Harrumph!

43+ Governor William J. Le Petomane: We’ve got to protect our phony baloney jobs, gentle
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Mark Kahn
Mark Kahn
1 month ago

Give the governor harrumph!”

One of your best analogies ever – and that’s saying a lot.

Jane VanFossen
Jane VanFossen
1 month ago

Brilliant diagnosis, Doctor Guinn! Anytime you include Burke, J.S. Mill, MLK, Jefferson (and Harvey Korman) in one commentary, you’ve hit a truly important conceptual target.

Eric
Eric
1 month ago

I feel like some of this is our inability to handle nuance. It *seems* (that is, I don’t know or have any specific evidence) that mass communication, by its nature, demands the simplification of messages. Dealing with intractable problems is difficult, requires consensus and compromise, and involves trade-offs between policies that may desirable but incompatible. It is just easier from a communications standpoint to focus on one specific issue and hammer it like a propagandist. So, for instance, instead of discussions about/destruction/removal of monuments being just a part of a larger “ideology” or movement or protest it becomes the focus of the rhetoric. I feel like there’s an unfortunate confluence between what is easy to do and what is simple to act upon. It’s riskless and easy to send a broad message of performative, rhetorical support for a simple part of a complex issue. Ex. A tweet saying: “I have white privilege and we need to stop ignoring it as a society.” And then doing nothing and changing nothing. But because there’s no risk and no rigor it lacks meaning, and can only serve the previously organized/existing channels and divisions. I think your framework here of Holy vs. Deadly is a great way to understand how all of our public discourse (or, at least a lot of it) gets dragged out of reality into the rhetorical plane of narrative and speech. All of this to say: I wonder if social media/the internet/24 hour news has truly made us all into… Read more »

Eric
Eric
1 month ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

If you were referring to cook-book essay then I guess ET and their audience are on the same wave-length – though wasn’t expecting that much porn. Thanks!

Howard Wetsman
Howard Wetsman
1 month ago

Rusty, I celebrated the 4th by watching Hamilton and I was struck by how it seemed an anthem to the current bottom up movement. I had the hopeful feeling that it would be the classic of our time, that these young people and those young people sprang from the same unending revolutionary fount. Thanks for putting the risks to this revolution in such clear terms.

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