Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Res ipsa loquitor

That is, "the thing speaks for itself."  Something that is so obvious that it needs no further explanation.

A tactic that is becoming common on Facebook is "I'll just leave this here." Someone will link to a story that they think says it all. No further evidence or argument offered. I'm not recalling a conservative on my feed doing this.  Thus far, it has been liberals. The ironic point is that I think all of them don't actually speak for themselves. I'm trying to remember if any of them actually speak for themselves.  Each one seems worthy of comment and further discussion, to my mind. It reminds me of people who sign off "peace," when they clearly mean "Fuck you. But I'm a morally superior person who actually wants to live in harmony with the world." It is only used when it is untrue. My current understanding of the phrase "I'll just leave this here" is this is so devastating to the people on the other side because there is no possible response to it. It is unanswerable and shows they are wrong/hypocrites/stupid/liars, etc.

Perhaps.  You may know of counterexamples.  We have reviewed many times the ways in which my sample is unrepresentative.

I am imagining one of my conservative friends at work coming up and chuckling and telling me the story of their uncle who posted on FB "My announcement for Veterans Day is that Obama is a piece of shit."  What would we think of such a thing? Even if we didn't like Obama, wouldn't we feel that the whole thing was sort of embarrassing, and that some better argument than mere name-calling should be made? We know there are such people, but would we draw attention to them?  Or during the 2016 campaign, if someone had regaled you with the humorous tale of his niece, who is quite opinionated, saying "This Fourth of July, it's important to remember that Hillary Clinton is a piece of shit." Wouldn't we think that said niece was not merely "opinionated," but rather low, unintelligent, and extremist?  Wouldn't it be odd to think that a relative would make this public, rather than just downplay it and not mention it outside the family, hoping it would go away?

This morning a psychiatrist friend came up and told me - chuckling - his niece had posted on FB: "My announcement for Martin Luther King Day is that Donald Trump is a piece of shit." To them it's res ipsa loquitor. To use that language is merely colorful, and showing the team colors ins dramatic fashion.

The words that mainstream liberals use are the same as extremist conservatives.

This is how you get more Trump.


Boxty said...

I can't remember what conservative blog (Ace of Spades?), but the same person would always post in the comments "Obama is a piece of Shit" or some equivalent as either the first or second comment. I always thought it was dumb, but was slightly amazed at how they always got in on the first or second comment.

Texan99 said...

I think it was "Barack Obama is a stuttering cluster*** of a miserable failure (SCOAMF)," his tagline for every post.

I try not to post any very provocative on Facebook, so if a news article is one I'm likely to draw sharp moral from, I will sometimes post it without comment. I posted one today about the feds raiding a warehouse in Puerto Rico to retrieve a lot of donated electrical equipment that PREPA had squirreled away for some reason. My readers, some of whom are raving progressives, may draw a different moral than I would, maybe that it's Trump's fault somehow. Many of them concluded that it was an obvious case of graft, while I'm not sure it was even that straightforward: I suspect bureaucratic turgidity on the part of perhaps essentially well-meaning people. Someone's probably still stolidly checking off boxes until he can be sure it's OK to release the equipment. After all, no one had sold it yet, or pocketed the proceeds.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The "I'll just leave this here" part is crucial to the sneer. "Without comment" means the same thing, though it seems slightly less insulting somehow. Posting something without actually commenting strikes me as different.

Texan99 said...

True, it's like saying, "I could comment, and you know perfectly well how devastating my comment would be, but I'm above that."

Boxty said...

Yes, Texan99, that was it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

And neither of you were tempted to share this brilliant wit with all your friends and neighbors?

Sam L. said...

This is why (well, one really BIG reason) I don't do Facebook.

Sam L. said...

Oh, yes, and I like getting MORE Trump.