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150px-Thought_Reform_Lifton

Cesspit of lies link

I’m going to pull an Ophelia Benson and just do a block text dump, add a line or two and pretend I’m a huge intellectual.

Loading the Language

The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliche. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis. In thought reform, for instance, the phrase “bourgeois mentality” is used to encompass and critically dismiss ordinarily troublesome concerns like the quest for individual expression, the exploration of alternative ideas, and the search for perspective and balance in political judgments. And in addition to their function as interpretive shortcuts, these cliches become what Richard Weaver has called “ultimate terms”: either “god terms,” representative of ultimate good; or “devil terms,” representative of ultimate evil. In thought reform, “progress,” “progressive,” “liberation,” “proletarian standpoints” and “the dialectic of history” fall into the former category; “capitalist,” “imperialist,” “exploiting classes,” and “bourgeois” (mentality, liberalism, morality, superstition, greed) of course fall into the latter. Totalist language, then, is repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon, prematurely abstract, highly categorical, relentlessly judging, and to anyone but its most devoted advocate, deadly dull: in Lionel Trilling’s phrase, “the language of nonthought.” (more…)

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Left: Ricky Gervais on the cover of the September / October 2011 United Kingdom Edition of the New Humanist. Will the US version have the same genital fortitude with their version?

Quite an appropriate image, cf. Atheist Flagellants And Puritans and subsequent babblings. I think Gervais has a pretty good handle on the idiocy that is overtaking the godless world.

The New, New Atheists are fetishising suffering for the sins of the world.

Trouble is, most all of them are pudgy and pink and well-fed and have no real problems, so they begin fabricating them. Case in point, atheist misogyny and the new cult of elevator worship.

Might I suggest, a la Lenny Bruce, instead of crucifixes (or electric chairs), these new, new atheists adopt the wearing of little Elevatorgate tokens around their necks – (more…)