appealing, even in the height of Greek civilization. It satisfied a primitive but powerful craving, an “appetite” the satisfaction of which could (in Catholic terms) easily be pursued in a disordered fashion.
At this point in our inquiry, other Catholic terms come to mind. The libido dominandi, the “lust of rule” which itself rules, and commands, the earthly city, the ruler of which is Satan (Augustine, City of God, I, preface). And superbia vitae (1 John 2:16), “the pride of life,” the insatiable earthly desire for fame and glory. These vices are truly deadly sins. They corrupt an appetite, a passion, a desire more powerful even than sexual lust.
Now the results of our inquiry above reveal a dirty little secret of the Left. It too offers its addicts “free porn” — in Malcolm Muggeridge’s phrase, a “pornography of the will.” Like the sexual kind, this lust is a perversion, and its indulgence destroys any possibility or truly rational discourse, in the same fashion that its sexual version murders any possibility of marital virtue.
The Left’s virtual Epithet Factory, then, has two goals: first, to satisfy the lust for power, glory, and fame that saturates the souls of its acolytes. And it is ultimately violent: We can never forget that their uniting passion is the murder of countless millions of unborn children.
And second, it destroys the possibility of rational discourse, which the Left flees like Trotsky fled Lenin: for the Left, engaging in honest discourse means certain death.
Of course, this time around, the target is Donald Trump. But we’re talking deadly sins here. They’ll be around far longer than Donald Trump. Didn’t Christ tell us as much?

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