Saturday, December 11, 2004

The War Against Cliche

The fog of war hovers over the language clouding over every utterance with opaque cliche. Cliche is symptomatic of an entropic democracy where meaningless statements are repeated unconsciously by the masses.

Bloggers -- the Fifth Estate -- must wage war against cliche, guerilla, trench, by any means. Cliche is our great enemy. Turn on talk radio, C-Span, Fox, the bad political blogs, whatever -- and you'll hear those lines, recited endlessly, meaning, essentially, nothing..

Here are some of the worst offenses (Averted Gaze) and what their use says -- IMHO, mind you -- about the speaker:

Cliche #1: "History teaches us .."
What this says about the speaker: This statement is usually followed by some spurious argument or other. The author of this cliche knows little of history, per se. Usually a man, the speaker spends an inordinate time reading books about the Third Reich. Often watches the Godfather. Is obsessed about, "power." They may frequently also be known to say, cryptically, "It's all about power .." May torture small animals in their garage apartment. The speaker has the emotional maturity of a 14 year old boy.
Idolizes: Bismark. Don Corleone. Unrepentant war criminal Henry Kissinger.

Cliche #2: "Let's do it for the children ..", also, "Let's do it for the community"
What this says about the speaker: Either of these meaningless cliches are usually followed by a media press conference and the handing out of Christmas toys or Thanksgiving turkeys. The other 364 days of the year will be devoted to making ultraviolent, misogynistic acoustical noise. The speaker is of the music industry, most likely a rapper, or in some urban territory therein. Their music has been known to provoke violence, which helps them move more records in the suburbs. By doing it "for the children", or "the community", they believe they can counteract the bad press and the essentially rightful claims as to the negative value of their *ahem* art, are to the detriment of, er, "the children" and "the community".
Idolizes: Scarface. Johnny Depp in Blow.

Cliche #3: "... Protect human rights of .."
What this says about the speaker: Naive. The speaker would essentially like to buy the world a Coke. They believe that if you just, like, dood, just talk to a dictator, you know, really, person-to-person, like, man, make him listen -- he'll free his people and join Greenpeace.
Essentially harmless, this speaker -- also politically impotent and entirely clueless about the fundamental nature of man ... Attends "rallies."
If the speaker recites these three words in rapid succession, they are liberal circa:1975; if the speaker speaks these three words with a straight face, they are of the "Bleeding Heart" subspecies; and, alas, if the speaker professes these three words with a tear about the eye and a stack of petitions under their arms, they are utterly hopeless, and demand more your pity than your scorn. thoroughly "Mommy"-oriented. Quite possibly vegan, but may also have been an underweight premature child.
Idolizes: Jimmy Carter. The UN. "Mother Goose" (Averted Gaze) Magazine.

Cliche #4: "... In the national interest."
What this says about the speaker: Neoconservative, chilly, intellectual (sub specie aeternitatis: "Democratic Realist"), coopted from the Realists. Had an intense and vaguely unsettling relationship with "Father," in which the Remote Judge figure insisted on perfection.
Deeply Anti UN, which is related to the bigoted UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (which was revoked in 1991, though this person wasn't listening or caring) equating Zionism with Racism. Probably went to or taught at one time or another at Harvard. Probably studied in the cruel social sciences departments therein, and from there learned, sadly, to observe humans as one would an entomological species. Religiously devoted to the practice of spreading democracy, but secretly couldn't care less about bringing it to the Third World, which he/she in private, after a few 18 year old scotches, and and among buddies, will regard quite loquatiously, as "a problem."
Idolizes: Former Senator (we miss you, Pat) Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Charles Krauthammer. Jeanne Kirkpatrick. Midge Decter. (secretly) Asian people, IQ and culture.

Cliche #5: "Stopping gay marriage is the most important issue regarding America today."
What this says about the speaker: Evangelical Christian. "Boy the way Glenn Miller played." Books are their kryptonite to these people. "Songs that made the hit parade." Often homophobia is hiding one's own personal gay issues. "Guys like us they had it made. Those were the days."
Idolizes: Jerry Falwell. The 700 Club.

Cliche #5: "We've got to seal up our borders ..."
What This Says about the Speaker: Gun owner, quite possibly of an assault weapon. Would favor an electrical barbed wire fence to cover the entire Mexican-American border, no matter the cost, no matter how unrealistic, while leaving the Canadian-American border side free .. The speaker of this has long lost faith with the Republican party, which he/she characterizes as being, "for sissies" ... Paranoia compelled the speaker to also purchase an overly aggressive guard dog -- German Shepherd? Doberman? -- for his/her property, which is, more than likely, a dilapidated shack in the outskirts of town.
Idolizes: Pat Buchanan. Michael Savage.

Cliche #6: "... Oppressed Peoples ..."
What This Says About the Speaker: The simple word "Oleanna" could begin and end any discussion on this particular topic, but there would be any edification involved ... Using race or gender to enhance one's own position and diminish that of others in a new and forbidding atmosphere where one is racially or sexually outnumbered, i.e, a new college or workplace ... Minority, most likely at an exclusive private school, quite possibly located in New England, most likely born from the solid Middle Class or Upper Middle Class, but likes to identify with "The Oppressed"; or -- also quite possible -- a Professor, most likely, but not necessarily, white, politically impotent, making six figures, will fuck hott students, blissfully unread in the ancient classics ("dead white males .." "we need more courses in diversity and gender studies, less in philosophy and literature"), a celebrity, of sorts, in that island-of-misfit-toys, called: Academia ("famous for academia") ... Likes to rebel, threaten administration.
Idolizes: Derrida, Stanley Fish,

Cliche#7: "We gotta support our boys ..."
What This Says About the Speaker: The speaker must have a harridan voice and shout this at the top of her lungs on right wing talk radio. Either the speaker was in the military or urban police force, or his children are, either way, the Speaker would identify him/herself with a particular branch of the military or the police (i.e. "An Army Family") ... Basically this says that if a police officer shoots an unarmed kid with no prior arrests, or if soldiers torture and humiliate enemies, then it is okay with them, constitution be damned ... Primary loyalties to the military.
Idolizes: John McCain. Mark Furman.

1 comment:

The Corsair said...

wow, i cannot believe i didn't get angry emails about this. i was expecting some. either you guys get my sense of humor (yay) or i'm losing my touch.