Peggy offers a **#%*! suggestion

Peggy sometimes offers subtle criticisms regarding the subjects I write about. For example,

“Why the fuck don’t you ever write about something more interesting than religion?” (Peggy will argue that that she didn’t say the f___ word, but since I am “overly sensitive to criticism,” as my mother put it, I always HEAR the f___ word at the least suggestion that I'm anything less than perfect.)

“Okay, Sweet Lambikins Baby Lovey Dovey Pumpkin Strudel, what do you suggest?” (I ask smilingly).

“Well, how about what you just said?”

What I had just said was that Fox News’ policy of continually assuring its listeners that it’s “fair and balanced,” is not only unforgivably redundant, it also suggests a cynical attempt to appeal to an audience that is too stupid to distinguish between a claim and a reality (“Your president is not a crook;” “I didn’t have sex with that woman;” “I know the Bible is true because the Bible says it’s true;” and my own dear father’s favorite, “I’m going to be honest with you”). Furthermore, it reeks of Orwell:

“Political language is designed to…give an appearance of solidity to pure wind;”

of Lenin: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes truth;”

of Hitler: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it;”

and even of that bumbling little bastard who was our last president: “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again…to kind of catapult the propaganda.”



“But isn’t what I just said rather obvious, Peggy Darling Dearest?”

“Not to some people.”

Which is precisely why I had said it to Peggy. Intelligent though she is, she doesn’t know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat, a Catholic and a Shiite, a Brit Hume and a Jon Stewart, simply because it is all so senseless and depressing that she doesn’t want to know the difference.

Sometimes, I think Peggy is onto something, yet I remain inveterately incapable of “turning on, tuning in, and dropping out,” because if there's safety to be had, surely it lies in at least knowing from which direction danger approaches. Besides, human inanity can be awfully entertaining at times.

34 comments:

Elisabeth said...

I worry sometimes that I'm a little like Peggy, in my political apathy, but as it is for Peggy, sometimes 'knowing' seems too hard, even if it means I don't quite recognise where the next danger is coming from. Thanks for a profound post, Snow.

Mim said...

I'm with Peggy. who or what is a brit hume anyways? Sounds like a scouring pad to me

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I do hate politics. No matter who is in power, the rhetoric is I'm right and you're an idiot. UGH!

I get the East Coast version of ABC and record Good Morning America at 4 am. I'm amazed that by fast forwarding through all the political BS, the weather and the commercials, I can watch a 2 hour program in under 40 minutes!

Bernie said...

Hey Snow I think you should listen more to your wife, she does make sense. Just wanted to wish you and Peggy a very Happy Thanksgiving....:-)Hugs

Natalie said...

Argh! I am in agreement with both of you. I am concerned, but i only have a fleeting grasp of politics because it bores the shit out of me. I would rather they just murder me, than to die slowly from excrement torture.

The Blog Fodder said...

Snowbrush, if you put them all in a bag and shake it up and pull one out, can you seriously tell the difference?

babbler said...

Dear Mr. Snowbrush,
There is one very frightening, Orwellian thing we slugs fear the most, and it is not human. It is the automatic camera at intersections that take your photo and send you a citation in the mail. AGHHHH! The danger approaches from the skies! Thank you Sir, for another fantabulous blog entry, you always make me think.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and the missus! :) Love, Mrs. Slug

Gaston Studio said...

I have a friend like Petty who refuses to hear/watch/read anything that is negative. I tell her she's in denial; she tells me that Oprah said once a person has acknowledged something, they must do something about it... my friend says as long as she doesn't know about something, she doesn't have to get involved.

Hmmmmmm.

Dion said...

I've got a serious addition to politics. Sometimes I'll switch up the method of delivery, but I always get my fix. I get mad, hateful, and sad as I 'get high'. I want to stop my addiction, but my life seems too empty without it.

ellen abbott said...

I no longer pay attention to the news or politics. It makes no difference how informed you are. Knowing where the danger comes from does not necessarily enable you to avoid it. And there is a lot less stress in my life. Knowing all the crap that I have no power to change (yes I vote but fat lot of good that does) only makes my blood pressure go up. And people who believe what Fox news tells them get what they deserve.

Now, when I get a less than complimentary comment about my blog from the other half around here I just tell him...'you don't like it? don't read it.'

The Tusk said...

I must comment on your re-quote of "Political language is designed to... give the appearance of solidity to pure wind."

I'm a big defender of the wind as you may already know. You might call a political storm one that takes a tornado, adds houses, baby carriages and cows to its twirl of a twister to disguise the fact that it is providing these items to its community de-facto.

I just don't the like wind being talked about in that way.

Anyhew... this blog redact was actually just to tell you I chuckled over your rebuttals in the last blog. But you did mention an author I hadn't heard of and a subject I had'nt done any reading on, so I'm off on a mission.

To educate myself.

Happy Thanksgiving.


and strayer...
Yes you could set up wireless cameras to your traps and check them on the internet anytime anywhere to see if you've caught something. A friend of mine has them at his house he is building in the woods to check on the work site at night. Then he plays it back in the truck in the middle of manhattan. We see deer and an occassional lost driver(not), they are searching building sites for left behind tools and supplies, you just can't trust anyone.

If you like I could get you the manufacturers names of this Radio Frequency technology.

Ahhhhh, RF has been good to me ever since Dec. 7th...

The Tusk said...

meaningless quality: meaninglessness or senselessness that suggests a lack of understanding or intelligence
silliness: silliness or foolishness
something inane: something that demonstrates or suggests inanity, e.g. a silly remark


inanity


sometimes one word is enough, snow.

well said.

The Depressed Reader said...

Many people are politically apathetic. They trot out the same lines, "They are all the same", "Politicians are all liars", "My vote doesn't matter", etc, etc. I think this kind of withdrawal and negativity is often disguised cowardice. A way of avoiding the responsibility to do something, like Gaston Studio's friend mentioned above.

I am not as politically active as I should be, but I am a member of the Green party in my native Australia, I vote despite the fact I am in Japan, and last year when the government engaged in some particularly flagrant screwing over of refugees I sent letters to my local member of parliament, plus the prime minister. Here in Japan I can't vote as I am not a citizen, but I am involved in the union movement. I am not as active as I feel I should be, but I do what I can. And I try to stay informed.

The freedoms that some of us around the world enjoy were not generally handed down from on high, they were fought for over generations. Freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. The right to vote. The right to decent working conditions. The list goes on. People who do not care enough about the world to know what is going on, let alone do something about the things that are wrong annoy the hell out of me.

Robin said...

Ignoring most of this post - because I want to send you, Peggy, and Baxter warm Thanksgiving Wishes! (Are you bristling, dear Snow? Ha-ha!)

I am so glad we have "met" -
I really like your intelligence, wit - and your saving gace....that wicked humour!!!!

Hugs from freezing (well, almost - 38 degrees) San Francisco!

Baxter is in my daily prayers....

♥ Robin ♥

Kay Dennison said...

It's your blog -- write what you want!!!!

I don't like writing about politics and wish things in our country were different so I wouldn't feel compelled to do so.
It's really better for my blood pressure to write about football. LOL

dana said...

I no more believe you said:
“Okay, Sweet Lambikins Baby Lovey Dovey Pumpkin Strudel, what do you suggest?” Than I believed it when you wrote that Peggy said "fuck". lol

Snowbrush said...

Gaston Studio said: "she tells me that Oprah said once a person has acknowledged something, they must do something about it....as long as she doesn't know about something, she doesn't have to get involved."

No, she can make light of it while evil is done by her government with her tax dollars; and she can likewise let those who would protest the evil take responsibility for the welfare of the planet in her absence. When the Jews and scores of other groups were marched off to be murdered at one time or another throughout history, your friend was there pretending that she didn't know, and therefore had no responsibility to act.

Robin said: "Baxter is in my daily prayers...."

Oh, so YOU'RE the one who's responsible for his head spinning round and round while he barfs green projectile vomit onto every wall? Aside from that, Baxter is greatly improved. A week ago, neither of us thought he would make it to Thanksgiving, and now we wonder if he won't even live through Xmas.

The Depressed Reader said: "People who do not care enough about the world to know what is going on, let alone do something about the things that are wrong annoy the hell out of me."

I think you have a valid point, and I've tried to impress it upon Peggy. Certainly, there are degrees of activism, and my own is pretty low, yet I do sometimes get fired up enough about an issue to take to the streets, either literally or figuratively. Peggy doesn't, and I can't very well change that. I can but do as she has so often done, and that is to acknowledge that my life's partner isn't everything I would like her to be, but that she's still an excellent partner overall.

Ellen said: "And people who believe what Fox news tells them get what they deserve."

But it's like religious faith in that, despite the common wisdom, it isn't just a private matter. These people become politically active based upon lies, and their acts affect us all.

Babbler said: "It is the automatic camera at intersections that take your photo and send you a citation in the mail. AGHHHH!"

I hear that the British have government installed cameras all over the place, and that they don't much complain about them. I guess they see them the way we see airport security.

Fodder said: "if you put them all in a bag and shake it up and pull one out, can you seriously tell the difference?"

Do you not vote then, or do you see the problem as exclusively an American one? (By the way, be sure and read the Depressed Reader's comments.) If you seriously believe what you wrote, you will indeed be like Peggy who feels so powerless that she doesn't even bother to stay informed much less try to change things. I would just ask you, as the number of such people increase, is the country more likely to get better or more likely to get worse? And what of Reader's point that people sacrificed, sometimes everything, so that you could be involved; are you going to throw that away without a struggle? That's what I see Peggy doing. Once you truly believe that they're all the same, there really is no point in even bothering to vote. Yet, I daresay that people who take that position believe, or at least hope, down deep that others will carry the flag which they themselves dropped, so it's not really a position that I have respect for, although I do understand it temptation.

Dana said: "I think you're a lying sack of shit."

Now, see here, Dana, I'm doing to you what I do to Peggy! But, tell me, Poopsie Woopsie Darling Dearest, didn't I capture the essence of what you meant to communicate even if I edited the words ever so slightly?

Robert the Skeptic said...

I observe that most people consider "thinking" too difficult, so they are more than willing to let others do it for them. As someone once said, it is easier to believe than to "know".

RNSANE said...

Politics is so wearying, Snow, and I am sure Peggy tires of it all as I do. I get fed up with all the clamoring and posturing and so much of it is total bull shit, really, when push comes to shove. At 66, I have lost the enthusiasm my 25-year-old son has as he casts his vote in each election, truly believing that change is possible.

I was just hospitalized for the second time in six months, this time with a campylobacter infection of the colon. You'd have thought I would have been on some journey to an exotic clime but I haven't traveled in almost a year. God, I thought death was imminent.

Hope you two have a pleasant Thanksgiving - at the very least, may you be as free of pain as possible!

dana said...

So, I take it we understand where each other stands.

Poopsie Woopsie Darling Dearest has had her say. I love the nuttier side of you.

kylie said...

hey snow
just want to wish you a happy thanksgiving.
xo

Skepticat said...

Same situation here, my friend. My mom knows nothing about life except what my dad tells her or what bits she gleans from Fox News. She recommends that I not know anything either so I can be less stressed.

I see this as a cop-out. How can I sleep at night knowing that things are going on in the world in my name yet I did nothing about it? How can I expect the world to get better for my little nephew if I bury my head in the sand and pretend everything is great?

The last time Mom complained about local politics, I told her to get off her ass and run for the school board. I haven't heard anything about that since. Funny how the issue dried up once she was forced to confront it.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Sending your family much love.

Miss Kitty said...

Your wife sounds like a rather smart lady! :) Just came across your blog, and it's wonderful! Will be back for more.

The Depressed Reader said...

Hi Skepicat,
I think so many people are like that to different degrees. And to be fair, the world is a big and complex place, and we can't all be expected to be experts in everything and following the 24 hour news cycle and agitating on every issue. We have to eat, sleep, work, study, etc.

But thinking of ignorance as a solution to stress is a terrible thing to do. If, for example, social security gets cut or abolished, would "not thinking about it" while the process is going on be useful? I think not.

I know for Americans the act of voting itself seems to require enormous effort for some reason, given the 40% voter turnout at the recent mid-terms . Part of this is the anachronistic system of having elections on a Tuesday, but part of it is just apathy and laziness.

In Australia voting is compulsory, which is a much better system. I would agree with the argument that it is a civil duty, not a civil right. The voting rate is very high, 94% or over in federal elections.

Voting is not the be-all and end all. But it is a start.

Life 101 said...

He didn't have sex with that girl, did he?

Marion said...

I'm with Peggy. I try really hard not to worry about things I can't do anything about. I can't say I've ever watched Fox News, after hearing from my American friend, who has much the same opinion as you do, even though it is available here in Canada.

I've always thought I could write anything I wanted on my blog...and have. If people don't want to read it, move on. I guess I'm not writing for others...more for myself.

I hope you and Peggy and Baxter had a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear Snow! By the way, tell Peggy it is still snowing up here...

Crazed Nitwit said...

We may not agree on the existence of a higher power, but we sure agree on most everything else!!!!

I must add that if Palin ever becomes president I'm moving to Canada and I'm very serious. Cuz if the American public votes that moron into office, well, I just don't want to live near 'em.

babbler said...

Dear Mr. Snowbrush, I always enjoy reading your blog, it has been too long since we have enjoyed a chat, I trust you and the missus have had a fun holiday.
Here is a pennys worth of my two cents of silliness to add to the soup. We slugs enjoy the ability to slide quietly in the opposite direction of danger, real or imagined. Mr. Slug's recent ability to take to the air while tethered to a weather balloon and two kites has freed him from the limitations of having to appear "grounded" to the press. Mr. Slug would like to thank Mr. Snowbrush for his candid observation of the world as he sees it. It appears to me that you enjoy your wife very much, despite her difference of perspective. When Mr. Slug asks Mrs. Slug her opinion, she flicks her tail coyly and replies, "You are the director, it's your movie. Jeeves, please turn off that rattling television that is slowly pickling me and bring me my hat and gloves, we have some business to attend to." Bravo once again for a job well done, Sir.

Mad Mind said...

This is why we have revisionist history. The lies just keep on coming.

yoborobo said...

First of all, thank you so much for sharing this discussion. It made me think (which hurts only a little at first), and I realize that I am slowly but surely withdrawing from the political world. Sure, it's far more stress-free here in my little bubble, but we all have to be careful about getting too comfortable (letting others drive the bus). I will go back to reading the news daily, and trying to keep up with the insanity of it all. And I will take a lo-dose aspirin to thin my blood first. :)

prairienymph said...

I have a love-hate relationship with politics, or rather, with my family's politics. My family is so pro-conservative that when I told them I voted Liberal they laughed and said they "couldn't think that poorly of" me.
I also voted Green on another level. After I read all of the parties' platforms and any information on the candidates. I am disowned.

Didn't some of the Nazi leaders on trial say something like, "I could have known, I should have known, but I didn't" trying to claim innocence of the deaths of so many people. They blindly followed orders without thinking through the consequences.
And weren't they still pronounced guilty?

prairienymph said...

yoborobo- take fish oils and garlic to thin your blood instead. It will protect your heart and sharpen your brain as well.
And maybe some spearmint gum. ;)

Kerry said...

As usual, the comments are so interesting that I forget what I am about to say. Got taken up with what Depressed Reader said I guess. I wonder what would happen if we had compulsory voting here in the US? I think it might be a good thing, but I'm not completely sure. Maybe more people would pay closer attention,or maybe the masses would just be asses.

Sarah said...

I agree with you here - although the whole political state can indeed be so depressing (and I often have to take little breaks from it to avoid depression/insanity), I cannot "turn on, tune in, drop out" (I love the Leary phrase though).

Although, I can't deny that Orwell's 1984 is one of my favorite novels.