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Nov 17 2006

Words: Now Officially Meaningless

Modern communication? It’s a goner, dude. Spammers have broken email, ClearChannel has killed radio, and now politicians and their pundit buttboys have hammered the final nail in discourse’s coffin by destroying words themselves. Their method is simple. They take a word or phrase that everybody feels good about, or that has meant one thing for centuries — say, “freedom” — then they decide that it now means something they like better, say, “white Christian men own the world’s uteruses.” Their marketing department turns “freedom” into a brand, then redistributes it as the entirely new concept, thus completely neutralizing its value and effectively turning speech, oratory, and even casual conversation over a couple of tacos into nothing more than insipid puffs of sweaty, hypocritical air gasping from vulgar, thoughtless lips. In other words, words mean nothing. And usually that nothing can be relied upon to be creepy.

You know what I mean. You’ve heard’em. War is peace, freedom is war, defeat is victory, war is sexy, war is noble, prostitution is speech, women are sexy, women are empowerful, W is God, crunchy is a flavor, etc. And now — get ready — contraceptives are “demeaning to women.”

Let me translate. “Demeaning to women” now means “good for women” except when a man-hating feminist posing as a stripper says it, in which case it means “I am shrill, hairy, and ugly.”

I allude to the departure to Bizarro World of the phrase “demeaning to women” because Salon’s Tim Grieve reports that WaPo reports that W intends to appoint a misogynist godbag to the Department of Health and Human Services. The misogynist godbag’s resume includes an OB/BYN practice (my scientifically-conducted psychological profile on men — godbags or no — who yank out uteruses for a living can be found in the archives) and a stretch at a A Woman’s Concern, a Christian “pregnancy counseling” outfit. A Woman’s Concern’s mantra is that “distribution of contraceptives is ‘demeaning to women’.”

I reiterate that this godbag jagoff, Eric Keroack, will pretty much be in charge of programs that ostensibly purport to concern themselves with the reproductive issues of the poor.

“Christian pregnancy counseling” by the way, is another meaningless phrase that now means “Please accept this bouquet of roses, Your Royal Highness.” There are some of us left alive who remember when it meant “You’re havin’ that baby, bitch.”

This whole post means “My, isn’t the weather fine! Shall we lunch on the terrace, André?”

33 comments

3 pings

  1. wendell77

    Another excellent and informational post. I send you thanks and imaginary, delicious tacos.

  2. Cass

    One of his previous nominess for this post, also a gynecologist I believe, had to withdraw after his ex-wife made public his habit of anally raping her while she slept. So count me as unsurprised.

  3. educe

    It’s not surprising, but eyebrow raise-inducing.

    According to the WaPo post: “He will oversee $283 million in annual family-planning grants that, according to HHS, are ‘designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons.’”

    Also, “The appointment… does not require Senate confirmation….”

    The “crisis pregnancy centers” we have here in West/Lafayette, IN, don’t give any info on contraceptives. In fact, the last time I went to one, back in ’95, they have you take a pregnancy piss test and while you wait for the results they show you a video about the developing sack of joy. They also had diapers and clothes for babies and maternity clothes. But when that baby becomes a toddler and the mother needs non-maternity clothes: bitch, you’re on your own!

    I believe federal monies currently go to these Christian centers, right? I’m thinking we’ll have to wait to see what this appointment will mean for further funding of not only these centers, but non-religious, educational/health practices.

    That contraceptives are “demeaning to women” is a falsehood that only an idiot (or godbag, so much as there is a difference) would believe. Demeaning to women are actions to limit their access to knowledge, contraception, and abortion, effectively making women nothing more than wombs on legs at the mercy of the State.

  4. Ron Sullivan

    As if “Feminists for Life” hadn’t already done enough to make the English language the vermiform appendix of the body politic. Ugh. Assuming “ugh” retains its former meaning, of course.

    Didn’t Dub nominate a veterinarian to some similar post a year or two back? I guess when words are gutted of denotation, we can watch actions and connotation. The bagbags can’t quite control themselves enough to fake those. Of course, that’s assuming we can still watch what they do rather than the Xbox version of C-Span, coming soon to a cable monopoly near you.

    Blam! I mean Blame.

  5. HermitWithAVengeance

    Lucky, Internet-swaddled me. I had been banging my head wondering how we could fight fascist tendencies in American culture with our everyday language, and it seems — Twistily or nay — so are many others.

    Asia Times Online has this guest column today, “Freedom’s just another word” (on what everyone who’s ever played drinking games while listening to Bush speeches already knows):

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HK17Ak01.html

    And the UK Guardian covered Bush clumsily comparing Iraq to Vietnam, but not in the way you think:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1950754,00.html

    PLUS, the Believer talked up the anniversary of Ginsberg’s great anti-war poem, “Wichita Vortex Sutra”:

    http://www.believermag.com/exclusives/?read=article_potts

    It is a glorious moment for double-speak and the relentless mocking thereof.

    But this (double-speak) is the problem, folksies. Isn’t there a wise and kind spinster aunt and gentleman farmer out there who can help us not only recognize (and relentless mock) the problem, but brainstorm ways in which we can fight fascist tendences in American culture through our everyday language — instead of submitting to it in our speech as well as in our silences?

  6. CafeSiren

    Well, according to the WaPo article, this is not an appointment subject to congressional approval, but just in case there’s something that can be done, I sent an e-mail to the incoming Speaker of the House:

    http://democraticleader.house.gov/

    There’s nothing on her website’s “issues” section about issues like birth control, abortion, family planning, or women being human beings, but I figured that it’s worth a shot, right?

  7. Lalock

    The analrapist (TM Arrested Development) was Dr. W. David Hager, who was appointed to the FDA’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee and was instrumental in delaying the availability of RU-486. He also advocates prayer and scripture-reading to treat PMS and headaches. According to his wife, he would anally rape her and then leave money on the bureau. Nice, huh?

    The administration also appointed Dr. Norris Alderson, a veterinarian, to the post of director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health last year, then denied doing so. He was appointed after Dr. Susan Wood resigned in protest over the indefinite delay of the Plan B morning after pill.

    There’s a list of some of the creepy godbags Bush has appointed in the last six years on AlterNet at http://www.alternet.org/story/18259/.

  8. norbizness

    I thought that some of his ravings sounded suspiciously like the “purity of essence” monologues by Sterling Hayden as General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove.

    BTW, there’s a sequel to My Dinner With Andre coming out…. it’s called My Dinner With Andre II: Dine Harder.

  9. B. Dagger Lee

    Dude! Totally awesome double-plus good post!

    Contraceptives demeaning women, double-plus ungood.

    yrs, BDL

  10. Keeshond

    Quote from one of Bush’s other fundy advisers:

    “I would like to outlaw contraception…contraception is disgusting — people using each other for pleasure.” -Joseph Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League

    So there you have it. Contraception is both demeaning and disgusting to white male religious fanatics, and so it must be for us all.

  11. thelmyc

    “I would like to outlaw contraception…contraception is disgusting — people using each other for pleasure.”

    Far better for MEN to use WOMEN to harvest more cannon fodder. Now, that’s lots better.

  12. Jezebella

    Sooner or later when pounding one’s head against the walls of ignorance, words start to seem meaningless, what with their constantly-shifting allegiances, and that’s when a blamer has a post-modernist moment: words mean nothing. Woe is me.

    But then if you keep using words, it turns out that they keep riling people up or making them happy or changing their lives, and therefore they have meaning. It just turns out that we all have different definitions for our words, and that’s where discourse becomes necessary.

  13. HermitWithAVengeance

    Grazie, Jezabella. Just what I needed to be reminded.

  14. rootlesscosmo

    Here’s a headline from yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle:

    USDA drops ‘hungry’ from annual report 
Lack of food will be labeled as ‘very low food security’

    The full article is at

    http://tinyurl.com/y22r26

    But I’d like to suggest that these examples don’t show that words are meaningless. The people who declare contraception “demeaning to women” or who abolish hunger by renaming it know that, in fact, words are very meaningful, because they’re how we create our understanding of the world: Saddam is “another Hitler,” affirmative action is “reverse racism,” abusing women is “free speech” etc. Once people accept these names for things, they’ll be more likely to believe the things correspond to the names.

  15. Rene

    This post (excellent, as always) reminds me of a horrifying article I just read in The Nation about some new godbag movement called Quiverfull, wherein women strive to have as many babies (aka quivers for the good lard’s army) as possible. Even the rhythm method is bad because it’s cheating God out of his rightful minions. Women who manage to crank out only three or four kids (or who are unfortunate enough to be postfertile) are pitied or shunned. One dude, who was contemplating a vasectomy after a dozen or so kids, had a nightmare about God whaling on his genitals with a flaming sword. They make the Pope look like Phil Donahue.

  16. cycles

    One dude, who was contemplating a vasectomy after a dozen or so kids, had a nightmare about God whaling on his genitals with a flaming sword.

    If you’re contemplating snipping your vas deferens, and you dream that an angel points a sharp object at the site of the future surgery, wouldn’t it just confirm that God is telling you, “Yes, make with the cutty-cutty already!”

  17. thebewilderness

    In interpretation that the pro production of Lord serving minions failed to consider.
    The anti shrill minions of mendacity shall be hoist on their own petard when the patriarcy is overthrown.

  18. jess

    Found this online way to send a protest letter:

    http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/replace_keroack2

    (never tried posting a link before, hope it works)

  19. Buttercup

    ok. lemme get this straight.

    contraception is demeaning.

    hunger is low food security.

    and we’ve always been at war with oceania, right?

    I get so confused sometimes. For that, I blame the patriarchy.

    Just wondering if they’re going to start calling food stamps “food securities” now. It’s important to me, because I’m a welfare caseworker, and I want to be sure to tell my clients when they call that they’re not hungry, they’re experiencing low food security, and that their food security credits will shortly be appearing on their electronic benefit accounts.

    then I’ll tell them that contraception is demeaning, and that they should continue to breed because the lawd needs cannon fodder. and that’s not demeaning. and neither is going around pulling your uterus on a cart behind you, after you’ve had 16 kids.

    and i’ll also tell them that it’s not demeaning to use their food security credits in the store, no matter how many people give them dirty looks or scrutinize the contents of their shopping carts as if the money came out of their pockets.

    but that’s a rant for another day.

    then i’ll tell them we’ve always been at war with eastasia.

  20. Hattie

    I posted on another blog that I wondered if the new appointee was related to Jack. No one understood. I feel so old.

  21. educe

    Hattie, I thought the same thing when I read his name. It’s not an age issue per se, just consciousness.

  22. jami

    the thing poor women need in their lives is totally more guilt and shame from rich white men.

    by “totally” i mean not in the least.

  23. No Sharp Edges

    Buttercup, I bet the next step will be the creation of the new federal Food Security Advisory System.

    Once that happens, you’ll have to tell your clients, “I’m sorry, but you’re still at the Fuchsia Food Security level right now. When you get down to Indigo or, say, Chartreuse, THEN give me a call and we’ll see what we can do.”

  24. slade

    I know what is coming next: tiny cock is HUGE.

  25. johnieb

    Yes, Hattie, and as I said there, the final k and a superficial reading, for which, obviously, the Patriarchy is the final cause, caused my misunderstanding.

    Of course, at my age, the onset of senility cannot be ruled out completely; there are reasons to BTP.

  26. Vanska

    Check out the article in which ..”Medical Information provided by: “Bonding Imperative,” [a special report from the Abstinence Medical Council] by Eric J. Keroack, MD, FACOG and John R. Diggs Jr., MD.”

    OMG

    http://www.starianwall.com/Warrior_Homes/Home_Life/Godly_Living_Patterns/Inserts/Fornication_and_Oxytocin.htm

  27. thebewilderness

    In my poor understanding of what his goofy speculation implies, (in the link above) those of us with low oxytocin levels should feel free to spurn the male of the species and abort as many blastocysts as we wish because we are not equipped with sufficient chemicals for bonding. Spinster Auntishness is clearly the only appropriate choice for lop (low oxytocin producers).
    I think he should explore the possibility that lack of oxytocin could be responsible for men becoming asshats and serial killers.

  28. Burrow Klown

    So the solution for all of us who don’t want to breed is to somehow get a doc to say we have low oxytocin levels? My doc’s rad, I’m sure she’ll help me out with that.

    In seriousness: *shudder*.

  29. Mar Iguana

    The poor, little guys now, really. Here they go to all the trouble of inovating reading and writing, hoard it from women for centuries and then it turns out, once women catch on to this R&W thingy, they’re better at it than boys. I mean, if girls are better with words than boys, who needs ‘em?

  30. KTal

    Hattie, Jack came to my mind as well, but the spelling is off. Might he be the spawn of a Jack relative intent on burying Jack’s nefarious past?

    And about the oxycotin, did that help Mr. Rush bond with his child sex slaves when he went on vacation to the Dominican Republic recently? Were the purple pills assisting him in his quest for a pure romantic relationship under the eyes of The Great Overseer of Doom of which Dr. K and others speak so fondly?

    As for language, it seems I recall a time back in the early nineties when the wingnuts cried the loss of language to political correctness? I seem to recall their ranting that the world was turning sideways due to efforts of universities and legislatures to classify certain words as hate speech. The left they claimed, were taking away the meaning and context of language by removing the old standard words that belied white male ownership of the world.

    What to do? What is an old rich white boy to do? Well, put your thinking cap on that’s what, hire a liar and get your pants on fire and speak in euphemisms that would make a professor cry.

    And that, my friends, they did.

  31. Mar Iguana

    Jack and Eric do find common ground on one thing, their attitude towards women. It’s a religious dealybob.

  32. Mar Iguana

    Oops. Meant to mention, good comment, KTal. Although, I had to stop and take my mind out for a rinse after the thought of der limpbah and some poor little girl got on it.

  33. shannon

    Thanks for the latest news from the Department of NewSpeak.

  1. sonitus.org » Blog Archive » Words: Now Officially Meaningless

    [...] I Blame The Patriarchy [...]

  2. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » The inexorable march towards Stepfordization continues apace

    [...] The new guy appointed to head up the family planning program at the Department of Health and Human Services is — get this — a godbag who doesn’t believe in family planning. Or rather, he believes that family planning should consist solely of each man deciding whether or not to plow his wife or let her lie fallow for a year. Contraception, according to said godbag, is “demeaning to women.” Translation: Shut the fuck up, bitches. We men will decide whether you get knocked up or not. [...]

  3. Nebraska judge lacks clue re: Truth at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] I’ve been complaining for some time now that words officially have no meaning anymore — they are regularly stolen from the people who need’em and put’em to reasonable use by megatheocorporatocrats, who reprogram them as minions in service of their own bloated interests before releasing them back into the public sphere — and this proves my hypothesis. If one erases the word rape from courtroom vernacular, if a victim of assault has no word to describe the violent nature of the attack, rape itself ceases to exist as a crime. All that’s left is sex, which everybody knows is the right and proper use of a woman, especially a drunk woman. Rape apologists — that is to say, men who don’t see anything criminal in a little coercion — can breathe a sigh of relief. A woman in public resumes her traditional role as public property in a persistent condition of having given consent. The natural order is restored. [...]

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