Friday, June 23, 2006

Form with Substance

As Republicans have repeatedly proven, it’s not what you say.  It’s how you say it.  Content is merely filler; but the tone is the meat.  And if your tone is sufficiently strong, content can only serve to muck everything up; at least in the short term.

It’s unfortunate but true.  The guy who sounds right will usually beat the guy who is right.  People are not omniscient and appearances are far easier to convey than realities.  Guilty people sound innocent by wallowing in their misdeeds; while the innocent man gets hung by his meekness.  And while that’s a complete travesty of the system; it’s unfortunately unavoidable.  It’s not enough to be right; you have to convince people that you’re right.

And things are that much more so in the media world, which has become almost entirely infested with bullshitters and empty suits; who have flocked to the easily bullshitable field ever since it became glamorous in the 70’s and 80’s.  And the more influential the spot, the more the bullshitters are attracted to it.  Bullshitters don’t want the Big Story, they want the accolades and other appearance-enhancing rewards that a big story might get them.  That’s all they understand.  It’s not about getting to the truth.  It’s about getting to what people think the truth is; which typically is limited to what their fellow media peers think the truth is.  That’s far more important and they’re so full of shit that they lack any ability to understand anything else.  

Bullshitters only understand bullshit and divide the world into two groups: Bullshitters and Lousy Bullshitters.  Concepts like competence and expertise will always allude them, because they have none.  To bullshitters, there is only bullshit.

And so it was only natural that they’d be so enthralled with the GOP.  If Republicans can bullshit that well, just imagine what they could do for real.  Or so the thinking went.  After all, the bullshitters’ biggest victim is always themselves.  Always imagining that the substance is somehow lurking beneath all that crap they live in; always bullshitting themselves about why they don’t see it.  Even if they fool no one but themselves, they’ve at least fooled the most important person.  And so the guy who tosses the best bullshit must also be the best.  How else to explain how they do it?  Somehow, these people have yet to realize that the best bullshit is inherently divorced from reality.

And for them, the converse is true: If Democrats don’t sound right, they must not have much going for them.  Again, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.  And if you sound like a loser, you are one.  This is a theory that the bullshitters have been using to good advantage for many years, and I see no reason why the honest people can’t use it either.  If being right is good, then sounding right must add that much more.  That’s been one of the founding principles of the Biobrain blog and it’s been working out pretty well for me.  But, being the smartest person in the world, I expected no less.  Nor should you.

1 comment:

josh narins said...

You are smart.

Not as smart as me, but nobody is.

You say "The guy who sounds right will usually beat the guy who is right." and you seem to be glossing over the issue.

Reagan, in 1984, could not have taught Americans that 2 + 2 = 5, but a filthy person in tattered clothes on lithium and valium could tell Americans that 2 + 2 = 4. I did not mean to imply that Reagan didn't take lithium or valium. I don't know.

Facade (and if you think Clinton was slick, you should watch Haley Barbour give some speeches) only works when people don't know the answers already.

And I think you have the main spring of cause and effect backwards. The bullshitters weren't enthralled with the GOP, the GOP was enthralled with the bullshitters. Reagan, on the eve of the 1964 election could give a speech (the speech that made him famous) for a man fighting against Civil Rights, and not come off like a racist, despite Reagan's own spotty record on the topic.

The GOP needs bright shiny faces.

Actors, generally, are Democrats. But the ones in politics are Republicans.

There is one more thing that needs to be addressed, and that is if you know why you believe what you believe, if you believe it for the right reasons, and you are passionate about what you believe, then the sincerity, integrity and passion of your views can't help but be witnessed.