Friday, October 22, 2010

Ridicule Politics, Half Truth and LOL

One of the most annoying inventions when applied in certain contexts is that of the LOL tag. I was reading a comment on some news site and the guy said,"He wants to go back to how things were set up in 1830. LOL". The first part is paraphrase, the LOL is verbatim.

I was thinking that other than universal suffrage and the abolition of slavery, I'm not all that keen on most of the structural changes since 1830 myself. Should I now add LOL?

It has become the internet way of winning a point, even if the point is not clear or stated. Just say LOL in disputing an argument or describing someone who did bother to state a point, and you win, they are discredited. Throw in half truths, out of context phrases, and the argument becomes absurd while some celebrate their fake win.

No one actually laughs while seeking the truth or hoping to sway others by respectful and honest means. This is the year of ridicule and outlandish half truths in politics. I see it on both sides, and I hate to say that because I am more opposed to one side than the other--however my "side" is not truly represented.

One thing I know, calling the other an idiot or moron is not only inaccurate, but it does nothing to make a valid point. That is another thing this past couple of years has introduced: unsubstantiated claims of low and high IQ. As if IQ has a thing to do with right, wrong, honest, dishonest or respect. I bet Ted Bundy's IQ was way up there, should we have elected him to office instead of fried him? Total bunk.

I know it is very difficult to place principle before personality when it is most prudent to do so. In electing those who control those with the big guns, it is essential if people value their own rights and safety. It can be extremely difficult to concede a point made by someone you see as typical conservative or typical liberal---depending upon your prejudice. Sometimes this happens if the person is not the proper ethnicity for the point at hand--in the viewpoint of the listener.

The fact that one might see a point here and there from either of these artificially labelled camps does not make him a moderate, or middle of the road. That I judge true in looking at my own conclusions. I would not have to wander far to find a self proclaimed conservative and a self proclaimed liberal who would adamantly label me "radical!"

In listening to some things though, I realize that the tendency for some to attach personal hate to strangers because they are either misguided, misinformed, better informed or for some other reason hold different views, seems to be encouraged in some circles.

The thing I see as the basic philosophical question in politics gets diluted with discussions of abortion, exceptionalism--which I'm not sure I understand, and other wacko subjects like marriage. I see all issues flowing from the question of how much power should any government have--state or federal. That covers most things; like do they have a right to take your money to fund my study of teak wood finishes and aphrodesiacs, or not?

This is why I often disagree with the liberal and the conservative among us. Both camps tend to be willing to allow control in ways I'd nix, given the chance. If we would be exceptionally free, then that context of exceptionalism (i think I may be spelling it wrong) I am all for. Bringing stability to people and cultures far away, I don't think so. That's exceptionally suicidal.

Some think that as long as smart people who really care are in charge then the limits ought only involve confining their power to whatever are deemed "good ideas" or for the public good. I see inherent danger in that approach, and the ones who disagree and actually think things through see danger in my approach. No reason for a bunch of LOL, you idiot, MORON! Heretic, etc.

Good satire actually makes a point. LOL and out of the blue name calling are not the stuff of good satire, lampoon or anything else of much use.

LOL in other contexts is another animal. It lets people know you are being light hearted, in case they might not realize it from whatever you wrote. and other purpose (as they say when making laws)

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