More on Labels

Of course, in order for the rhetorical trick described in the previous post to work, the label needs to be something that people really don’t want to be. Adding “phobic” to your insults is particularly brilliant because it puts you in a position of a psychiatrist giving out diagnoses. That’s a role that projects great power.

Nothing is more pathetic than people who try to attach labels that nobody minds. “Socialist! Communist!” These meant something negative in 1952. Today they are a badge of honor sought by the privileged classes. “Yes, but how is communism better than nazism?” It’s not but making these lame, nitpicky points about why your insult SHOULD land if only the world were fair is loser behavior.

7 thoughts on “More on Labels

  1. I’ve had a few people try and use this trick on me, but with the word “conservative.” That may be an attack in your circles, but I don’t care, buddy!

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    1. Yes, that one. It’s especially popular in academia. “This sounds like. . . I’d almost call it. . . You know. . . Conservative!” The accusation is considered so definitive and potent that the accused is expected to crawl away in eternal shame.

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  2. Last night I had a dream you were visiting my city and we went out for coffee. Today I went to a café and happened to sit next to a university professor (her mask was embellished with our local university’s logo) who was loudly ranting in Spanish about latinx and transnationalism 😳

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      1. I don’t speak Spanish but she spoke words like “transnationalism” and “queer theory” in very clear English, and with such obvious contempt I couldn’t help but listen. I think the conversation was about Spanish cinema… made me wonder what’s going on with Spanish film that inspired that intensity!

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        1. “with such obvious contempt”

          I don’t know if I’d be so sure… depending where she’s from what seems like contempt to you might be…. oh, all sorts of things….

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