Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP George Carlin

Always (in the words of the United States Supreme court in FCC -v- Pacifica) "Indecent but not obscene" the man said the things that no one dared to say and he managed it with a strange variety of class always imitated, but never duplicated.

From one "Disappointed Idealist" to another... rest in peace, man.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lying to those who love you...

An open missive to the people of the United States of America

Benjamin Disraeli once said: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." He has since been quoted in this context by everyone from Mark Twain to the writers of Westwing. In modern parlance, I would add one to Mr. Disraeli's list... "Lies, damn lies, statistics... and email." I might eventually go so far as to add a fifth "Poltical bloggers" but that's not what this is about.

I commend to all thinking people of this benighted country the following article from, appropriately entitled:

That Chain E-mail Your Friend Sent to You Is (Likely) Bogus. Seriously.

I will go so far as to say that this article (accessed by clicking the above link) should be required reading for every American voter.

The most pernicious part of this trend in American political mudslinging isn't that there are lies being told about candidates, it's that they are a cynical abuse of friendship and filial devotion whereas we are inclined to believe a story simply because we love, respect and trust the person telling it to us. It is made even more of a sin because it's not consonant with chatting your neighbor up over the garden fence, it's about the widespread and largely innocent promulgation of lies among loved ones.

This is an abuse of the Great American Grapevine by some venal cur hiding in a bunker deep underneath a white marble facade in Washington DC. It is about taking those closest to you along in the grand and sweeping lies promulgated by the extreme wings of some political party. And it needs to stop.

For heaven's sake, people, it's time to make up your own mind based on something other than internet rumors. This is an important election. You need to be thinking clearly, not loading yourselves up with lies.

Think. And stop lying to those who love you.

That is all.

(cc'd to every blog where I have a stump to stand upon)