Sunday, October 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
"George Orwell, on how to avoid thinking when you speak:
You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. they will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear...
It does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this, is that it is easy."
Thus, using shopworn phrases serves the dual purpose of both obscuring the truth, and befuddling the speaker. The idea that marriage can only be preserved by not allowing people to use it, that exploiting one's neighbor best embodies the feeling of love, that expressing bigotry remains a matter of individual conscience; these exercises in holding contradictory views simultaneously serve well in producing the form of controlled insanity necessary to propagate hateful fanaticism.
As Orwell would indicate, I think, this kind of mental excrement flows trippingly from the orifices of the purposely thoughtless; not surprising then, to see it spew from wherever cognitive skills are disdained.