Saturday, July 14, 2018

Words Mean Little Anymore

While I realize it is not healthy to obsess over things over which I have no control, I find myself consistently astounded and dispirited by the dystopian reality we now inhabit. While the world has been deteriorating for many years, I find it hard to deal with the fact that we now live in a world which, were it a movie script, would be rejected by all major studios as so preposterous that it would have no chance of box-office success. A script that showed such complete contempt for the audience's intelligence would be a very tough sell.

And yet that is precisely the world that Donald Trump and his ilk inhabit and cultivate, a world where the president and his enablers utter the most outrageous falsehoods shamelessly and fearlessly. We have descended into a world where words have lost their meaning.

The Star's Daniel Dale keeps a running tally of Trump's mendacity which you can filter by topic. I urge you to visit the site. As well, today's Star explores this phenomenon,
the most comprehensive picture yet available of what historians say is an unprecedented avalanche of serial lying.
The following news story features Trump in his full mendacious 'glory,' his absolute contempt for truth and, by extension, people, made manifest:

Although it is likely apocryphal, the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times," has never seemed more relevant or more biting.


  1. I came across a review of a book by Michiko Nakutani, "The Death of Truth" that discusses how, for a significant segment of the population, truth is now grounded in belief, liberated from the earlier restraints of facts, knowledge and evidence. They're calling it "Truth Decay."

    The article begins with this passage from Hanna Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism:

    “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

    1. Thanks for the book reference, Mound. I checked at my library website, and it is on order. I have placed a hold on it.

      Arendt clearly knew of what she spoke. And we have garnered no wisdom from history's lessons.

  2. That is what is so disturbing about this moment, Lorne. We have been here before. But we appear to have no memory of it.

    1. Perhaps our fatal flaw as a species is that we are very, very slow learners, Owen.

  3. .. this is the era of political deceit, serial lying daily.
    Stephen Harper understood.. 365 consecutive days of lying
    was impossible to track for media or audience
    Four years.. ? Oh.. no wonder people don't vote
    Eyes glaze over.. it all gets tuned out in short order
    maybe the average citizenry will look in..
    just for a peek in a month or two.. or maybe not..
    Despite a Daniel Dale.. or whomever

    It may be the most effective vote suppression
    in the history of North America

    Trump et al just take it to extremes we have never seen
    and pile abuse, insult and denial atop the whole steaming
    pile of horse pucky.. or just blame the other side
    or the previous administration..
    To say the lines of truth are blurred is laughable
    There are lines no longer..
    Instead there is the dark abyss

    1. I agree, Sal. But elevating the absurd to the proportions that Trump has, his unhinged supporters gain energy and increased zeal, while many others disengage in disgust. Methinks there is much mischief afoot, and much method in his madness.

    2. somewhat specifically off topic.. but related to political deceit
      I already posted this to Mound this AM
      but wanted to land it in your hands directly
      I posted it last week on Twitter
      Its an astonishing 'must read'

    3. It is astonishing, Sal, and serves as an ample indictment of the Trudeau government's neoliberal ineptitude in purchasing the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Taxpayers will be paying a long, long time for such stranded assets.