FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2022
As quoted by The Beast: We should have posted the quotation yesterday—yesterday, when we saw it.
That said, we took a little time off. We watched Tiger Woods in the Masters. We watched the Senate vote which confirmed the soon-to-be Justice Jackson.
We thought we'd watch a bit of Opening Day, but Opening Day became Opening Night. We also caught up on some sleep.
Along the way, we read an essay in The Daily Beast about Marine Le Pen. Along the way, Craig Copetas hauled off and quoted Goebbels:
COPETAS (4/7/22): In the bloody riptide of Ukraine, Ernest Hemingway’s description of the genesis of a fascist is no longer shrouded in literary ambiguity. “There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find out when the time comes,” the Nobel laureate wrote in For Whom the Bell Tolls.
That time has come. Yet democracy’s conventional-wisdom makers continue to use cautious language to describe Le Pen’s candidacy—and Putin’s Ukrainian genocide. How can anyone other than a propagandist Russian troll look at wheelbarrows of bodies shot in the head and modify such shameful, palpable evidence with “alleged?” There comes a time when phrases like “reasonable to believe” and “yet-to-be-proven” are the greater obscenities.
“The rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine,” fascist marketing specialist Joseph Goebbels told his Führer. “Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.”
In all honesty, we don't know where "democracy’s conventional-wisdom makers" have been "using cautious language to describe Putin’s Ukrainian genocide."
Still, that quotation from Goebbels did grab our attention. It seems to us that, in both its parts, it captures the headlong decline of our Potemkin-reminiscent national discourse.
The American discourse is breaking down into a set of identity wars. The American nation, such as it was, is splitting into two or three, or four or five, or maybe six different worlds.
At times of undisguised dislocation, we'd have to agree that "the rank and file" may be eager for new Storyline—and the simpler the better. We may be eager to swallow new markers of our emerging new group identities.
That's especially true if we're handed frameworks which are "simple and repetitious." On cable news (but also elsewhere), the children are more than happy, at this time, to make it as simple as humanly possible. And last night, on our own tribe's channels, the repetition was general.
CNN was in rare form yesterday afternoon. Last evening, so was Lawrence.
We turned Tucker Carlson off after maybe two (completely ridiculous) minutes. It seems to be getting dumber and dumber, and The Onrushing Simplification isn't restricted to the tribunes who are cranking it out Over There.
At any rate, this was Opening Day, 1956. On a spur-of-the-moment whim, our sainted mother took us and our sister out to the Fens. It was a windy, cold day at the yard. At the age of 8, it was our first MLB game, though nobody called it that then.
In retrospect, we probably should have stayed home and spent some time hitting the books. But the murderous Goebbels pretty much had it right. As our nation continues to slide toward disaster, the dumbnified messaging he described really is how our discourse works!