Friday, February 17, 2006

"We Are Divided By Those Who Think With Their Head, And Those Who Know With Their Heart"

Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, probably has never seen or heard of JABBS.

But he knows why we're here. We're here to fight "truthiness."

If you haven't heard of truthiness, it's defined as: "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true."

Sound familiar? Perhaps because truthiness is so rampant in the spin the Bush Administration and its cohorts in the conservative media feed us daily. Maybe that's why truthiness was selected by the American Dialect Society as the word of the year for 2005.

Here's how Colbert, satirizing Bill O'Reilly, describes it:

COLBERT: And that brings us to tonight's word: Truthiness.

Now I'm sure some of the word-police, the "wordanistas" over at Websters, are gonna say, "Hey, that's not a word!" Well, anybody who knows me knows that I am no fan of dictionaries or reference books. They're elitist. Constantly telling us what is or isn't true, what did or didn't happen.

Who's Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was finished in 1914? If I want to say it happened in 1941, that's my right.

I don't trust books. They're all fact, no heart. And that's exactly what's pulling our country apart today. Because face it, folks, we are a divided nation. Not between Democrats or Republicans, or conservatives and liberals, or tops and bottoms. No, we are divided by those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.

Consider Harriet Miers. If you think about Harriet Miers, of course her nomination's absurd! But the President didn't say he thought about his selection, he said this:

President Bush: "I know her heart."

Notice how he said nothing about her brain? He didn't have to. He feels the truth about Harriet Miers. And what about Iraq? If you think about it, maybe there are a few missing pieces to the rationale for war. But doesn't taking Saddam out feel like the right thing...right here in the gut?
Because that's where the truth comes from, ladies and gentlemen...the gut.

Did you know that you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your head? Look it up. Now, somebody's gonna say "I did look that up and its wrong." Well, Mister, that's because you looked it up in a book. Next time, try looking it up in your gut. I did. And my gut tells me that's how our nervous system works.

Now I know some of you may not trust your gut ... yet. But with my help you will. The "truthiness" is, anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news ... at you.


Blogger The Xsociate said...

Since the wonderfully hilarious Steven brought up the issue of books having too many facts and not enough heart, might I point out the James Frey scandal as a prime example of truthiness in action (though I think Oprah preferred the term 'emotional truth'). Personally I think truthiness has a better ring to it. At least my gut tells it does, so it must be true.

Keep up the good work guys.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

I would like to submit an original word to the American Dialect Society for consideration for the 2006 word of the year.

It's "libtusity". Lib + obtusity = "libtusity". Definition: A liberal's complete and utter failure to recognize the fact that the very thing they are accusing conservatives of being, in truth, is what they themselves are. It's quite breathtaking.

"I don't trust books. They're all fact, no heart."

As far as the above quote goes, sorry, but most conservatives cannot relate to that sentiment. We love books, love facts, and believe in President Reagan's motto of "Trust, but verify".

Here's another quote which is a personal favorite of mine. It was made by a Democrat of the old school, back when Democrats, even liberal Democrats, stood for something more than obstructionism.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Poechewe said...

Mark, great post.

Trinity, I don't have much problem with honest conservatives who read real books; I didn't agree with a lot of things done during the Reagan years, but I didn't feel our country was in perpetual crisis as it is now and the few major blunders that came up were basically dealt with by a responsible Congress or even within the Reagan administration. Anyone who's honest about Reagan knows he couldn't get his facts straight a lot of the time but many of the conservatives on his staff could; again, I didn't like a lot of his policies but the Reagan administration usually dealt in the known universe common to the rest of us.

My problem is with people like Karl Rove who try to appeal to right wingers who don't read books and are easily manipulated by emotional rhetoric. And Bush is no conservative; he seems to take pride in not reading much.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Hello, Poechewe. I'll have to disagree with you both about what you said about President Reagan's mental acumen, as well as the way you remember the Reagan Administration.

I can't comment on your own opinions, but if you'd go back and review the way the media treated Ronald Reagan back in the day, I think you would find that they had little respect for the man.

Sure, so many years later, after a long illness and death, they mellowed, and some had nicer things to say about him. But if you compare what they said about Reagan back then, and what they say about Bush today, you would find many parallels.

"...he seems to take pride in not reading much."

Shame on you for buying into that caricature of President Bush.

5:44 PM  

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