Daily Archives: November 7, 2010

Quote of the Day: “Mendocracy”

In just 38 seconds you can witness the way Fox News cuts and pastes its lies together

Rick Perlstein explains how a mendocracy works:

Political scientists are going crazy crunching the numbers to uncover the skeleton key to understanding the Republican victory last Tuesday.

But the only number that matters is the one demonstrating that by a two-to-one margin likely voters thought their taxes had gone up, when, for almost all of them, they had actually gone down. Republican politicians, and conservative commentators, told them Barack Obama was a tax-mad lunatic. They lied. The mainstream media did not do their job and correct them. The White House was too polite—”civil,” just like Obama promised—to say much. So people believed the lie. From this all else follows.

Frye cites Orwell on the social degradation of language in “The Primary Necessities of Existence”:

Then there are various epidemics sweeping over society which use unintelligibility as a weapon to preserve the present power structure.  By making things as unintelligible as possible, to as many people as possible, you can hold the present power structure together.  Understanding and articulateness lead to its destruction.  This is the kind of thing George Orwell was talking about, not just in 1984, but in all his work on language.  The kernel of everything reactionary and tyrannical in society is the impoverishment of the means of verbal communication.  The vast majority of things that we hear today are prejudices and cliches, simply verbal formulas that have no thought behind them but are put up as a pretence of thinking.  It is not until we realize these things conceal meaning, rather than reveal it, that we can begin to develop our own powers of articulateness. (CW 12, 747)

Joni Mitchell

“Car on the Hill” from Court and Spark

Today is Joni Mitchell‘s birthday (b. 1943)

Sometimes you forget just how good she is.  But you remember soon enough.  Yes, she’s a Canadian girl from the prairies, and she never seems to lose sight of that, but she also helped to perfect the lush California sound of the 1970s with Court and Spark.

After the jump a live BBC performance of “All I Want” from her album Blue.

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