vendredi, janvier 18, 2013

Deep six the "F" word

There are some idiosyncrasies in the journalistic world that drive me crazy.

Frankly, I blame the advent of social media, including blogging, for the fact that, all of a sudden, everyone's a writer.

In one way, that's a blessing.  We now get to hear from people who might have been too shy to express an opinion before, or not had access to a way of getting their ideas out before the public.

Sometimes what they have to say is worth reading.

But with the popularity of Twitter, Facebook and Blogger comes a lot, forgive me for saying so, of dreck.

That includes certain memes that seem to rise and fall in popularity, becoming trite before you can say " Bob's yer uncle."

I'm not crazy about writers who label other writers "elites" from another privileged position.

Nor am I fond of the way that some conservative authors call newspapers, blogs and online magazines with which they happen to disagree "the media" (meaning the mainstream media) when conservative media outlets like Fox are both vociferous and extremely well-funded.

What media outlets are leaching jobs left and right? Or should I say -- left or right?

But in the interest of fairness, it's not only conservatives who fall deep into the linguistic mire.

Liberals also have their favorite words -- one on which is "fascist." Often, it's a response to the accusation by conservatives that those who favor government-funded health care and unemployment benefits are "socialists."

Thus ideas held dear by conservatives become totalitarian or "fascist."

Real fascists (or real socialists, for that matter) would find these comparisons absolutely ludicrous. But it's just another sign of the disintegration of our political and social discourse.

Frankly, as a descendant of people who survived (and some who perished) in the Holocaust, I don't just find it ridiculous. I find it offensive.

In addition, we happen to live in  a democracy, however dysfunctional. That's why we have elections -- right?

But liberals don't own the f-word anymore. And perhaps that fact means that we can begin to wean ourselves from overusing it.

Conservatives like Jonah Goldberg have also been known to throw the word "fascist" around when speaking of his political opposites.

Then there are people like John Mackey.

Frankly, I'm not sure what the Whole Foods owner would call himself.  He recently termed President Obama's Health-Care act "fascist" (though he later walked it back -- perhaps when he realized that he provides his employees health-care).

Wait up.  I'm worried.

What are we to think, however, of a man who talks about our "food addictions" and the need to cure them?

Scary dude.

Conveniently enough, Mackey has provided us with a nationwide network of Whole Foods stores so that we can be reprogrammed.

Oops. I mean, have stores in which to purchase healthier products.

Sounds a little fascist to me.

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