Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Had an epiphany while I was out driving & bike-riding around the seashore yesterday. My epiphany was…I’ve been hearing for the last four years about how this speech or that speech — from a certain person who is our President right now — is so wonderful that it is going to be studied in law schools for generations or whatever. This would imply, to someone who thinks about it lazily as I have been doing, that the text will be excerpted and then that will be put in a book somewhere. Is this not, after all, what “study a speech” has meant historically?
But no. You can’t “study” these speeches that way. True, if you could, you could then pick the speeches apart, identify sections, themes, tropes, passive/active voice statements, targets of praise/criticism being called out…and that would be healthy. But no. These are purely video speeches. You watch the speeches or you don’t absorb anything about ’em at all, and you might as well not know about them.
“Wonderful speech” doesn’t even mean wonderful-speech anymore. It is a reference to the audience’s reaction.
For example, would a transcript of Jennifer Granholm’s speech (hat tip to Rick) capture the “wonderfulness”? I think not…
Frequent readers & lurkers of these parts know that about a month ago, we had a gadfly challenging us to come up with a definition for “left wing” and pronouncing as inadequate any response that failed to live up to encyclopedic standards. We ended up in an endless cyclonic “this exchange ain’t over until it’s over the way I say” badminton match, disagreeing over whether left-wing-ism, being so thoroughly grounded in deceit as it is, can be defined in such a way. And whether a series of “Jeff Foxworthy” type of you-might-be-one-if tests would be an acceptable alternative…or could be taken seriously…or if that’s about as good as it gets.
Granholm’s speech offers me another epiphany: Left-wing-ism, in this day and age, could be defined as a resentment. Let’s give it a try: Left-wing politics appeal to a target audience within a selected economic class, blaming everyday-life pains and sufferings and exigencies on the next-higher economic class. That works pretty well, in that it carries the bonus advantage that it was just as true during the storming of the Bastille as it is today. If it works any better today than it did back then, it is because all the other attributes of leftism have been in a relative recession. This core-attribute of it, regardless of whatever prominence it had or had not achieved at any given time relative to the other attributes, has been a constant. If it has not been eminent every single year, it might as well have been.
It does require some tweaking in isolated cases. Homosexuals, I’ve read, are statistically better educated on average, and therefore higher earners. I don’t know how you go about verifying that, but it seems provable that the left-wing appeal there, and in other situations, is non-economic. So let us broaden it: Left-wing politics feed on, and are driven by, feelings of resentment festering within one class toward another. The definition of left-wing politics would be a pursuit of action, vis a vis public policy, based on those resentments. We’ve seen this in Sandra Fluke, and other such “gifted speakers,” as they have molded and shaped ShouldBeForcedTo into a single, almost monosyllabic, word. My goodness, how easily they say “should be forced to.” It’s like they muttered it as the doctor whacked their little butts right after they were born…when mom’s contraceptives weren’t available, or didn’t work.
Right-wing politics would, therefore, be defined as a rebuke of “um, let’s not” when the time comes to propose the change in public policy.
Questions outstanding: Is it possible to look at your own political movement as “unifying,” or deny that it is divisive in nature, when about the only way it can be functionally defined is as a desire for action based on resentments? When it is inherently divisive? When the only workable way to identify your opposition is in terms of “um, let’s not” in response to the changes proposed based on these resentments?
And, am I the only one who’s sick of these “wonderful” speeches that are wonderful only in video form? I’m sure there are others who agree with my ideological leanings who are similarly fed up with it; it would make me feel a lot better if I could perceive some similar fatigue up & down the spectrum. How about the libs? I can truthfully say that if I caught up with a speech in Granholm format, delivered by a politician who thought my way about things, I wouldn’t be any happier with it.
Here we come to a second candidate for definition of left-wing-ism…or rather, definition of the weaknesses in thinking and in character that lead to sympathy for, and eventual recruitment into, left-wing visions and schemes. It seems to be a consistency that the greatness of people, speeches, ideas and things, are entirely validated by something external to those people, speeches, ideas and things. And that is something I find truly fascinating — it’s like we’re having an ideological disagreement about the classic timeless riddle, “If a tree falls down in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Granholm, or Clinton, or Obama, tells the crowd what the crowd is ready to hear and the crowd goes wild, that makes the “speech” a great speech even though, if you were to transcribe what was said, the result wouldn’t be all-that. The right-winger, on the other hand, looks at something accomplished that doesn’t exactly set the world on fire, thinks on it a little bit, and comes away with “imagine what it takes to be able to…” A perfect example of this is a soldier sent stateside because he lost his limb, or his face, in a roadside bomb, and the first thing he wants to do after his prosthetic is fitted is go back. Or, if he doesn’t make it stateside, his parents moving his wife and baby son in and helping to raise the child. To a lefty, as the video aptly demonstrates, it is the approving roar of the crowd that makes these things great, in fact it is the approval that is the greatness. They may appreciate the stuffing out of an abandoned single-mother raising her child alone, or even better, going back to school to get a better education. But the truth is that they like these stories because they associate them with crowd-approval and inter-class resentment. The proof? Try to get a lefty feminist excited about a single dad, in exactly the same situation doing exactly the same thing.
To a right-winger, the greatness lives in the deed itself, as well as in the internal gifts that made it possible. The capability and the will, as well as the ultimate effect, the greatness lives in all three, regardless of whether someone steps forward to express their approval of it. And regardless of the class membership of the person who does the deed.
Anyway, about the speeches. I’m at the Popeye Stage with the Clinton/Obama era of dazzling super-mega-awesome speeches. I’ve had all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more.
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