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You are here Editorials Alex Baer Nothing-Speak: Dog-Whistle Comfort Chow

Nothing-Speak: Dog-Whistle Comfort Chow

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This stuff is getting really hard to ignore, which is part of the plan, of course.

If Republicans can garner enough attention with Crazy Theories, Insane Supporters, and Bizarre Backers, then their psychotic candidates, all across the land, will, by comparison, be automatically seen as sedate and tame and cute as li'l baby pit vipers, all worn out, tangled up in a ball, sound asleep and at rest.

We already know, beyond all doubt, and clarity -- and the frayed and tattered edges of our long-suffering patience -- that Republicans only respond to Feelings, like fear and paranoia.  Everyone else, to some degree at least, responds to Facts, like information and evidence.

This is one big part of why we've spent the last eight years -- and more -- having a logjam in everything we do and say and attempt:  No one is speaking the other's language.  We are talking past each other.  We resort to our own modes, decipherable only to members of our own camps.

In this scenario, even if one group had something of interest to convey to the other, had that group's improbable interest and attention, there is currently no real way to relay the information -- short of interpreters, hand signs, silent movie theatrics, puppet shows, mimes, interpretive dance...

One side has been routinely and continually threatening to pull out all the stops, removing all the few remaining cables of the shabby communications bridge now swaying across the growing chasm between groups.

There are only a couple cables left -- and minions on the Breakaway Alt-Right have their amphetamine chipmunks sawing away like mad with hacksaws on those huge metal suspension-bridge cables.

These vibrating, saw-wielding hedgehogs are cheered on in their efforts by the GOP as a whole.

I have lived a while, and I have never seen anything like it.  I have never seen so many people lusting after psychosis themselves, but held back at the last minute by whatever restraints still reside from Calvinist work ethics, strict religious training, or outright social embarrassment.

No one can say how long these protective residues and restraints will hold out, no with the GOP cheering on their Zombie Apocalypse in each and every local and national election cycle.

* * *

(I have not abandoned my sense of humor, which is my last line of defense here.  For example, I think Amphetamine Chipmunks would make a fine name for an indie band, as would Saw-Wielding Hedgehogs.)

* * *

Humans communicate lots of ways:  verbally, non-verbally, in speech, in writing, and in many other ways.  Morse code.  Semaphore flags.  Smoke signals.  You name it.

But, like mathematics, the symbols need to remain constant, so that 9 + 14 = 23, always.  Not just on days when it's cloudy, convenient, or when someone feels like it.

Unlike mathematics, language has more slop, more fudge factor, having connotations as well as denotations.  Sometimes these can both change -- but that usually happens very slowly, over long intervals, so that people, and society, don't become confused (aka Trumpated).

If these communications symbols don't remain constant, and fail to share a basic understanding, then all hell breaks loose and Really Weird Things start happening, like:

9 + 14 = 2,561,309 (or 76?  No, wait: It's 627. Definitely 627.  Today, I mean.)


Let's go to the movies = Please smash a mushy cantaloupe on my head and face.

You know, things like that -- and worse, the more serious you get in intent.  Now, normally, these rules of everyday math and language are pretty well constant, and usually remain pretty firm.  This is because this is how we all get along, in a large society of numerous and complex interdependencies -- unless you are making your own transportation, growing your own food, refining your own fuel, providing your own refrigeration, making your own electricity, doing your own brain surgeries, and so on.

Stability in communication symbols:  This is how we know, in advance, how much money we can expect to be paid each week (salaried rate, or hours worked times rate of pay, minus deductions = net pay to us), and how we also know how to avoid getting run over by a truck when someone shouts "Look out!" at us while walking, head down, and texting (providing our earbuds aren't turned up too loud, and we can hear them, and react quickly).

So much for pre-history, the good old days, how things used to work.

* * *

This year, all the most basic, essential, societal understandings about math and language, leadership and sanity, have been completely refuted -- no, gutted -- by Republicans and their handlers and wranglers.

Candidates, and their spokesdroids, have broken the bounds of basic communication symbol agreement.  They suspect they can say whatever they want -- and do so, at every turn -- speaking as vaguely as they desire, leaving the audience to fill in the blanks of those ever-broadening gaps of lost words and suffocated meaning.

* * *

I want to say:  Shades of Rosemary Woods! But that's not quite right.  Conveniently lost minutes on a piece of tape, likely to portray the depths of lawlessness of a Republican President of the United States -- the only one who has so far been forced to quit -- is similar, but different.  Things can happen by accident, however sinister they might appear,  Plus, Republicans were still somewhat anchored in reality then, witness Nixon's trip to China, starting the EPA...

Nixon must appear as a socialist to today's Republicans.  So would Vlad the Impaler, I'm thinking.  Goldwater might still hold up some, though, in Berserker spirit...

* * *

Republicans have long been working against truth and facts -- are, in fact, in sheer terror about truth and facts, as they have no experience whatsoever in such things, which is why they are instinctively retreating to the Land of Feelings, ever since Goldwater was electorally slapped down hard, 486 to 52.

Recently, the Goldwater Suicide Bug -- a strain of hoof-in-face disease -- was resurrected by an orange-fringed member of the lunatic fringe, and the troubled, wavering babbling began.  It hasn't stopped yet.

(Hey, it was weirdly entertaining at first, like the game Cards Against Humanity and Crabs Against Humidity -- but that sort of thing wears off quickly, which is why the Modern Goldwater Club in the GOP had to keep ratcheting things up to keep the limelight upon them.

This brought up Problem One:  When you don't have answers or policies, they all knew, you had to talk about anything else -- even making things up, which is the lowest common denominator to holding onto an audience unburdened by information or facts.)

For a while, the plan might have worked.  You can state things, re-state things, paraphrase things, and sort-of say things -- and almost take things back, or not, or seem to, or not, and do it in a realistic way, or not so much -- and gain a wider audience than if you'd simply said what was on your mind without providing the 900 extra miles of wiggle room on all sides.

* * *

Game suggestion: Give yourself not more than 60 minutes on one subject, and speak off the top of your mind, off the cuff, off the bathroom floor if you like, while having a video camera run, and purposefully try to be vague -- yet, be sure to include triggers and insults and compliments to every conceivable group in America today.  Speak knowingly, lovingly, hatefully, vindictively, proudly -- use every emotion you own.  At the end of your rant, you will have become a Donald Trump clone, and, by the way, every GOP politician -- plus, you now have a pretty fine demo tape as the next Pet Psychotic Cast Member in the upcoming historical-reality teevee show about pizza delivery drivers, called Mr. Dahmer's Neighborhood, coming this fall on the Slash-and-Burn channel!

* * *

This new concept of unanchored prattling -- Nothing-Speak, let's call it -- does nothing to aid communication, but it was never meant to.  It was meant to draw a bigger, more positive audience from the Low-Information, Feeling-Inflamed Right; secondarily, it was meant to only confuse members of the High-Information, Fact-Seeking Left -- what little there is left of it.

It also keeps middle-of-the-roaders paralyzed and inert, like deer in headlights, keeping centrists off balance, wandering in circles, palms up, shaking their heads, in a kind of shell-shock that the GOP hopes will last until after Voting Day.

You've heard it all from Trump and the ballooning troop of utter ninnies in the right's primaries.  You've heard it from the spittle-expending, mouth-foaming Breitbarters in various unhinged tirades.

Hope you LOVE it, because you'll be hearing a LOT more from those Breitbart alt-righters, the ones hijacking meaning from language, now that they're actually running the Trump candidacy.

The Breitbart Zombies have surfaced, and we're hearing from them, and their minions, and their plants, and their agent-supporters, who are babbling on about fictitious ailments not being suffered by the competition...

In addition to crimes not committed.

In addition to despicable things not done.

In addition to helpful things done, which really weren't, you know...

And so on.

* * *

Before you get suckered into this Nothing-Speak, into this empty yammering devoid of any meaning -- aside from Dog-Whistle Comfort-Food to the Chow-Hungry Pack -- remember the advice of the chewing gum and soda-pop people:

When you got nothing much to sell, lean hard on the hype, and make up a lot of stuff that keeps the audience's eyes on you -- even if they don't really understand why!

Sounds about right.

The GOP could sure save themselves, their supporters, and the rest of us, a whole lot of headaches and sleepless nights, if they'd just come up with some candidates and programs and policies that make sense for everyday Americans, instead of siding with wealthy cuckoos and corporations -- entities which wouldn't come within a country-bumpkin mile of a real American, if their lives depended on it.

Why?  They wouldn't know what to say, or how to say it -- even if they had something even part-way worth listening to.

That's what decades of lying, saying nothing, and speaking gibberish, will do to you.

Unhinged Language = Unhinged Candidate

Good day, and good luck.  Meanwhile, duck and cover -- this has to blow over some year soon.

Today's Sunday Magazine Bonus:

How about some more facts and information?  Let's keep it down to just THREE, although a few thousand more are available, if you look around:




Bonus Republican Bonuses:

Rose Mary Woods & the Missing Minutes (no, not an indie group):

Donald Trump -- I mean: Goldwater all the way!

Duck & Cover: The musical version of Kiss your Butt goodbye:









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