Skip to main content

View Diary: Does It Ever End? Another Racist Republican Politician Caught On Tape (VIDEO) (25 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Instinct-driven people have no self-awareness. (0+ / 0-)

    Having no self-awareness means they have no basis for comparison. So, they have no awareness of others, either. They don't see people as individuals, but rather as representatives of groups with certain obvious characteristics--obvious, as in not easy to miss by simply looking. The instinct-driven human goes by sight, unlike dogs, which go by smell, or birds which go by sound. If humans happen to be blind, they go by touch. The brain compensates, if it is sufficiently adept.

    The instinct-driven people who get ahead in the public arena are largely verbal. They speak to acquire what they need for themselves. They speak the speech as it is pronounced to them, as do actors or parrots--set speeches made up of platitudes. Their patter is a compendium of phrases their audiences are used to hearing. It works for them because humans like having their own words thrown back at them and reward them for it. That the words are empty, devoid of action, is not immediately evident. So, the delay between promise and non-implementation can be assigned to forgetfulness. The instinct-driven get through life this way because most humans are basically generous and even forget that they've already given whenever asked.

    I just looked up "platitude." Moat definitions seem to focus on the quantity of use -- i.e. that a phrase is often used is objectionable -- rather than that a particular verbal expression has no meaningful content and is superficial. It's the content that defines whether "good morning" is a platitude, or not. Used as the opening phrase by the organizer of a Rotary breakfast, "good morning" is a platitude and a formality.
    Antonyms for "platitude" are almost non-existent, although there are many synonyms, including stereotype. I'm reminded of a new foreign language learning program that relies on people memorizing the 250 or so stock phrases on which most languages rely. They will learn to speak, but will they be able to communicate, if they don't know what the phrases mean? Will they be able to get along in a foreign country? Presumably because most people will presume that they mean well.
    "Meaning well" goes hand in hand with "speaking without thinking." Speaking without thinking is what the fellow in Oklahoma was engaged in. The report says "he was made aware." I don't think so. There was an effort to make him aware, but it didn't register, just as it never registered with McCain that there was something wrong with singing "bomb, bomb, Iran."

    There ought to be a word for a platitudinous culture, people whose existence is made up of stock phrases which are unrelated to anything on the ground. Why was the gentleman from Oklahoma even talking about marketing in the legislature?
    The reality is that "free market" refers to taking free (or cheap) goods to market for a profit. The reality is that the public treasury or purse has always been considered in terms of resources to be dispensed to the elect -- free goods for the worthy. Profit is a reward for moving things on. Profit has nothing to do with creativity or transformation or even usefulness. So, in a sense, it is a euphemism for theft and all profits are actually unearned, truth be told.

    At what point does a platitude become a lie?  At what point does a platitude become an insult?  Is it an insult, if there is no intention or even thought behind it? We presume that native speakers should know better. But, is that fair. What if a person is just a walking compendium of platitudes? Whose fault is it if such a person gets elect to hold a public office?

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 02:33:33 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site