The Official Chatter

Let us list, with comments, a few terms that one cannot avoid hearing or reading persistently these days, at least to the extent that one’s mind has the misfortune of being within range of the popular media (in all its manifestations) and the headline-shouting world it both embodies and engenders.

The far right. This expression has no determined meaning in modern discourse, beyond the intentionally vague and ominous invocation of neo-Nazi imagery, and is used exclusively as a public smear. Its employment is designed to forestall any debate over issues or policy preferences, and to obscure any criticism of neo-Marxist politics and moral indoctrination, by means of a manufactured aura of violence and fear surrounding all potential opposition, an effect similar to the formulaic use of the “bad guy theme” in a movie score to inform the audience when the character enters whom one is supposed to hate and distrust.

Corollary: The American media in particular is keen on using “the far right,” “Donald Trump,” and “MAGA” interchangeably, so as to reduce all political approaches which might formerly have been labelled “conservative” to Trumpism, i.e., crackpot populism, aka fascism. The easier to dismiss you with, my dear.

Antisemitism. Any criticism or questioning of any statement, policy, or action by the Israeli government, or any criticism or questioning of any other government’s action taken in support of any Israeli action or policy, may be called antisemitic. Also any general and intellectually principled rejection of an unconditional presumption of the righteousness, pure motives, and absolute correctness of the state of Israel and the Israeli government as such in all matters.

Pro-Palestinian. Any position or protest, no matter how incendiary, violent, or irrational which, in its effect or its explicit focus, serves as an apologia or even as cheerleading for Hamas, for the use of terrorism against civilian populations, and for open and unreserved antisemitism (in the proper, non-media sense).

Corollary: One frequently sees such people, when gathered in groups chanting for the annihilation of Israel, referred to as “peace protesters,” much as the last century’s communist propagandists liked to insist that the Soviet Union’s true goal was world peace (to be achieved by subduing the imperialist West).

Climate denier. A person who is skeptical of the consensus-driven (i.e., unscientific) climate science according to which most of the habitable coastlines of the Earth should already have been submerged in rising ocean water for at least the past ten to twenty years, if not longer, with hundreds of millions of people already killed or displaced by this catastrophe. (I write this from a coastal city in South Korea, where I have lived for nearly seventeen years without any of the local homes or businesses having been swallowed up by the sea, to the best of my knowledge.)

Skeptic. An all-purpose slur for mocking or belittling any person who expresses a doubt about any government-advocated policy or recommendation that is being officially touted as “scientifically proven,” “supported by experts,” or “an unquestionable fact.” Interestingly, this term, which used to have an honorable function, naming a trait considered essential to rational inquiry, fundamental to the Enlightenment, and the thinking man’s bulwark against dogmatism and indoctrinated certainties of all kinds, is now used…exactly as it has always been used by holders of unlimited power everywhere, namely as a pejorative for publically threatening anyone deemed dangerously non-compliant with the current standards of authority-defined Truth.

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