An early sign that the culture has entered a grim new phase of propaganda-enfeebled herdthink, in which “feeling” trumps thinking (as though feelings literally originate in the heart while the brain, that elitist seat of mere cognition, should be avoided at all costs), was the hosing-down we all got, some time in the 1990s, with all that Positivity bullshit. I can see Bill Clinton’s sinister, duping-you grin as I type the word. I can see that vacuous fauntlet Prince shaking his ass to it.
People felt “empowered” to reject and avoid any and all Negativity while embracing any and all Positivity, as though these simple maneuvers would improve their lives… apparently ignorant of the fact that neither term, alone, provides enough information for anyone to come to any conclusions. People can be “positive” about rape and “negative” about Guatemalan death-squads; neither term has a fixed positive, or negative, value, in and of itself. I’ve been asked if I’m a “Skeptic”… a skeptic about what? Calling someone a “skeptic” or a “naysayer” is like calling someone a “preferer”.
Likewise, the post-hip hop spin on “Positivity”… referring to anyone who doesn’t like whatever one likes as a “Hater” (plural form: “Haterz”)… is a structurally vague description, if there is no more at hand than that irrationally pejorative label. Can Haterz hate slavery, rape, brain cancer, genocide, rotten eggs, widow-bilking conmen, toxic ground water and flaming helicopter crashes and still be worthy of the term? If not, we have a linguistic contradiction on our hands, because, as we know, “Haterz gonna hate”. Can a “Hater” be someone who loves what you hate? What does it all mean? It’s confusing, which is often a sign that something makes no sense. Which is not to say it serves no purpose.
Lenny Bruce (or was it Ed Sanders or Abbie Hoffman or Mother Jones?) once observed that if you can’t say “fuck”, you can’t say “fuck the government”. Likewise, if “hatin'” can earn you pariah status, can you openly discuss hating a corrupt government and still get a date on Saturday night? Because, of course, the ultimate beneficiary of linguistic trends is whoever controls the language. This is the purpose of advertizing, which is the polite word for propaganda, which is the technical word for brainwashing, which is the honest word for state-sponsored education.
Your taboos and longings, inhabiting the emotional territory where the sub-rational dominates, operating on the level of hypnosis, are wedded to the words and The Image and the words become magic and the Advertizing (K-12) triumphs. The very thought of these magical, context-free words can flood your soul with guilt, nausea, terror, desperation, inspiration or rage, if you’re properly conditioned/ brainwashed/ educated to do so. No single word carries enough meaning, alone, for the rational mind to react to. But for the irrationally-conditioned mind, keyed to a certain range of taboos and longings, individual words mean far more than the sentences that contain them. “Terrorist”, a word that now comes with a beard, overwhelms the intellectual content of whatever sentence it appears in, despite the fact that, in and of itself, it means nothing. No single word carries meaning; the basic unit of meaning is the sentence.
So why does the word COKE mean so much?
Even “rape” or “nazi” are as neutral as all other words until we know whether to couple them with contextualizing words such as “suspected” or “metaphorical” or “violent”, and so forth… if we’re rational. If we’re irrational, the words “rape” or “hater” or “communist” alone, without context, are enough to trigger extreme reactions. The ideal propaganda-delivery system of the near future will deliver its irrational information one word at a time, with pictures. TWITTER is already a step in that direction.
TWITTER 3.0… perhaps they’ll call it TRIGGER.
Language-based control-systems count on our extreme reactions to context-free trigger-words and trigger-phrases. It’s obvious that it’s more convenient to condition people to react aversely to the term “communist” than to have to explain, in methodical detail, supported with factual information, why “communists” are bad. Especially if communism isn’t bad, necessarily, or necessarily worse than the system being protected by the people controlling the conversation (or just the flip-side of the same oppressively pyramidal definition of Reality). Intellectual conversations disturb the dream-states they need to keep you in. POSITIVITY is one such dream-state.
A rational mind needs to hear more than a trigger-word before it can react.
Being called a “Hater” or a “Conspiracy Theorist” means nothing. The people who use these words are either clever demagogues or idiotic amateurs or innocent parrots in dream-states.
I ignore them and fuck my beautiful Wife.