Oh, for a little cynicism *UPDATED*

James Taranto had a great deal of fun last year with Obama’s promise to do away with cynicism, even as he engaged in one of the most cynical campaigns ever.  But he was right in one way.  Cynicism is dead on the left, especially in the media.  Herewith a couple of rather striking examples.

Example number one is San Francisco magazine, which was prominently displayed at the liberal shopping shrine, Whole Foods.  (As an aside, while I think Whole Foods has some excellent products, I find creepy the air of reverence people bring to it.  Come on, guys.  You’re consumers, not worshipers.  But I digress….)  If you hurry over to the magazine’s website, you can see (in the lower right hand corner) a picture of this month’s cover.  The entire image is Obama’s smiling, big-eared head (and is it me, or does that picture look remarkably like this picture, big ears and all?).  Emblazoned over Obama’s headshot are these words:  “Democracy:  The Upgrade.”  Talk about “journalists” (a term I use advisedly) wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

You see the same juvenile infatuation in my second example, Maira Kalman’s picture/text love letter to Obama, published in the New York Times as a form of journalism.  In this blushing ode to the new era of wonderfulness, an ode Kalman entitles “Hallelujah,” she rhapsodizes about the exquisite pleasures of Washington, D.C. now that the pall of the Bush years has ended and the magic of Obama has begun.  Even the plastic flowers in the restroom have taken on a new glow.  D.C. — nay, the whole world, politics, everything — is once more “smart again.  And sexy again.  And optimistic again.”  After eight years of darkness, Kalman is can freely enjoy the little things in life:  ladies’ hats, pretty dresses, the aforementioned bathroom flowers.  The Messiah is here.

If you read the comments to this bizarre bit of art journalism, comments that at least have the virtue of coming from non-journalists, you see the same tone, with people waking from the endless nightmare of the Bush years.  Some examples:

You are so beautifully right about this–it was a day for angel song. In fact we had all become beautiful like angels, and had grown angel wings and could not, could not keep our feet from floating above the ground. Margaret

***

Watching on television, I felt a palpable lifting of a weight (yes, that’s a cliche, but I really felt it all day) that we now had an elected President. In your word: Hallelujah!

***

The Constitution is the hope of the United States and Obama is the hope of the Constitution.

***

Your images and words perfectly capture our rediscovery of hope and color. Thank you Maira.

***

the brillant [sic] colors and cool words give me a chance to relive and relive again this wonderful day – since i wasn’t there. hopefully this spirit of goodwill will be contagious thruout [sic] the world. the obamas [sic] have already wrought change!!

It’s one thing for ordinary, vapid newspaper readers to see in this goofy looking, cold-hearted guy a new Messiah who makes flowers bloom again, but it’s appalling that members of the media have voluntarily transformed themselves into quivering, bodice-heaving wenches drooling at the sight of the large-eared squire’s son, riding down the lane in his powerful, gas-guzzling SUV, as he races to his hot-house heated home, while they stand outside in the cold, gazing longingly at him through the glass.

No matter the president, no matter the policies, no matter the journalist’s personal political preferences, the only media that can function well is a cynical media, one that views with suspicion, at least on first pass, anything that emanates from the government.  As it is, just as with the rapturous virgin the media is now imitating, the media (and we Americans along with it) is going to find out that, once the wooing is over, we are all well and truly . . . plucked.

UPDATE:  Charles Martel is right.  “Skepticism” is a much better word than cynicism.  After the first paragraph, every time you see the word “cynical” or some variation, substitute “skeptical” or some variation.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    “quivering, bodice-heaving wenches drooling at the sight of the large-eared squire’s son, riding down the lane in his powerful, gas-guzzling SUV, as he races to his hot-house heated home, while they stand outside in the cold, gazing longingly at him through the glass”…beautifully done! But don’t they know how the story classically ends?…with the wench impregnated and abandoned by the squire’s son, and left to end her sorrows in the river?

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    RE: “No matter the president, no matter the policies, no matter the journalist’s personal political preferences, the only media that can function well is a cynical media, one that views with suspicion, at least on first pass, anything that emanates from the government.”

    Bookworm. You mean the members of the press don’t get to think and respond honestly. They MUST be cynical no matter what. As in, they had to take Journalism 101: Fundamental Cynicism and Elementary Snark-Language just to be qualified? :-)

    Tell me that not what you mean.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Helen, cynicism is a weapon against credulousness. In order to fulfill their Constitutional role, they must take everything the government says with a grain of salt (which is entirely different from the last eight years, which saw a dose of hatefulness). Investigate and analyze, and don’t simply engage in a mindless love-fest. That’s what I mean.

  • Charles Martel

    Myself, I’d settle for skepticism, which is a far healthier way of looking at the world.

    By the way, yesterday my wife canceled her 30-year subscription to the San Francisco Chronicle, a rag matched only by the NY Times and the LA Times for its bad writing and lockstep PCness.

    She didn’t cancel for the reasons I would have (see contemptuous description above) but because they hiked the subscription price way up for the second billing period in a row.

    The jackasses that run the Chronicle have now arrived at the event horizon of the black hole of 21st century print journalism: readership goes down, so ads go down, so management charges remaining readers more, so readership goes down, so ads go down, etc.

    Not a dollar gets out alive.

    I am so enjoying this.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Skepticism is a much better word, Charles, and is the one I should have used. I settled for cynicism because it was the first word that popped into my mind as the opposite of the slavish devotion the media currently displays.

  • Charles Martel

    It’ll be interestng to see if Helen agrees that skepticism is always called for when the press reports on politicians.

    Oh, wait a minute—I meant white politicians.

  • suek

    I think “sceptical” might have been a better word rather than cynical…

  • suek

    Hah. Great minds…!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    After eight years of darkness, Kalman is can freely enjoy the little things in life: ladies’ hats, pretty dresses, the aforementioned bathroom flowers. The Messiah is here.

    Extra is after Kalman.

    You are so beautifully right about this–it was a day for angel song. In fact we had all become beautiful like angels, and had grown angel wings and could not, could not keep our feet from floating above the ground. Margaret

    This is like the belief that the death of Jesus Christ absolved mankind of Original Sin. What happens when religion is de-legitimatized and its authority broken is not that people will believe in nothing, but that people will believe in anything to replace it.

    As in, they had to take Journalism 101: Fundamental Cynicism and Elementary Snark-Language just to be qualified?

    I can take Killing 101: The Fundamental Methods to Kill a Human Being but I’m not a killer until I’ve done it in the real world. That’s a fundamental difference separating people like us from people like you that you should have realized by now. It is not as if we have been hiding it from you.

    Theoretical knowledge is not the same as deeds done. And it never will be no matter how many people wish and pray for it to be so.

    Just because you derive your authority and legitimacy, and the authority and legitimacy of your ideas, from academia does not mean we do the same thing.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Well, it seems, according to Meriam-Webster, that “skepticism” means:

    1: an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object2 a: the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain b: the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics3: doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)
    synonyms see uncertainty

    so, RE: “the only media that can function well is a skeptical media, one that views with suspicion, at least on first pass, anything that emanates from the government”

    is a bit better. But sad.

    It means a member of the media can’t believe anything he/she hears. It goes way beyond checking sources, which is responsible behavior for anyone. It means thinking, at least at first, that everyone is suspect and immoral. Truth is, that a lousy way to live no matter what you job is.

    But as to Y. I’m skeptical of you. :-) After all, I must be too academic if I use a dictionary to confirm a word’s meaning. LOL

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    After all, I must be too academic if I use a dictionary to confirm a word’s meaning. LOL

    If all the pseudo intellectuals like you did was look up words in a dictionary and have an argument about it with others, we wouldn’t have bodies stacked to the moon because of people who propped up the legitimacy of their inhumane conduct by quoting pseudo intellectuals as justification for crimes against humanity.

    Justifying punishing future generations for the actions of their ancestors is only one example that leads to inhumane and barbaric conduct. There are plenty more where you came from, Helen. And not one of them has anything to do with what a dictionary says or does not say and everything to do with who dies, who lives, who suffers, and who doesn’t.

  • Charles Martel

    It means a member of the media can’t believe anything he/she hears. It goes way beyond checking sources, which is responsible behavior for anyone. It means thinking, at least at first, that everyone is suspect and immoral. Truth is, that a lousy way to live no matter what you job is.”

    Helen, one of the things I most enjoy about you is your unfiltered thinking. You put your processes out there for others to see, thus giving us clear insights into how leftists reason.

    For example: “It means thinking, at least at first, that everyone is suspect and immoral.” Whoa, what a classic example of projection! What you’re really saying with that statement is what YOU think. Nobody on my side of the aisle reflexively assumes that a politician is suspect and immoral. What we focus on—because we actually like to use our minds—is what a politician believes and stands for.

    But even more telling is your own cognitive disconnect. You yourself automatically assume that people who think like us are “suspect and immoral.” By your lights we’re racists, warmongers and homophobes who have not yet discovered, as you have, the healing qualities of Masters degrees from enlightened leftist diploma mills and the renunciation of our white-skin privilege.

    (At this point I pause to remind you that because I am part Hispanic I am more authentic than you are because I was born un-white whereas you had to have a conversion experience to become a Sistah. Neener, neener, neener!)

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    A superior term to even skepticism, in this context, can be found in the realm of epistemology.

    One question epistemology asks and answers concerns when it is correct for a person to accept that a position is valid as opposed to invalid. The answer is rather simple: whenever the balance of justifications for one side of the argument overwhelms the balance for the counter-argument or position.

    Thus, to take Global Warming and Michael Crichton’s essay on the topic as one example, you would take the argument that Global Warming is 1. man made and 2. existent and pool the justifications both for and against these positions. Whichever position has the more justifications is the position you should hold, accept, and accept as knowledge (meaning as the truth).

    This is more complex in execution but the concept, the philosophy, is rather simple.

    What most people call skepticism is what epistemology sees as the intellectual honesty dilemma. Meaning, if you wish to be intellectually honest and balance the justifications for and against an argument in order to take one side or the other in an honest fashion (meaning, without deception and cheating used in “debates”) then what will you do when both sides have an equal number of justifications or when both sides lack a necessary amount of justification for you to take either side? What you should do, to remain intellectually honest, is to withhold judgment. This is something the Left has abused by saying that cultures are different because of how they were “brought up”, so it is not valid to make any judgments concerning the good or evil of a culture. This is intellectual dishonesty. Intellectually honest withholding of belief occurs in situations where you don’t believe you have enough justification to take any side. You are withholding judgment until enough data becomes available. This is intellectually honest but it is not skepticism. Skepticism or cynicism implies either a lack of belief or a disbelief. Skeptics don’t believe and cynics disbelieve (believe the opposite). What the vernacular sees as the skeptic is literally the same as an intellectually honest person trying to get more justifications so that he can make a decision concerning which proposal is true.

    It means thinking, at least at first, that everyone is suspect and immoral.

    They already do it for Republicans and those fighting to improve human conditions on this planet. It shouldn’t be too hard for them to do the same thing for the rest of humanity (but of course, it is hard).

    Truth is, that a lousy way to live no matter what you job is.

    White guilt, white privilege, and institutional racism should be plenty enough training to get people used to living that way.

    P.S.

    Skepticism, in the epistemological context, can also be skepticism of attainable knowledge. Meaning, someone called a Skeptic could doubt that human beings could ever truly attain what is known as “knowledge” (objective truth). That’s a skeptic as well, but it’s not what Bookworm meant.

    P.P.S

    Quoting that Obama is a great and charismatic leader/uniter is not a justification for anything. It’s somebody else’s bull shit. And that is entirely different from a justification as used in epistemology.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Let me add-on to YM’s excellent discourse from the perspective of a scientist (left brain) and marketer (right brain).

    It’s neither not the number of justifications for a position nor the number of people that support a position (i.e., consensus) that matter when it comes to evaluating objective truth (what is, is). Humans perceive and distort objective truth through filters. They also confuse objective truth (violence is part of life) with value systems (violence is bad), to use an excellent example from another thread commentary.

    The objective of the scientific method is to seek objective truth through the various interference patterns that lie in its way, including the subjectivity of human perception. Thus, we find quantifiable data (the earth seems warmer than it used to be, according to weather stations scattered across the world), we develop a hypothesis (climate change is occuring) and a mechanism by which it might be occuring (man-made CO2 induces a greenhouse effect) and then (this is the sine qua non) subject the hypothesis to testing in order to verify the hypothesis. With enough evidence, a hypothesis becomes a theory, which essentially means a hypothesis with lots and lots and lots of supporting data.

    Here is the rub, however – whereas it takes huge amounts of data to support a theory before it can be considered “fact” (something that the global warminists conveniently dismiss), it takes only one fact to destroy a theory. Scientific progress continuously builds-up and collapses theories likes piles of sand in an hour glass. Good scientists know that “theories” represent part “truth” but not the whole truth.

    Thus, the worst thing a scientist or engineer can do (though it happens all the time) is to become emotionally (or financially, or reputationally…yes it happens quite a bit…we are humans, after all) vested in any theory. Thus, the true hero in the scientific epic is the skeptic – the one who discovers that one fact that deconstructs a theory only to give birth to a new theory. Scientific fraud occurs when countervailing data to a theory is obfuscated or swept under the rug as an “outlier”. With respect to global warming, suffice to say that the counter-evidence to man-made global warming is overwhelming. Suffice to say that the level of fraud perpetrated by global warminists has been overwhelming.

    This is where the world views of scientists and engineers often collide with those of lawyers, politicians (trained as advocates), philosophers and theologians (metaphysicists) and, in general, liberal arts devotees trained to focus on the subjective. These two groups tend to talk past each other – look what happens on this blog! Unfortunately, scientists and engineers are outgunned – whereas their communication styles emphasize ponderous ruminations, lengthy analysis, highly-qualified expression (yawn!), those on the other side value glibness, elan, erudition and brevity (Obama). Michael Crichton was so effective precisely because he embodied the best qualities of both world views.

    I am generalizing, of course. I consider it a huge failure of our educational system that it no longer teaches students (the great majority, anyway) to discern the world through the prism of these different world views. Fact is, we need people who can appreciate both…Michael Crichton was such a person, as are Bookworm and many of her devotees on this blog…one reason why the discussions are so interesting!)…we don’t have enough such people. If you look at 19th Century text books, even rural kids in one-room American school houses were taught this, which helped to inoculate our society and democracy against the sway of charlatans and demagogues.

    Today, we have entire societies (U.S. included) where people have fallen under the sway of pseudo-philosophers like Gramsci, Foucalt and Al Gore, unable to discern objective truth through the prisms of human fallibility, resulting in a discourse where values and emotions trump objective truth. I believe that this is one very big reason that we are headed for a major worldwide tragedy: we live in a “Future Shock” world [http://www.amazon.com/Future-Shock-Alvin-Toffler/dp/0553277375] where people have been overwhelmed with information without the intellectual capacity to process it. Thus have we become easily led…right over the cliff.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    RE: “What you’re really saying with that statement is what YOU think.” #12

    No, Charles. I’m saying the definition: — “1: an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object2 a: the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain b: the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics3: doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation) synonyms see uncertainty” (posted in #10) — says, “systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics3: doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality.” See the word “immorality.” No, I don’t think that. The definition of skepticism says that. So, if one (NOT ME) is going to be skeptical (as suggested by Bookworm and others – NOT ME), he/she must “assume a politician is immoral.” #12 I think members of the media should do THE OPPOSITE; I think we should all trust until we have reason to doubt.

    And BTW, Charles, I take pride in being transparent. It is a virtue to put things in the open rather than a vice. It is a virtue to allow others to follow how I reason. It is a virtue to trust that others can embrace good. That’s why I disagree with a skeptical press. Being skeptical lessens our humanity.

    Go to town, Y. You are about as far from understanding me as the formula allows.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Helen – “It is a virtue to trust that others can embrace good. That’s why I disagree with a skeptical press. Being skeptical lessens our humanity.”

    Ah, that certainly explains how and why you feel that you do about white people, black people, George W. Bush and Republicans. Now I understand. The scales have fallen from my eyes. Thank you, Helen.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    No formula has ever been created to allow the understanding of a Helen.

    philosophers and theologians (metaphysicists) and, in general, liberal arts devotees trained to focus on the subjective.

    Helen is no philosopher nor theologian.

    The definition of skepticism says that.

    There are many definitions of skepticism. Nobody made you pick one over the other for your personal use. This intellectually dishonest attempt at saying “oh, the dictionary says it, not me”: as if the dictionary logged online and posted under your name here. Give me a break.

    I think we should all trust until we have reason to doubt.

    Tell me, did you hold that same epistemological stance before you converted to fake liberalism? It would make your “conversion” from the “Right” simply following the logical consequences of your original beliefs. Meaning, no conversion would have been necessary if all you did to get to where you are now has been by the above.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    So, if one (NOT ME) is going to be skeptical (as suggested by Bookworm and others – NOT ME), he/she must “assume a politician is immoral.”

    So we have to apply to your dictionary god of academia for the authority and the legitimacy to use “skepticism”? What world do you think we are living on, Helen. Yours?

    Appeal to authority, use of logical circles and endless paradox as justification, and so many others I won’t even mention them in the space provided.

    You are about as far from understanding me as the formula allows.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Helen. For as much as you believe you understand things, you understand little. Not having a filter doesn’t mean you grasp everything. Not having a filter means most of what you get is junk. Useless stuff that simply pollutes your mind and requires mental energy in order to clean up. Me, on the other hand, can look at you and not have to waste my time dealing with numerous dead ends. This makes things much more efficient. And efficiency is a good thing.

    Btw Danny, what do you think I used as the context for justification and how would you say it differs from the context in which you used the word?

  • Charles Martel

    And BTW, Charles, I take pride in being transparent. It is a virtue to put things in the open rather than a vice. It is a virtue to allow others to follow how I reason. It is a virtue to trust that others can embrace good. That’s why I disagree with a skeptical press. Being skeptical lessens our humanity.”

    Helen, for somebody who has a degree from one of them there fancy Southern diploma mills, might it occur to you that pride is a vice—one of the seven deadly sins and probably the worst? Doesn’t it strike you as strange that you honor virtue with a vice?

    By the way, insofar as “being skeptical lessens our humanity,” I suppose you would have supported the New York Times printing Walter Duranty’s lies about starvation in the Ukraine in the 1930s (he won a Pulitzer for his “reporting”). After all, being skeptical of Communism’s great leap forward would have lessened us, no?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    This is about faith, CHarles. While most Leftists are atheists or anti-Christian, Helen counts herself as a Christian. That’s rare, but not unheard of.

    So instead of reasoning out which way is the right way, why don’t you just take things on faith, Charles, and trust in the PO.

  • Tiresias

    Helen, there’s a whole 200+ years of history here of which you seem ignorant.

    The people who put this country’s government together had rules, laws, and codes of conduct that government enforced and oversaw just as one might expect.

    But, almost uniquely, they quite deliberately exempted the press from most of those. The press was, by design, free from governmental enforcement and oversight. They allowed, and still allow, the press to conduct itself almost as it will, subject to no rules beyond whatever it chose to self-impose. (Leaving aside the plainly obvious stuff, like let’s try to avoid obscenity in public. Any paper in the country would indeed encounter trouble if it didn’t like something, and ran a front page headline in giant bold type that read “F**K!” )

    Ask yourself why the press is, alone among institutions, specifically named and granted such freedom.

    The answer is because they saw the press as fulfilling the same function they saw the Constitution as fulfilling: protecting the people. Protecting the people from what? Protecting the people from the over-reaching of their own damn government, that’s what. The Constitution did not protect us from George III, Kaiser Wilhelm, Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin, or Mao Zedong. It protected – and protects – us from Washington DC. (And the state capitol, county seat, and village hall.)

    Thomas Jefferson, a mediocre President but a pretty good thinker and not at all a bad political philosopher, once remarked (I paraphrase rather than expend time looking up precise wording): “the people should not repose too much trust in any government – including the one we have established.” He also espoused the idea that the country would be the better for having a revolution every couple of decades. He also noted that it is the tendency of government to try and usurp power and grow itself.

    Jefferson – and most notably John Adams, (despite being a monarchist at heart), Benjamin Franklin, George Mason, Edmund Randolph and John Jay – did not trust government an inch. (An actual quote from Jefferson: “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government.” Against. That’s what he said. Good word.) They were (among other things) politicians themselves: they knew the breed. (Jay didn’t even particularly trust the Court, of which he was the first Chief Justice.)

    They saw the press as a potential defense against any government’s tendency to accrue power, therefore they removed it from government oversight.

    How is the press supposed to fulfill this role? Very obviously by questioning everything. By presenting all sides of an argument – not just the approved version. By being – sorry, but this is plainly laid out, and the word itself was even used – skeptical.

    This is such basic American history I can’t believe you don’t know it. I can’t believe you believe that the media should trust until they have reason to doubt. If they start out trusting, then who will it be who looks for problems, or reasons to doubt? It is not the job of the press to kiss Barack Obama’s ass. Their job is to question every word that comes out of his – or any other politician’s – mouth.

    The people who established this country, politicians all, themselves didn’t trust politicians. I cannot begin to understand why you would think we should. I admit it freely: your reasoning often leaves me in the dark, but this one has me completely flummoxed.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    I admit it freely: your reasoning often leaves me in the dark, but this one has me completely flummoxed.

    That is because you are not a Believer, Tiresias. Helen is. It makes all the difference.

  • Charles Martel

    Helen’s naivete reminds me of a chilling memory from 40 years ago in Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

    Every Sunday hundreds of people would gather there at a particular lawn to have a be-in. There were all sorts of hippies, bikers, revolutionaries, druggies and counter-culturalists, come together to celebrate life and love, etc.

    On paper, it was the kind of thing that Helen would have loved—a giant Kumbaya fest.

    The problem with that gathering is that it quickly devolved into voyeurism. The hippies and free spirits would do their thing, which was usually dancing to a line of bongo drums, while hundreds simply stood there and watched them. (I should add that since most of the hippies were white, they danced very poorly. On occasion, though, a random hippie would have what I call “a Helen moment” and realize that he was really black. After that he could dance with the best of them!)

    One Sunday a golden-haired family was dancing in a fairy circle. They were a stunning group of females, ranging from the mom, who was lithe and smooth-skinned, somewhere in her 30s, and four girls ranging from maybe 14 down to five or four.

    The 14 year old was heart-stoppingly beautiful. Her blonde good looks reminded me of Yvette Mimieux. Her face was sweetly innocent as she danced with her kin, graceful and radiating a simple joy.

    But surrounding them was a group of maybe 40 or 50 men, almost all of them with lust in their eyes, looking at the mother and her eldest like wolves sizing up sheep. There was pure malice in their eyes, the kind that comes from hating anything beautiful, and wanting to subjugate it and then destroy it. I have no doubt that the only thing that kept them from falling on that family was the presence of armed officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.

    The point is this: Helen reminds me of the mother, so caught up in her fantasy that we can expect good from everybody that she does not see the menace from the angry and evil men who watch her from the edges.

    But what she especially does not see—and will not see—is the LAPD, the tough good men who let her preserve her nescience, naivete and illusions.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    What? “…the LAPD, the tough good men who let her preserve her nescience, naivete and illusions.”

    You haven’t heard of police brutality? The LAPD are Not all good guys. Honest.

  • Charles Martel

    Gosh, Helen, here I was describing a specific incident and the only thing you have to say about it is to lurch into a predictable leftist slander about cops.

    =SIGH=

    I’m going to go talk to my dog.

  • expat

    Helen,

    Skepticism is awakened by circumstance. If a guy sitting next to me at a lunch counter asks me to pass the salt, I say sure. If he asks me to lend him $500, the light of skepticism is raised. If a guy is running for president and I don’t know him, then I ask who is he. If I get a list of accomplishments and I hear sensible positions, I say OK–he’s a possible. If said candidate lacks a list of accomplishments, is not asked about positions by the press, and then promises to stop the rising of the oceans, I ask what institution he was let out of. It has to do with what my experience says is reasonable and possible and about the impact of a bad decision on my part. I am actually a quite nice, empathetic person most of the time, but when my antenna pick up something like a Nigerian inheritance scheme, I can get a little angry.

  • addison

    This has been an interesting comment thread. For me, the comment that solidified the almost-crippling daft nature of ‘Helen’ was her 01/31 4:05PM comment in reply to ‘Charles Martel’.

    That one would reply to his anecdote with what she did is breathtaking in its absence of seriousness. He wrote hundreds of words noting the naïveté of the period, the people, and one person in particular and how she was incapable of seeing the men duty-bound to protect her and her family.

    ‘Helen’ replies that those rough men are themselves fallible, as though any person commented that they were perfect or that this was even remotely the point of Martel’s in the first place. That’s called combining a straw man with a red herring. It is also cheap and juvenile.

    I also note with interest ‘Helen’ had the aforementioned cheap reply to ‘Charles Martel’ but nothing written countering the excellent comment by ‘Tiresias’ (made before Martel’s) detailing her deep innocence of knowledge regarding the role of the press with regards to the government. To use that worn cliché: the silence is deafening.

  • suek

    >>You haven’t heard of police brutality? The LAPD are Not all good guys. Honest.>>

    But Helen…they’re from the government. How can they be anything but good guys? Are you saying that we shouldn’t trust someone who is from the government?

    How do you suggest we should address this problem?

  • Danny Lemieux

    Whew…back in town, trying to catch up…

    Suek – are you suggesting that Helen is being cynical or being sceptical? You aren’t suggesting that she’s diminishing the humanity of the LAPD, are you? I am soooooooooo confused!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    To use that worn cliché: the silence is deafening.

    I did say Helen was no philosopher or theologian. You can’t expect her, transparency or no transparency, to debate such complex points of interest on any terms even half way acceptable by others.

    ‘Helen’ replies that those rough men are themselves fallible, as though any person commented that they were perfect or that this was even remotely the point of Martel’s in the first place. That’s called combining a straw man with a red herring. It is also cheap and juvenile.

    This is perfectly in line with Helen’s world view and Leftist faction. They need to destroy America’s legitimacy and what better way to do that than to hold the “authority” to perfect standards? That way they will fail and then Helen can come in and get that “social justice” cranking. Great way to get rid of that “white privilege” and replace it with Black Power.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    How do you suggest we should address this problem?

    Nice catch, suek. Of course, nobody said Helen couldn’t use doublethink! At least, nobody on our side.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Who was that black guy the LAPD was charged with beating down by the media and black community?

    The full video told a completely different story, but of course, it wasn’t part of the White Privilege narrative.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Helen reminds me of the mother, so caught up in her fantasy that we can expect good from everybody

    Don’t forget, Charles, that Helen doesn’t include “white people” in everybody.

    If you want to navigate the corridors of Leftist thought, make sure you bring your alternate Dimension GPS device.

  • suek

    >>…are you suggesting that Helen is being cynical or being sceptical? >>

    Neither – or maybe both.

    First, she makes an accusaton – “The police are guilty of police brutality”. (Of course, this doesn’t begin to approach the issue that the same police are innocent until proven guilty, but we’ll leave that for now.)

    >>The LAPD are Not all good guys. Honest.>>

    What to make of this? We should accept everything the press prints as true unless it is proven false (although why someone would attempt to prove it false unless they questioned it in the first place is another problem), but we should suspect the police of lawbreaking when they are the ones in charge of enforcing the laws.

    OK…so now suppose I accept this – that those who are in charge of enforcing the laws are in fact lawbreakers. What can we do about it? Fire all the police? Enact a blanket indictment and try each and every one of them? Who is going to police the police? Do you form a _super_ police force? How do you make sure _they’re_ honest, aboveboard and non-violent?

    Theoretically, the problem belongs to the Mayor, through his police chief. You could demand that the Mayor fire his police chief, but if he doesn’t, then your only option is that the Mayor is recalled by the people who elected him. Los Angeles doesn’t seem so inclined.

    Maybe they don’t think there’s really a problem?

    Or maybe Helen just objects to the fact that perfection doesn’t exist among human beings, even when they’re the government?