Thank you, Jon Stewart.

Because I really do want to remember this:

Bullshit is everywhere. There is very little you will encounter in life that has not been, in some way, infused with bullshit — not all of it bad. General day-t0-day organic free-range bullshit is often necessary, or at the very least innocuous. “Oh, what a beautiful baby! I’m sure he’ll grow into that head.”  That kind of bullshit in many ways provides important social contract fertilizer and keeps people from making each other cry all day.  But then there’s your pernicious premeditated institutional bullshit designed to obscure and distract. Designed by whom? The Bullshit Talkers.

It comes in three basic flavors: one, to make bad things sound good: “organic all-natural cupcakes.” Because “factory made sugar oatmeal balls” doesn’t sell. Patriot Act, because “Are you scared enough to let me look at all your phone records?” Act doesn’t sell. So whenever something’s been titled Freedom, Fairness, Family,  Health, or America, take a good long sniff. Chances are it’s been manufactured in a facility that may contain traces of bullshit.

Number 2, the second way, is hiding the bad things under mountains of bullshit. Complexity — you know that I would love to download Drizzy’s latest …. But I’m not really interested right now in reading Tolstoy’s  iTunes agreement, so I’ll just click “agree” even if it grants Apple prima noctae with my spouse. Here’s another one — simply put, banks shouldn’t be able to bet your pension money on red. Bullshitly put, it’s hey! this. [The Dodd-Frank Act, all 2,300 pages of it]. Hey, a handful of billionaires can’t buy our elections, right? Of course not; they can only pour unlimited anonymous cash into a 501 (c)4 if 50% is devoted to issue education, otherwise they’d have to 501(c)6 it or funnel it openly through non-campaign-coordinating SuperPAC  with a quarter- “I think they’re asleep now. We can sneak out.”

And finally, it’s the bullshit of infinite possibility. These bullshitters cover their unwillingness to act under the guise of unending inquiry.  We can’t do anything because we dont’ yet know everything. We can’t take action on climate change until everyone in the world agree that gay marriage vaccines won’t cause our children to marry goats who are gonna come for our guns. Until then, I say, teach the controversy.

Now, the good news is this: bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy, and their work is easily detected.  And looking for it is a pleasant way to pass the time, like an “I-Spy” of bullshit. So I say to you tonight friends that the best defense against bullshit is vigilance.  So if you smell something, say something.

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