Word Play

So I’m reading this Derrida For Dummies primer, and so far I am not completely baffled by what he is saying. He tried to do away with Western thought by attacking the words it uses to function daily, creating a sort of trap door under anything that can be used to solidify meaning. He and Magritte would and probably did get along-Magritte uses space often to decenter a subject. My favorite deconstructive offering from him is the pipe that’s not a pipe, according to the words. Words lie. Derrida says they are downright oppressive. I dunno. I think I better read closer, unless he’s fulla beans and my time can be better spent on different thinkers. You are free to make suggestions.

Well, I’ve had a word or two thrown at me to incorrectly describe what I am going through. I used to chafe at the word “manicky”, because no one ever voiced a concern when I was depressed. But it was largely unfair. I am pleased to tell you I am in remission from bipolar, and no one has said one way or the other that I am acting funny. Anything can happen, but I think I have enough experience with this disorder to tell my folks when I’m about to go around the bend. But nevertheless, the word was wielded like a cudgel, putting me in my place, so to speak-when that was not what was needed.

Then the whole English speaking world got hold of the word “gaslighting”. Oh, lord. Anytime anyone told you different about what you were thinking was gaslighting. No. Gaslighting is rather specific, in that you deliberately aimed to drive someone bonkers by telling them that their sense impressions were wrong even if they were right. That’s a long way from simply being told, “you’re wrong”. If you have a problem with being wrong, well, that’s on you, not the person who is offering factual information to counter some bullshit you believe. There is an objective reality out there, and the contours of it are hard to grasp. Point is, somehow it became unacceptable to counter a poor take. Fee-fees got hurt and you used a ten-cent word to describe it. Nuh-uh.

Now we must deal with two twin scourges, brought to us by the wackoid right wing somewheres about the Gingrich era. They brought to the discourse “narrative” and “agenda”. Two fucking nothing words that seriously need to go away. They do not pump up your case at all. Every group has a fucking “agenda”, there’s nothing sinister about trying to achieve a goal. “Narrative” is just plain trash. I’m not going to read your motherfucking shit if you can’t avoid this word and use something else that was invented before 1995. It pains me to watch good libs season their journalism with these words. I’m seeing it more and more. It’s a goddamn storyline, and it’s probably more complex than you think. Don’t be lazy.

Words indeed do oppress, I guess. They do so because they’re cheap and easy ones. I’m quick to temper when I see them. Please do better, those of you breathing more rarefied air out here and have a fan base.


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