The Devil’s Dictionary

We seem determined to do Gettysburg II: Electric Boogaloo sometime in the near future.  But just so you can’t say nobody warned you, I’ll make one last effort to explain to the “Democracy dies in darkness” crowd just why things are going to happen the way they are.

Since all of you Media people have been to college, you’re comfortable with academia’s bizarre lingo.  On campus, nobody means what they say, because nobody on campus uses words the normal way.  I’m not just talking about fugly jargon like “intersectionality.”  Even more-or-less everyday words mean something very different in the ivory tower.

Take “privilege.”  In the real world, a “privilege” is something tangible — like how you say “it’s an unofficial fringe benefit” when you swipe a case of pens from the office.  On campus, though, “privilege” means…. well, it’s actually really hard to tell what it means, and that’s the heart of the problem.  As near as most people can figure, it just means “something bad that other people have,” or — stranger, but more in line with how the term is actually used — “something bad that other people are.

With me?  It matters, because y’all insist on lecturing us 24/7 about the vast and ever-growing threat of “White privilege.”  To y’all, of course, this means nothing more than “Look at how virtuous we are for hating Whitey!  Come sing our praises!”… but normal people, who use words the normal way, actually start looking around for this “privilege” White folks supposedly have.  And guess what?  Not only don’t they find any, but they find the exact opposite of that — these days, a White guy would probably get twenty years in the slammer for swiping a case of pens, but a Black guy can be a violent, gun-toting, drug-slinging, repeatedly-parole-violating thug and get a five-part documentary made about him by Amazon, the largest retailer on the planet (and whose founder, not coincidentally, owns the Washington Post).

That’s bad enough, but then y’all combine it with another word you — and only you — use in this particular way: “Political.”  The way y’all use it invariably means “left-wing.”  E.g. when an aging, suddenly thunder-thighed pop tart — Taylor Swift, say — starts lining herself up to be a Very Serious Artist, y’all insist on calling her songs “political,” by which you mean “SJW boilerplate plus a drum machine.”  The problem is, out in the real world, normal people think “politics” comes in at least two varieties…

Which leads to the third misunderstanding, the one that’s guaranteed to end in bloodshed.  See, in y’all’s tiny little pea brains there’s a clear distinction between “violence” and “free speech” — free speech y’all don’t like is “violence;” violence y’all approve of is “free speech.”  This is as befuddling to normal folks as y’all’s definitions of “privilege” and “political.”  To normal people, doing your very best to put a guy in a coma by braining him with a bike lock is violence, full stop.  It doesn’t matter what either party’s personal opinions are when their interaction ends with one of them getting his skull taped back together.

But that’s not how y’all see it.  In your world, Media “people” (using the word only in its strictest biological sense), all the violence was coming from the guy who got his skull cracked — he was out there voicing opinions of which y’all disapprove.  Meanwhile, the skull-cracker had the correct opinions, so his very earnest attempts to kill someone were “free speech.”  The crackee had “privilege;” and so the skull-cracking was “political,” therefore “free speech,” therefore ok.  Better than ok, in fact, because having “privilege” means you’re a “White supremacist,” which means you deserved it.

Here is the point, Media “people,” the incandescently obvious point, in boldface, blockquoted type so you can’t possibly miss it:

To normal people, this looks like y’all are cheerleading for indiscriminate violence.

Because, you see, as far as normal people can tell, y’all think political violence is ok — because it’s not actually violence; it’s “free speech.”  Out in the real world, hospitalizing a guy is assault.  You go to jail for it.  But Antifa goons don’t go to jail for it, because — again, pay attention, this is crucial — according to y’all, it isn’t really “assault,” because it’s political.  See what I mean?  You and all your friends know that “political” means “left-wing” — right-wingers don’t have politics, only “hate” — but normal people don’t  have the secret decoder ring they issue y’all at J-school orientation.  Instead, they see a very obvious domestic terrorist walk on felony charges because he did it in the name of a political movement.

If this were a novel, everyone reading would throw it across the room at this point, because the “twist” is just so fucking obvious.  But since “ability to grok the obvious” disqualifies you from getting a Journalism degree, I’ll explain: You “people” are responsible for the mass shootings.  Yes, all of them.  Anyone who is unhinged enough to consider shooting up a WalMart in the first place surely isn’t mentally stable enough to play y’all’s silly little word games.  A person like that sees y’all defending stuff like The Hunt and concludes that the way to win your hearts is to open fire in a public place.

And hey, since we’ve gone this far in our futile quest for understanding, I’ll even give y’all the answer: Words mean what they mean.  “Free speech” means free speech, even if Donald Trump is speaking; “violence” means violence, even if it’s coming from Antifa.  Y’all won’t take this advice, of course — y’all are on the Right Side of History, after all, and “revolutionaries” have made you cream your jeans since the 1960s — but y’all could change the “climate of hate” any time you choose.  When the inevitable happens, remember: It’s all your fault.

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10 thoughts on “The Devil’s Dictionary

  1. WOPR

    Perversely logical and it makes my head hurt. One can step through to the end and they seem incapable of understanding what happens.

    The old B&W Twilight Zone’s were somewhat left-of-center for the time. Today, they are a cautionary tale about the Left. The Monsters on Maple Street aren’t the ones with the flashing house lights. Instead they fly the Betsy Ross flag or voted for Trump.

  2. Pickle Rick

    “If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war. It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. They do not know its horrors. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils…The time for war has not yet come, but it will come, and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.”

    Thomas J. Jackson

  3. MBlanc46

    I’ll take a pass on whether it’s inevitable. (After all, people make their own history, and they haven’t yet made that history, and maybe they won’t.) If it is coming, I’m definitely ambivalent about it. On the one hand, I’d like to live out my last 10 or 12 years in peace, pottering in the garden as long as I can, or just sitting with a book and a drink, listening to the birds. (Mme B is strongly, very strongly, in favor of this option.) On the other hand, if it’s coming, I don’t want to miss it, even if my knees are shot and I won’t be good for much. But I really do hate those sons of b*tches who are trying to destroy the republic that our ancestors built and bequeathed to us. I want to…, well maybe I’d best keep my mouth shut about what I want to do. If it’s going to happen, I hope that it happens soon.

    1. Maus

      I share your sentiment MBlanc46. Riled by the vitriol coursing through my veins upon learning of each new outrage perpetrated by globohomo on the folkways of my youth, my mind writes checks that my now decrepit body cannot possibly cash. I refuse to accept that my age and lack of martial fitness relegate me to telling an old man’s stories around the fire at night. Just as the young men find no satisfaction in listening to them, I would be deeply dissatisfied at finding myself left well behind the front. A garden, a book, strong drink and birdsong are all quite pleasant until there is no peace in which to enjoy them. But as Cicero discovered at his end, perhaps to his own great sadness, he of unmatched wit and wordcraft was still no match for Caesar.

    2. WOPR

      As Severian has stated, the fear is that Trump isn’t radical enough. I’m with out though. Going to be the old, out of shape guy who can’t contribute much.

    3. Severian Post author

      Which is pretty much why it’s inevitable. The guys who wrote those naive “war will never happen!” articles in 1913 were whistling past the graveyard. The more you read about the era, the more you realize that pretty much everyone thought a war was inevitable — not one as all-encompassing and horrible as the one they got, but grossly misunderestimating the upcoming war is a feature, not a bug, of human minds.

      The Civil War, World War 2…. it’s amazing how blithely people just assumed it was coming, shrugged their shoulders, and went on with their lives. Sometimes it doesn’t happen — folks in the early 1980s were pretty fatalistic about the Cold War — but I know which outcome my money’s on.

      1. contrariandutchman

        It’ll happen that way, something like the troubles is only possible against a government that carefully keeps the gloves on and never uses serious violence. Meanwhile, much of the interior of the US is sparsely populated plains, ideal for light motorized infantry. I’ll say it again, look at Syria (and the Donbass) if you want to know what US civil war 2.0 will look like.

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