Thursday, May 27, 2010

Canned Derbyshire

When you untether words from their usual, traditional, agreed-upon (and to that degree fixed) meanings, you eliminate their capacity to express anything true. Words then become just noises, tribal identifiers or notes in a spiel. Starting, appropriately, with its most treasured shibboleth, the term"conservative," the Conservative movement shows itself determined to reduced English to Advertese. The evidence of this is endless but here's one more quintessential piece anyway: the hacktackular yet unbelievably smug John Derbyshire admits at NRO that he himself wrote a blurb for his own book, and attributed it to one of his betters. Derbyshire says that the putative author of the blurb declined to read his book but gave him permission to attribute a fake blurb to himself -- and now the fellow is safely dead so he can't very well contradict Derbyshire's version. The salient thing here is that Derbyshire, one of the putative "thinkers" of the Right doesn't feel the slightest compuntion about this. It's just commerce , the way these things are done. There's no dishonor, as far as he's concerned.

These Free Marketeers think we all speak advertese, a dialect which cannot be used to express truth. In it there is no truth or falsity of a statement; a statement is merely efficacious sales pitch, or it's not. That is the only question. This is certainly a way to do business, alas. But it doesn't admit the slighest possibility of honor. These people are blithely and completely without honor. Derbyshire, like virtually all of the ilk is a moral child, the development of his conscience arrested about age eight.


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