Tag Archives: language

Shades of Grey meaning subtlety not sex

I can’t say “shades of grey” anymore thanks to that annoying book.  I’m looking at you EL James.

Can we sue her for changing the language and the connotations of an idiom?


Filed under humor, writing

Obama’s opiate and bitter pills to swallow

So , Obama has been attacked for his “bitter”comments.

As if you didn’t know, the snippet that has most drawn sharks like blood in the water:

“And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not,” he went on. “And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

“Cling”, “guns,” and “religion” seem to have been the trifecta that sprung the “elitist” trap on him (Well, he trapped himself and has admitted it was not well said). Memories of Gore and Kerry, two fine leaders and VETERANS who were easily fitted with the mantle of “king of the elitists,” came surging back, stoking Obama’s enemies (Clinton AND McCain) and the media alike. One example. The elitist charge seems like it dates back to the post-Goldwater rise of the conservative movement. I sense darker undertones…elitist is not only arrogant or snobbish, but more sinister. It echoes fears of fifth column traitors, communists, or jews lurking amongst us “normal” folk. Like ghouls or demons, they pose as normal and can only be caught when their mask slips.

Ah… cue William Kristol, in an op-ed where he places Obama’s comments next to Marx’s “religion is the opiate of the masses.”

What does this mean for Obama’s presidential prospects? He’s disdainful of small-town America — one might say, of bourgeois America. He’s usually good at disguising this. But in San Francisco the mask slipped. And it’s not so easy to get elected by a citizenry you patronize. [My emphasis].

And, as the irony sirens scream, let me also point out that the modus operandi of this adherent of conservative ideology, which surely critiques the idea of the subconscious and psychology, relies on a the technique of a Freudian slip to show how Obama actually disdains America and Americans (assumed to be a monolithic entity). I guess misleading us into war with laundered propaganda, since conscious and not a Freudian Slip, is not disdainful or elitist. Just what then…? Nietzschean? Leo Straussian?

Oh Vay. Now Lieberman piles on.

Did Obama claim that economic frustration causes religiosity and extremism about the 2nd amendment? Probably. The full context of the quotation and his subsequent remarks (clip or transcript) clarify his more nuanced understanding that economic frustration can lead to greater feeling or using religion or culture to understand economic changes. More to the point, the bitterness is because the elites have forgotten middle America , the place, and the people. Obama:

“Nobody is looking out for you. Nobody is thinking about you. And so people end up- they don’t vote on economic issues because they don’t expect anybody’s going to help them. So people end up, you know, voting on issues like guns, and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. And they take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and things they can count on. But they don’t believe they can count on Washington.”

Ok, on a more humorous note. If religion is the opiate of the masses, what are guns? The crank? The drags?

“Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes.” Karl Marx.

Recruits: [chanting] This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my rifle and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.” Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

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Filed under Politics, Power, Activism