Crazy, but not merely crazy

“Elwood P. Dowd not only has his invisible friend, the six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey, but will take you to court unless you shake Harvey’s hand and register Harvey in at the hotel. Harvey must be your friend too, or else. Christian bakers who have retained their hold on reality can tell us what will happen to you if you say, ‘But there is no Harvey here, nor will I pretend that there is.'” — Pronouns, Ordinary People, and the War over Reality, by Anthony Esolen

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Senator Gregg speaks

“‘It’s every person for himself or herself right now,’ former senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said.”

Good thing the senator didn’t say “every man for himself,” like men did back in the bad old days. Whatever else happens to the Republican Party, at least they haven’t stooped to micro-aggression. Going forward they’ll need to get a handle on those binary-normative verbal structures, and I’m sure they will; but one step at a time.

This way to the Swegress

“In fact it is entirely possible that Scotland would find no EU to join after it had taken the trouble to break the shackles with the UK. Should the British exit be followed by a Grexit, Deutschit, Departugal, Italeave, Czheckout, Oustria and Buh-byelgium the best Scotland can do is join France and revive the Auld Alliance.” — Forget the Lifeboat, It’s the Iceberg that Counts, by Richard Fernandez

Here’s the list of member states of the European Union. Be creative.

“Over the line”

To commit an outrage is to overstep bounds, for the word comes to us from the French outré (meaning excessive) and the Latin ultra (meaning beyond). It is an accident of etymology that the word seems to indicate a feeling of rage, although raging against outrages is common enough, and convention permits us to say we are outraged by the outrageous. — Over the line by JMSmith

Three things some people hate

  • The law of identity: Everything is identical with itself.
  • The law of non-contradiction: No thing is both black and not black.
  • The law of the excluded middle: Every thing is either black or not black.

When one of these foundational principles of logic is pointed out to those people in a context in which they must respond (ignoring it being their preferred option), they respond with blather, denial, or force — of one kind or another and in combination. Maybe the blather takes the form of endless demands for dialogue; the denial might involve two activists making contradictory assertions while claiming to agree with each other; the force starts with name-calling and escalates to whatever it takes.

I’m not sure who those people are exactly. Maybe liberals, or progressives, or leftists; maybe elites, or politicians, or The Man; maybe simply anyone who begins by thinking “What should I say to get what I want?” Maybe it’s almost everyone at one time or another. Errors are easier to see in other people than in ourselves, and we’d rather not draw attention to the logical failures and sophistry of someone who is “on our side.” Anyway, it’s probably a mistake to put all human discourse into one of three categories.

“A society of emasculated liars”

“FP: You make the shrewd observation of how political correctness engenders evil because of “the violence that it does to people’s souls by forcing them to say or imply what they do not believe, but must not question.” Can you talk about this a bit?

“Dalrymple: Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” — Our Culture, What’s Left Of It, Interview of Theodore Dalrymple by Jamie Glazov, 31 August 2005