ANTHROPOLOGY NOW: The next generation of cablegogue!

MONDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2017

Part 3—The weaponization of virtue:
The next generation of "cablegogue" has been in the news of late.

"Cablegogue?" It's a term major anthropologists use to describe the role of "cable news" in the current functioning of our floundering species. It's a shorthand reference to the widespread presence of demagoguery at our partisan "cable news" networks.

We've been consulting with major anthropologists as we prepare our award-winning documentary film, Anthropology Now. "I love the smell of demagoguery in the evening," moguls will be quoted saying in this award-winning doc.

Over at Fox, the cablegogues have been especially active of late. In a recent assessment of the Mueller probe, Jesse Waters has declared that "we may have a coup on our hands in America." For a New York Mag profile, click here.

Watters is the next generation of cablegogue. He's an irony-swilling version of his more bombastic mentor, Bill O'Reilly. He's a fellow who never knows what he's talking about, but is always fully prepared to advance each talking point.

The slippery, insinuative Watters is the next generation of cablegogue. The past generation of cablegogue has also been active of late in the person of Judge Jeannine Pirro.

Where Watters traffics in irony, Pirro simply screeches and rails. “There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and Department of Justice," the former judge has recently shouted. “It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired, but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.”

Pirro has been ridiculous forever. Lately, she's been worse. For a TPM profile, click here.

If Watters represents Cablegogue Future, Pirro represents the realities of Cablegogue Present and Past. And uh-oh:

According to our scientific consultants, members of Homo sapiens are routinely unable to see that they're being played by such people.

("Think back to the music man, with all those trombones," one anthropologist said.)

At times of tribal war, we "humans" are wired to align with a tribe and believe what we're told by its sachems. This wiring even exists within our own liberal tribe, these scientists hotly insist.

Simply put, it's who and what we humans are. Or so these savants tell us.

Are we liberals really inclined to play these tribal games? When our analysts push back at these scientists, the scholars respond by lecturing them about the "weaponization of virtue."

What in the world can that crazy term mean? Over the weekend, the scientists answered that question with a question of their own.

"What did you think about the recent reports on Flint?" the anthropologists asked our high-spirited analysts.

Angrily, the analysts said that they'd see no such recent reports. "Exactly!" the scientists said. Nor will they see any liberal discussion of the New York Times' recent, highly peculiar report about rising test scores in Chicago, these anthropologists smugly predicted.

"The fact is, liberals don't care about people in Flint, or about kids in Chicago," these all-knowing nabobs averred. Past caterwauling about Flint was partisan posturing, they insist. There was never any real attempt to develop information, they say, and the topic has now disappeared!

Regarding kids in Chicago, these scientists made their most outrageous statements yet. In the formulation detailed below, they comparing our liberal instincts to those of The Others.

"Liberals often say that The Others only care about children before they're born," these scientists have puckishly told us. "But Over Here, inside liberal tents, we don't care about black kids in Chicago unless they've been shot and killed!"

The analysts screamed at this crazy assessment. Later, we're going to take them aside and ever-so-gently help them see how right the scientists are.

Full disclosure:

At the start of the year, we plan to do a series of reports about the peculiar assessments described in that Times report about Chicago's schools. But trust us—except for Kevin Drum, you'll see no one in Liberal Land discuss this topic. Not even Professor Miles!

You definitely won't see this topic discussed on "cable news." Manifestly, the grinning stars of "cable news" flat-out do not care.

Manifestly, we liberals don't care—and Drum completely bought the peculiar hypotheses reported by the Times. In our liberal/progressive world, black kids don't matter until they get shot. Then, we start inventing and disappearing facts as we weaponize our alleged virtue.

"Among Homo sapiens, this is simply the way it works," these gloomy scientists have told us. "This is the way our species is wired. In the end, this is largely who and what we are."

Our analysts thought these claims were nuts. Then, they read the hot new story, Cat Person.

Unlike Jesus, they didn't weep. But we'll admit they came close.

Tomorrow: Cat Person speaks

29 comments:

  1. "At times of tribal war, we "humans" are wired to align with a tribe and believe what we're told by its sachems."

    Whoa, Bob, putting "humans" in scare quotes -- very good!

    Yeah, there are humans, and then there are zombies; thankfully a small minority still.

    But Bob, please be careful: if you keep watching those Two-Minutes Hate braincell-killing shows, you'll turn into a zombie in no time. I'm worried...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From Putin's anus to Bob's ears.

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    2. Well @11:38 AM, at least you're taking a break from using your go to, "You're a racist, you're a racist." That's progress of a sort, I guess.

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    3. What else is there to say to a racist?

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  2. Whoa, Bob, I just saw, in The Duran, that your grand nemesis Chris Matthews is, perhaps, the next candidate for an auto-da-fé? Well, congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do any of your friends care about your latest cholesterol test? No, does that then mean they don’t care about you? Of course not.

    School test scores are reported regularly in the same manner, as a general but limited measure of how schools are doing. People who don’t care about them can still care about kids and even education.

    I doubt Somerby knows anything about the Chicago schools. He may be unaware of who goes to private versus public schools. He may not know the long history of battling over school budgets between a traditionally Democrat mayor and a Traditionally Republican governor. He may know nothing about the city’s changing demographics. And so on...but I’m sure he has some opinion to share about some trivial misstatement in the latest article. Can’t wait to hear what it is.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Somerby’s contempt for higher education is evident in his references to anthropologists and scientists. It is actually political scientists and social psychologists who study the kind of tribalism he complains about regularly. Cablegogue is a made up word used to deride those scientists he seems to think are part of the problem in his world. And those screaming but deluded analysts!

    Somerby actually criticizes a Fox pundit, so perhaps he does read his comment section.

    If people were actually behaving in tribal ways that might interest an anthropologist, they would be acting like human beings, not engaging in behaviors worthy of censure. The idea of weaponization of anything except weapons would make no sense.

    But it is pretty clear Somerby never studied social science of any kind while at Harvard. He thinks it is clever to link tribes with anthropologists but can’t go beyond that because he doesn’t know what anthropologists actually do. It would be sad if it weren’t so annoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Cablegouge Watters is a scientist? Cablegogue is a made-up word? Dang, you could knock me over with a feather.

      “The idea of weaponization of anything except weapons would make no sense.”

      If looks could kill, they probably will.

      LINK

      Hope you have good speakers…

      Leroy

      Delete
    2. After you. Again and again, you come back despite you annoyance. I was just trying to add to your burden. : )

      Delete
  5. Personal example of tribalism: A Jewish Facebook friend lauded a proposed UN resolution to void Trump's Jerusalem announcement. Of course the UN doesn't have that power, but the resolution is based on anti-Semitism -- that the Jewish state hasn't the right to choose its capital city.

    In short, a Jew is lauding an anti-Semitic UN resolution just because it's also anti-Trump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A resolution voiding Trump's Jerusalem dogwhistle is not anti-semitic, you idiot.

      Delete
    2. David hates ObamaCare and the American citizens who receive it's benefits, so he figures hating something about the nation of Israel is just like anti-semitism.

      Delete
  6. David,

    As 5:47 (bluntly) points out, many Jews (and other reasonable types) would disagree with your conclusion that this proposed resolution is anti-Semitic. It may be that your friend supports this resolution for the same reasons that many progressive and moderate Israeli Jews oppose the U.S. officially recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there, because to them these moves seem incendiary, provocative and antithetical to the peace process. As you are abundantly aware, Judaism is not the only religion that lays claim to Jerusalem as a major holy city. Unless your friend specifically said so, to conclude that anti-Trumpism is the sole motivation of his position is presumptuous and likely inaccurate. Certainly, it could be an exacerbating factor to him and some other Trump detractors. If you are implying that anti-Trumpism alone is no good reason to take a side in a complex issue, I will agree with you this once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a hypocrite who gave blanket approval of the GOP's total opposition of anything President Obama proposed now complaining that someone might oppose an issue because it is in opposition to one of Trump's proposal.

      This is a concern troll crying crocodile tears about anti-semitism who cited an article from the Daily Stormer and when apprised of that fact by another commenter, approved the article nonetheless.

      When you consider the source, 5:47 PM's comment was a model of restraint.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  7. Jerusalem is not part of Israel, it was conquered in 1967, and conquest is illegal under the United Nations Charter. The Security Council is the executive branch of the UN, it has the right and the duty to enforce the Charter.

    The resolution was pretty mild. It called on all countries to respect UN resolutions and not try to change the status of Jerusalem unilaterally. The vote was 14 in favor, 1 against. I.e. UK, France, Russia, China all voted for it. So did Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, Uruguay.

    We're completely isolated.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42394264

    Nikki Haley called this resolution, supported by our allies, an insult.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42394264

    ReplyDelete
  8. Regardless of the UN charter or what anyone would prefer, Jerusalem is in fact the capital. Israel's legislature, Supreme Court, President's office, and Prime Minister's office are all in Jerusalem. It's just bizarre for the world not to recognize Israel's actual capital city. IMHO this lack of recognition is a kind of anti-semitism YMMV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I move all my furniture onto my neighbor's lawn, it doesn't mean I own his house.

      Delete
    2. Facts, history and reality (ie. East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian Homeland) be damned, David says Jerusalem is the capital and that's all there is to it! Like Der Dumpster, he says it so therefore it be.

      David, is your hair turning orange yet?

      Delete
    3. The UN Charter is a treaty. But the USA is not bound by any treaty.

      Delete
    4. Caesar -- I do not understand your comment. The US didn't make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Israel did. If anyone violated a treaty, Israel was the one.

      BTW what does the UN Charter say about the neighboring countries all making war on Israel and trying to destroy it as soon as it was founded in 1948?

      Delete
    5. What do Americans say about Conservatives making war on the ACA and trying to destroy it as soon as it was passed in 2010?

      Delete
    6. David's jihad against the UN continues, ala John Birch Society. He could care less about Israel but for Trump/GOP policy.

      Concern troll's concern is noted, now FO.

      Delete