Every Political Conversation Right Now
There has been a total breakdown in communication between conservatives and liberals. Perhaps it is more accurate to say between the “awake” and the “woke,” or the Red Pilled and the Normie. We are separated by an abyss, a fact that becomes most obvious through online interactions, when your third grade violin teacher makes a comment on your Facebook post and then your former landlord’s son decides to reply, people who would never and will never meet, because they don’t run in the same circles, but here they are on your Facebook page, trading links and hitting the “laughing emoji” on each other’s comments and generally being nasty and sniping at one another.
Over the summer, I had to deactivate my Facebook account for 40 days and 40 nights after a “conversation” about Black Lives Matter degenerated to the point where my brother’s friend from elementary school, a self-described anarchist, told a former colleague of mine to “go suck a bag of d*cks.” Yikes! Why do I continue to “talk politics” with people online and “share” things of a controversial nature when I know full well it is the equivalent of pulling a pin on a social media grenade? Prone as I am to stirring the pot, I am also motivated by something like a hope in humanity, a belief that we are all prone to reason, and with enough information, anyone can see the light, and with enough goodwill, even the most ardent of political opponents can find some kind of common ground. I am beginning to doubt that.
I think it has something to do with a breakdown in language, or the politicization of it. George Orwell knew more about this than I, so I won’t try to explain it, but I thought I might try to illustrate it. As I was teaching “Jabberwocky” to my students this week, I was thinking about Lewis Carroll’s use of neologisms. Perhaps certain terms these days have become ineffective signifiers because they carry too much cultural baggage. Just utter the words “systemic racism” and half the country will tune you out; utter “deep state” and the other half mentally shuts down. So I thought I might take the approach of writing a dialogue and removing specific “trigger” words which upon their utterance tend to shutter the mind, and replace them with words of my own invention. The logic of a language is in its grammar, after all, not its definitions. So here is my attempt to illustrate our current state, as I see it, inspired by my recent online conversations with “Normies,” written in such a way that people from both sides might actually be able to see the problem. One can hope.
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Beegolum: I value tolerance and compassion above all. The problem is, we all live in an echo chamber and suffer from confirmation bias. I like to have conversations with people who think differently from me, who have different backgrounds and experiences. Like, this summer. I invited all of my booncie friends over to have a “circle of trust” with my wooncie friends. We wooncies sat in a circle at the feet of the booncies and the booncies spoke to us of their personal experiences, how those personal experiences had informed their views of the world, and affected the way they see things. It was enlightening, life-changing, really. I feel like my journey of personal enlightenment is just beginning! There is so much I don’t know.
Tiddysat: That’s great. I agree: It’s important to try to understand where other people are coming from, especially in this time of division. In the end, there is more that unites us than divides us. We just have to remember that.
Beegolum: So true! So let me pick your brain about something, because we go way back, and I know you’re a good person, even though we don’t always agree on political matters.
Beegolum: I read today that Presidoo Houcian truncled the Gooberjackels with the whatsodibits and floahooied the Sikums. I can’t understand how anyone can’t see by now that Presidoo Houncian is a flossing yokuss!
Tiddysat: Yeah. I can see how that might be flithering. Where did you hear that?
Beegolum: In the flitherdigibbits. We can’t stand for this! We need to string Presidoo Houcian up by a meat hook! Anyone who thinks otherwise also needs to be strung up by a meat hook! Flockin fascsimiles!
Tiddysat: So, here’s the thing: I don’t personally see Presidoo Houncian as a “van flossing yokass,” though he is at times a yahoo duncio.
Beegolum: Explain! I literally cannot understand how you are not flithered, as I am, by this story! How can people can support this orange-gooshamered fascsimile? I can’t understand where your’e coming from!
Tiddysat: Well, I don’t necessarily “support” him, but here’s how I see it: I read that the whatsodibits weren’t really yokel, and the Sikums, per floy, cool nay per deckum. You see, the Gooberjackels in the past se juggernatum. And the “floahooied” Sikums were not actually flaohooied, but instead they sicto flahooied the Sookums. Both eerie say plasto. So…
Beegolum: Wait, wait. Where did you hear all this? Because I’ve read all the flitherdigibbits. That’s all I do all day long is read the flitherdigibbits. I’ve read the purple flitherdigibbits and the blue flitherdigibbits and the orange flitherdigibbits and the yellow flitherdigibbits and the green flitherdigibbits. They all same the same thing: Presidoo Houcian truncled the Gooberjackels with the whatsodibits and floahooied the Sikums! Who could contest any of that? These are facts! All this nonsense about the Sookums — I’m not buying it. What do the Sookums have to do with it? That sounds like conspiracy theory.
Tiddysat: I just sent you a plink.
Beegolum: [Pauses to look at it.] This isn’t from the flitherdigibbits!
Tiddysat: Yeah, I know.
Beegolum: I’m not going to read that.
Tiddysat: Why not?
Beegolum: Because it’s not reliable! Who even wrote this? [Clicks into plink.] Jostus Finnian? Who’s that? Just some random dude on the Internet.
Tiddysat: Well, send me your source.
Beegolum: [Growing flithered.] I’ll send you ten sources, and they’ll all say the same thing!
Plink! Plink! Plink! Plink! Plink! Plink! Plink! Plink! Plink! Plink!!
Article from LewRockwell