Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Language games

Over at Andrew Klavan, Andrew Klavan is trying to be a nice guy, a Good Conservative. It's about race and who's a racist, etc. Zzzzzzz.

The whole discussion is doomed from the start. Because as long as we accept the terms, literally, the terms "racist" and "not racist", we get nowhere. Not that there's anywhere to go in any case.

As long as that Sword of Damocles (pardon the White EuroCentric reference) hangs over the issue, it's just ping pong. Which is Cantonese for BS. It's as useless as homophobe, Islamophobe, sexist, xenophobe, antiSemite, etc. etc. It only means Whose Side Are You On?

And it's based on the fraudulent assumption that all Blacks (unless Republicans) are victims of White Racism and therefore have absolute moral capital as judges of who and who is not OK.  If Mitt Romney, rather than Jesse Jackson, had said he was nervous around groups of young Black men, we'd be hearing about it still and he'd be replaying Henry IV at Canossa.

Because in every case, someone is waiting to play the judge as to whether, based on your beliefs (or even your facts...especially your facts), your attitudes or your behavior, you are The Worst Kind of Bad Person or Okay For Now As Long As You Feel Bad. One of Us or one of Them.

I have no problem with Us or Them. But it's the gameplaying about it that irks me.


Anonymous said...

Turns out belief, behavior and self are three different things. Sometimes they overlap, either as compliments or contradictions. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they change, either together or individually.

This should not be a cosmic revelation to any adult. I see it lacking in most political talk.

Anonymous said...

... And yet in defense of the gameplaying, we should admit that the circus can really make a lot out of a single death, namely Trayvon's. "Wars" or military violence do away with thousands and thousands, frequently in really gruesome, agonizing slow-death; but it's all simply statistics, and usually statistics that are either not tally'd up or are tally'd up and bury'd.

Yes, if Deryshire had simply claim'd to extrapolate on Jesse Jackson when warning his children to avoid blacks whom they don't know, it would have been impossible for NR to fire him. In fact there wouldn't even have been a fuss at all. But ultimately this means we should revere the circus for its commotion poetics. Locke's cold political of doing progress doesn't generate a commotion which Rameau's nephew finds boring, or rather he sees in boringness a way to traduce Locke's cold politics. ... Hölderlin: "by commotion man dwells."

The only thing that seems missing is a serious purpose or agenda, or an orchestrator to impose a serious purpose or agenda on the circus. ... Unless the agenda is simply to ruin American ideals as possible pragmata.

In the 1960s, there was serious commotion, but the commotion was not "mere circus loosed upon the world," and MLK was taken seriously when he preach'd his "I have a dream" agenda sermon. But maybe in today's circus he would sound simply insane in real time. ...

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