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To weaponize metaphors.. thoughts as clothes, clothes as thoughts

Monday, May 13th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — if i may be a bit presumptuous, language is a topic for the wise — in this case, how language can be used as a knife ]
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I was reading a Vice News piece, Leaked chats show white nationalist group’s plot to infiltrate Turning Point, and was struck by the phrase “weaponize metaphors” in the paragraph:

Part of Identity Evropa’s strategy now relies on its ability to weaponize metaphors to make their white nationalism seem more acceptable, like referring to “European heritage” — which white nationalist often use as a euphemism to mean “white” — or seizing on mainstream conservative issues like immigration.

I frankly don’t see”metaphor” and “euphemism” as equivalents, but at least we’re looking at the language used to convey a political stance, albeit an abhorrent one.

**

Semioticians won’t be surprised to see that clothes can also be a mode of signalling — of conveying meaning — every bit as much as verbal language. In fact, to paraphrase my title, we can see here that thoughts can be viewed as clothes, clothes as thoughts.. Indeed, in the paragraph immediately before the one I just quoted, we read:

According to the leaked Slack chats, about 200 members were expected to attend a secret Identity Evropa conference in Kentucky last weekend. Consistent with their brand overall, the event had a fairly strict dress code: Attendees were urged to wear “dress slacks or chinos” — no jeans. Some attendees fretted about whether they had enough time to get their suits dry-cleaned.

Clothes as thoughts, thoughts as clothes..

**

Speaking of semioticians — Charles Sanders Peirce, the father of semiotics, coined the phrase “the play of musement” which I’ve been toying with recently. Here’s a play, a musement of my own:

  • There’s the music of the spheres, around and within us.

  • Then there’s the boundary layer, the troposphere, the ozone layer, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, the exosphere and so forth, space, deep space, and deep deep space —

  • or if you’ll believe the brilliant jazz comedian Lord Buckley riffing on Albert Einstein — we should also add “the zonesphere, and the vautisphere, and the routesphere, and the hippisphere, and the flippisphere, and the zippisphere, and the gonesphere, and the way-gonesphere” — hey, the “way-gonesphere” has a distinctly Prajnaparamita feel to it, no? —

  • or better yet, there’s the atmosphere, which includes equally both the sphere of weather out the window and the realm of emotional tensions within a room, group or event..

  • and what Dylan Thomas calls “the weather of the heart”..
  • **

    But really, listen to the whole Hip Einie thing, Buckley gets into the 1905 Annalen der Physik and more:

    And consider the profound beauties of the Heart Sutra with its mantra, and Dylan Thomas marvelous poem:

  • Prajñaparamita, Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!
  • Dylan Thomas, A Process In The Weather Of The Heart
  • Best ever game-politics metaphor! — 2.0

    Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — definitive — I’ve corrected the inset video ]
    .

    Here’s a quick clip from a 1991 news report, refreshed in the news a couple of days ago — IMO, it’s the best ever game-politics metaphor!*****

    “I have the best game metaphors, the best — can’t you hear him?

    **

    DoubleQuote!

    Buy! Buy! RARE SEALED President Donald Trump VINTAGE Trump Monopoly Collectors Edition:

    Rachel Maddow’s mille feuille explanation of Mar-a-Lago layering

    Monday, April 15th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — think of these screen-grabs as frames in a comic, okay? — delicious ]
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    Rachel Maddow:

    on having her first taste of mille feuille on her b’day —

    **

    Rachel:

    Apparently this is a whole category of dessert ..

    It looks like a normal cake from the outside .. That is what this news story out of Florida is .. So it’s not s million layers of cake, it’s a million layers of weirdness, one on top of another, that culminate in tonight’s news story ..

    Rachel:

    At this point in the delicious layer cake, we’ve got the massage parlor owner selling Chinese nationals personal physical access to the President, his family and cabinet-level officials in the administration, while she is simultaneously hanging out at the President’s private club, taking pictures with him, and working with the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government in a number of murky organizations that seem to have no public-facing purpose.

    Rachel:

    Layer on top of that, the arrest on March 30th, of a new lady we had not heard of before ..

    Undisclosed cash flowed at Trump inaugural ball with ties to China, embattled Saipan casino

    and so forth…

    **
    And here’s the icing (?) on the cake:

    More, more — this might be # 36?

    Sunday, April 14th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — if Rich Pickings was 35 and maybe concluded was 34, this would be 35 in what’s clearly an ongoing series, though a bit less intense than it was? ]
    .

    A delirious conspiracist DoubleQuote:

    **

    Miscellanea:

    The art of the dodge is a time-honored Washington tradition ..

    [W]e all know who tends to fare the worst when the pitchforks come out .. [from Bloomberg: Billionaire Hedge Fund..]

    [for the arc collection*****, from They Had It Coming]

    But even before the molting, never in my wildest imaginings had I dared to dream that the arc of the moral universe could describe a 90-degree angle and smite down mine enemies with such a hammer fist of fire and fury that even I have had a moment of thinking, Could this be a bit too much?

    From Ford Foundation, for sludge collection*****]:

    The urge to change the world is normally thwarted by a near-insurmountable barricade of obstacles: failure of imagination, failure of courage, bad governments, bad planning, incompetence, corruption, fecklessness, the laws of nations, the laws of physics, the weight of history, inertia of all sorts, psychological unsuitability on the part of the would-be changer, the resistance of people who would lose from the change, the resistance of people who would benefit from it, the seduction of activities other than world-changing, lack of practical knowledge, lack of political skill, and lack of money. Lack of money is a stubborn obstacle, but not as hopelessly unyielding as some of the others..

    [From:The Church’s life-and-death struggle with Santa Muerte]

    A Mexico City strFrom eet vendor explained the appeal of Santa Muerte to us by saying: “She understands us because she is a battleaxe like us.”

    **

    Melber 4/10/2019:

    … also warned Trump he would be boxed in a canypn ..

    [Chuck Schumer] The majority, by taking yet another step to erode that legacy, risks turning this body [the Senate] into a Coliseum of zero-sum in-fighting

    **

    All IN Chris Hayes:

    The Justice Department is going to serve as the Roy Cohn for this administration, and that the Attorney General and his deputy are consiglieres rather than representatives of the people of the United States.

    **

    Rachel Maddow:

    DoubleQuote, Rachel?

    11th Hour, Bryan Wms:

    Frank Figliuzzi:

    What he [Barr] did today by invoking the spying connection was, he threw what I would call a flash-bang into the room.

    Anyone who has been involved or associated with tactical teams or the military will know a flash-bang grenade is designed to disorient and distract, with a flash of light and a loud noise, but it’s not made to take our personnel.

    What he did today was to toss a flash-bang grenade into the room at the behest of the President..

    **

    Odds:

    He [Barr] is a weapon, not a servant..

    Two fighting chyrons:

    and:

    We shall see — yesterday it was Bannon vs Francis — now Benedict XVI?

    And a terrific DoubleQuote!

    Metaphor series continued, maybe concluded

    Sunday, April 7th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — it might be that “This is where politics becomes a blood sport” turns out to be my final entry in the sports metaphor stakes, or the title of a “best of” collection — anyhow, let’s get there ]
    .

    Ari Melber:

    Jason Johnson:

    It’s good that they finally pulled out the sword of Damocles: if you don’t do this, we’re going to sn=end a subpoena ..

    Hardball:

    Some in Mueller’s Team See Report as More Damaging to Trump Than Barr Summary

    Chris Matthews:

    I can understand why Trump plays ball with Netanyahu ..

    If that’s a game, Barr is going to be exposed ..

    Mar-a-Lago:

    CM:

    Congressman, what do you make of this? Because I get the sense that Mar-a-Lago has become a highly priced kissing-booth. If you want to get to the President join this club, then you can get relations with this guy, you can meet him on the golf course, you can hang out with him at the first tee, the nineteenth hole, he can be your buddy just for the price of admission. It is a kissing-booth, =tell me the difference?

    All In:

    :

    Jane Coaston:

    They can’t outrun whatever the facts are forever ..

    Chris Hayes:

    There’s also a strange expectations game that’s been played here ..

  • NYT, How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World
  • NYT, 6 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation Into Rupert Murdoch and His Family
  • Rachel Maddow:

    Thin pickings yesterday, no doubt because I slept through much of my dialysis session..

    And from today:

    Stephanie Ruhle:

    Adm. James Stavridis:

    Craig Melvin:

    Two more from my deaktop

    O’Donnell 4/4/2019:

    Kristan Peters-Hamlin:

    There was a pass that was thrown to Congress by the Mueller team with adequate evidence for Congress to make the decision on obstruction, and there was an intercept by Bill Barr and he ran in the exact opposite direction ..

    **

    And just a few from 4/5/2019:

    Ari Melber:

    If the agents did thoroughly go through those like 14 million files and Michael Cohen now finds a smoking gun or a gatling gun***** and those documents corroborate what Michael Cohen says, this could add rocket fuel to the investigations in DC, EDVA< & Southern District of New York. Possibly. Or it could be a nothingburger. All In Chris Hayes:

    The thing that may be biting the most is the thing that brought us to the metaphor***** portion of the news .. and not the subtle kind ..

    There’s this thing they do with him where he’s just a private citizen, he’s a taxpayer. It’s not like some metaphysical question about the private Trump and the public. He’s the President of the United States, and hoe doesn’t get to get out of that.

    [ cf Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies ]

    Jesse Eisinger:

    Or as you said, Schrodinger’s Cat type of existence

    The tax returns are not the Rosetta Stone that will let us know everything about every source of funding that he’s ever had. He’ll have overlapping LLCs and a Russian doll of corporate structures, no pun intended..

    Barbara Boxer [re Joe Biden]:

    Do we want the Mike Pence response where he’ll never go to lunch with a woman alone, and he won’t have a woman in his office without keeping a door open, I mean, is that where we’re headed?

    Rachel Maddow:

    This is a hill [Trump’s tax returns] and people will be willing to die on it ..

    **

    I may have done enough of this metaphor chasing.. maybe do a “best of”.. maybe just taper off..

    But this from someone on AM Joy, Sunday 4/7/2019 is too good***** to miss:

    This is where politics becomes a blood sport ..


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