August 28th, 2008

The big yawn of political oratory


I’ve said before that I’m not an auditory learner. Although dialogue is fine, and I never had a problem listening intently to clients, the prepared speech has always been an enormous bore to me.

This was a big problem when I was growing up. Classes were mainly a bunch of blah-blah-blah (see above cartoon), and this included most of college, which was heavily based on the “lecture to the multitudes in a huge auditorium” system. Religious sermons were something I came to dread. Even poetry and literary readings that interested me made my brain go on walkabout, no matter how many times I resolved that this time it would be different. And my efforts at listening to Books on Tape were laughable. After the first few paragraphs I would invariably start daydreaming and totally lose the thread as the voice became a meaningless drone. Try finding your place in a recorded book once you’ve lost it; it’s hopeless.

Political speeches are the worst of the worst. This is true whether it’s a candidate I like or one I dislike. Unless the orator is Churchill, in a few minutes I’m out. My concentration is stellar for any written matter, and that’s the way I prefer to get my information.

Maybe that’s why I tend to focus more on substance in politics than style. And that’s why, even though I was determined to listen to the speeches of both Clintons, I only lasted about ten minutes each. It also might be why I am immune to Obamalove, which seems to be transmitted mainly through the auditory, speech-listening mode—and I have little doubt that I’d be immune to it even if I were still a Democrat.

I’ve watched the Democratic Convention off and on, a few minutes here and there. And I’m puzzled when I see the starry-eyed acolytes, be they wedded to Obama or to Hillary. I have no idea how a grownup thinking person can invest that much love and hope in any politician. This sort of thing is seen in both parties at the conventions, but if my small sample of acquaintances is typical it’s seen a bit more often in the rank and file of Democrats. Conservatives tend to be more cynical about what government—and politicans—can do, with an emphasis on “first, do no harm.”

I doubt I’ll be able to get through much of Obama’s speech at the Greek Temple this evening. How about you?

45 Responses to “The big yawn of political oratory”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    “Well, my opponent is a habitual masticater and philatelist, and engages in piscatorial activity. Furthermore, his sister is a thespian. And furthermore…”

  2. nyomythus Says:

    …elementromythic to the nth degree…

  3. FredHjr Says:

    neo-neocon, I can relate to some of what you’ve described. I’ve completely avoided the convention, as I do pretty much all political conventions, regardless of the candidates or parties. I don’t enjoy political speeches. Never have. I’m a meat and potatoes guy: just give me the policy preferences, information about the candidate’s voting record, and his/her background. I can make do with that, quite elegantly.

    And I plan to avoid the Republican convention too, even if I am going to vote for McCain. My wife and I have better things to do at that time. We’re celebrating, albeit a week delayed, our 20th anniversary by going to the Big Island of Hawai’i next week. So, far more important things await.

    Political conventions are pep rallies for the partisans. Speeches are for those who are wavering or want to be convinced.

    Ultimately, deeds are what count. Very few speeches go into the history books in a memorable way. The ones that really matter were backed up by significant deeds that altered the course of history.

  4. Barb Says:

    I’d rather eat glass than watch that crap tonight.

  5. Recruiting Animal Says:

    I watched the 2004 Democratic Convention with great interest because I thought that the speakers were so good. Bill Clinton was the best. I hadn’t heard him give an entire speech before and I thought he was fantastic. Barack Obama was good but not as good. I even enjoyed Jimmy Carter whom I didn’t agree with and I thought Al Sharpton gave a good speech too in spite of his negative history.

    This time around, however, I’m with you. I saw Jesse Jackson’s son; he was terrible. And Michelle Obama was worse. It seemed so canned and she delivered it so poorly that I just couldn’t watch too much. It was painful. Maybe I missed the good parts and that’s why I can’t understand everyone raving about her.

  6. Bugs Says:

    I guess sometimes a good speech is worth watching just because it’s a good speech. Think of it as entertainment rather than a source of useful information. That may be what all those starry-eyed knuckleheads in the audience are doing. Just soaking up the vibes or something.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    read cicero… 🙂

    specifically De Oratore…
    [i couldnt find an english translation to post a link to, only latin. and i dont think that many here can read latin. If anyone knows a link for the three books let me know]

    “Cicero questions why, since there are so many men with exceptional abilities, there are so few exceptional orators. He states that there are many examples of war leaders, and will continue to be throughout history, but only a handful of great orators. ”

    and why it fails today…
    In order to speak effectively on a subject, the orator must have some knowledge of that subject. Can an advocate for or against war speak on the subject without knowing the art of war? Can an advocate speak on legislation if he doesn’t know law or how the administration process works?

    Ah… but this kind of rhertoric was the kind that churchill and others knew, and was banished inthe west with the classical cannon and the dead white guys…

    this was the discourse of a meritocracy… not a mediocracy of socialism where all are made procrustian equals. (cut short at the knees).

    now all you get is promotion of confirmation of “slides”…


    otherwise learn some new lingo as to why our new speech givers (at least on the left), use pop phrases and expect not to be challenged, talk in sound bites, slides, pc speech, etc. lots of names for the same thing for the most part.

    (you can also read elsewhere as to how sesame street and new readers changed our attention spans since their birth in the 60s so that children would favor these slides, or sound bite messages over in depth things later in life).

    “A ‘slide’ is a prefabricated, ‘politically correct’ blanket ‘pop’ ‘opinion’, ‘view’ or ‘take’ upon a particular issue of general interest which is designed to preclude further consideration, analysis or investigation of the issue in question.

    In other words, it is a ‘collectivised’ mental position which is never to be questioned.” The potential application venue for such “slides” is enormous, for example “random polls,” “hit music,” and television commercials.

    could it be that these prepared speeches spend too much time affirming “slides” and providing them?

    that they are boring to a thinking person for the reason that the ideas are not to be challenged, but just accepted. like a speech of nothing but commercials strung together. this makes them a form of dikta, that one must only take in, and never quesion.

    if you dont like the term slides cause of tin hatters then call them “sound bites”, “chunks”, “party line”, etc.

    the point is that no one has to really think much to understand what they are saying… even more so if the people listening know the speaking codes… then they realize that a speech may be just a way to string the right codes together to get the largest mass of blind supporters… who have been fed these short sound bite dictas.

    ideas hang in the air, they have no cohesive whoel or direction and there is no questioning them, so one cant work out where the premises lead. its forbidden.

    we went from james fenimore cooper as a reading level in the 50s for childrens and young adults, and now the average adult cant do better than a 5th grade reading level. (when i was a young man it was 8th grade for business).

    shakespeare wrote for the common man… mozart also wrote for the common man when he wasnt trying to please lords for money.

    today we get all manner of poorly written things from womens studies, and black studies, we dont get the cannon, which is what we learned that got the west to where it is… (was?).. by using multiculturalism, guilt, oppressor dialectics, they cut out from us the best writing and hsitories, and such from our culture, and replaced them with modern collectivist dreck.

    do you think the youths that are being tricked to become slaves of understand that thats where the slides and rhetoric are leading them today. the youth of chavez land didnt, and now look what htey have. it may take several generations before they can start working to be back to where they were before the bolivar revolution.

    for a bit of interest..
    The Decline and Fall of Oratory,9171,948973,00.html

    Today, oratory seems in serious, possibly terminal, decline. Americans rummaging in their memories for the last great speech they heard—great in content and delivery—often find that they must fetch back at least to 1963, to Martin Luther King Jr.’s soaring, preacherly performance during the March on Washington. Some think of John Kennedy’s Inaugural Address; yet as the ’60s wore on, the go-anywhere-pay-any-price rhetoric of that bright January day on the New Frontier began to seem not only suspect but even a symptom of the emptiness of eloquence and the woes that fancy talk can lead a country into. Some, with even longer memories, mention Churchill in Fulton, Mo., in 1946 (“An iron curtain has descended . . .”) or F.D.R.’s first Inaugural (“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself).

    The ancient disciplines of rhetoric suffer disastrously as they are trimmed to the electronic purpose. A politician’s handlers try to schedule an event for some time around 2 or 3 p.m. to sluice neatly into Cronkite. Instead of constructing a speech on the old Ciceronian blueprint (exordium, argument, refutation, peroration and so on) or even on a less classical pattern (beginning, middle and end would do) the politician contrives a speaking performance that contains a few key and newsy sentences in oratorical neon to make the networks. As J.F.K. Aide William Haddad says, “A lot of writers figure out how they are going to get the part they want onto TV. They think of a news lead and write around it. And if the TV lights don’t go on as the speaker is approaching that news lead, he skips a few paragraphs and waits until they are lit to read the key part. This does not make for a coherent, flowing speech.”

    they create slides so that we live on the sound bites. 🙂

  8. Artfldgr Says:

    Biden gives me a perfect example of the problem of the speech giver not understanding the subject, a critical flaw according to cicero..

    Barack Obama added Joe Biden to the ticket to give him some much-needed gravitas on foreign policy and military affairs. Biden gave an indication of how successful this might be by managing to confuse the terms battalion and brigade in his acceptance speech at the convention last night. Most amusingly, it came while Biden attempted to argue that it was John McCain who was militarily incompetent

    the obama doesnt know how many states we have, and a lot of other things… biden carries the party line and doesnt know either (and neither does his audience).

    the flip side of the cicero point is what happens when the audience is no longer capable of understanding the concepts either?

  9. FredHjr Says:


    I took three years of Latin in high school, but have forgotten most of it. We did study Cicero in our third year. It was required in Catholic high schools in those days.

    I liked your above post and how we’ve experienced the decline of rhetorical abilities. I find it stultifying that we have to listen to canned crap that the politicians and office holders have not written themselves. One learns a lot about a person when what comes out of their mouths they have prepared themselves.

    Now, it’s all marketing. Buzzwords and phrases that are distilled from the research gained from pols and focus groups. I hate it all. Most of it is drivelous and uninspiring. I prefer to spend time with a good book, or be out in nature, or just watching a sporting event. There you can find something truly inspiring.

  10. E.D. Kain Says:

    I’m the same way with so many things, though I hadn’t thought about it much until I read your post (ironically). I, too, cannot for the life of me listen to a book on tape; can’t abide a Church sermon regardless of the Church; tend to doodle to stay awake in class and still ace it despite not listening; and stare blankly at the screen during speeches (though I agree, there was something more to Churchill than the modern pol-orator can achieve; then again, watching Hitler is somewhat engaging in a horrifying sort of way).

    Regarding the starry-eyed masses, I think half of their adoration is actually the love-child of a deep-seeded hatred of the current President. So Obama has both the cult of personality going for him, and a very, very unpopular President. The stars and planets have aligned–though you’d think his numbers would be better….

    I wonder, will you be able to grin and bear it through tonight’s Olympian Sermon?

  11. FredHjr Says:


    I didn’t listen to Biden’s bloviating. And for him to suggest that Sen. McCain is a military incompetent is the height of stupidity. The vast majority of the adoring mob never served in the military, never studied wars, campaigns, or battles. Certainly know not a whit about the structure of military units and chain of command.

    What a pathetic, lazy mob that this long-legged mack daddy appeals to!

  12. FredHjr Says:

    I have heard some good homilies delivered in church (Catholic and Protestant, although most Catholic priests are poor homilists) and a lot of bad ones. Mostly, the priest or minister is a poor homilist who speaks longer than 15 mins. When I was in the seminary, we were taught not to go longer than 15 mins. If you can’t distill the important themes of the readings IN AN ORIGINAL AND INTERESTING WAY in 15 mins. or less, then you are wasting everyone’s time, including your own.

  13. Martin Bebow Says:

    I went back to college a few years ago to get some prerequisites for a post-graduate degree. The key thing I learned is that the class lecture no longer works. Lectures were always excruciating to sit through and provided nothing that I couldn’t have picked up better on my own. The best learning I did was online asking the professor questions. His answers were always better than anything in class. We need to organize knowledge online in a systematic and dynamic way (i.e. in a way that is responsive to student input) that is accessible to anyone. This is already happening and will eventually do away with class lectures altogether.

  14. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Just a bunch of con men and, mostly not very skilled ones at that, appealing to emotion, using not very deft sleight of hand and misdirection and shoveling the shit out for the even dumber marks to eat up.

    Investigate almost any one of the claims made by any one of these speakers and you will discover that it is either, a bald-faced lie, a grossly misleading simplification, a partial truth or that it relies on a forced and incorrect interpretation of the facts. If a statistic is quoted, be sure that the speaker has looked over the available sets of statistics and has deliberately selected whichever statistic proves his point, with absolutely no regard for whether it is accurate or even current.

    Indignant shout: “Bob voted to pass a bill sterilizing Poodles”!

    Look at the bill and, even if it mentions sterilization or Poodles—they count on you never taking the time or having the expertise and patience to look it up to find out for yourself–it might be one line, and usually a cryptic one at that, in a bill that could run a hundred or even a thousand pages or more of often small, close-spaced type—a hard to read jumble of changing type faces, deliberately printed without an index, and on a totally different subject from the sterilization of Poodles. Instead it is, say, an Omnibus bill, listing staffing and funding levels, setting out policy, procurement of specific items, and describing the programs of several major cabinet agencies. So, technically, if Bob voted to pass the Omnibus bill, with all of it’s thousands of provisions, he may also have voted to sterilize Poodles. Did old Bob read the bill in its entirety or even know that the line about sterilizing Poodles might be in there? Not likely.

  15. Tom Says:

    Something is afoot in Obama’s oratory, and I’ve been scratching my brain about it for a while. Is it BHO’s Wright-like preaching, or is it the receptivity of the massed congregants, ignorant of history and other important data? BHO seems to do best with huge audiences-like tonight- and the whole show resembles the masses of Germans at Adolf’s feet in the 1930s. That’s what scares me.

  16. James Says:

    I Neo,

    Its sort of a wonder you made it through school. I guess studying the books later can make up for ignoring the lectures.

    I read in a book somewhere that school is dedicated to those who learn a certain way. These people then succeed in life and have influence. They prefer to keep schools the way they are.

    The ones who really liked school, and its methods of learning, become teachers, who then make the school even more dreadful, if you don’t like that learning style.

    I guess Obama, and Democrats in general, seem to be liked by those who really enjoy the lecture part of learning. This would seem to include graduate students and professors.

    I bet if you did a poll of your readership, the learning styles would be much more varied. Though those who like to learn through lecture might be a portion of them.


  17. Lorelei Says:

    I know exactly what you mean by this, Neo. I had the worst time with lectures because of it: the class would end and instead of notes I’d have a page full of doodles and absolutely no idea what came after, “today we will be discussing Post-Impressionism…”

    Maybe this explains why I can watch the exact same speech that everyone else is sobbing over, and instead of being filled with emotion I’m just thinking that I should have picked up a gallon of milk on the way home.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    James: School was horrifically boring for me. But I always loved to learn, and I adored reading. I would often read the entire text the first week of school and then be bored while the class plowed through it orally for the rest of the term.

    I always did exceedingly well in school despite the auditory problem, and despite pretty much hating school (and despite the fact that—confession—in college I cut most of my lecture classes, if it was allowed).

  19. Count to 10 Says:

    I don’t learn very well from someone standing in front of a podium and lecturing, but I am just fine if there is a visual component–or even better, all the information is there in the visuals. I also learn a lot from asking questions.

    Separately, having heard some of the DNC speeches, I have to agree that they are basically nothing but assertions of false or misleading information.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    Thanks for reading my tracts. I really do hate that they are so long. I just don’t know how to transfer the information across such a wide span in a better way.

    To be honest I didn’t listen to Biden’s Logorhea moments, I was lucky and saw the point at the right time. It’s just that his speech on paper had the right terms, and the point that he conveniently expresses is the lack of knowledge about the subjects that they are talking about. In general this comes from regenerating in that no ones ideas are any better than any other persons, even if they don’t know whit about the subject.

    What a pathetic, lazy mob that this long-legged mack daddy appeals to!

    This was the sentence I found most interesting. because its not a lazy mob, its normal people, but they are suffering a cultural breakdown. In a healthy culture (non manipulated), things tend to be much more honest and less manipulative. In a culture in which the state and other states are powerful enough and morally imbecilic enough to try to control outcomes by manipulating the things we use to choose and express our lives, the culture breaks down.

    While the culture wasn’t genius in the 1950s, its knowledge was more valid and correct, and its instructions for life actually were closer to what biology prefers. They had already been manipulated, but not to the point where there are no more fixed trusted references to rely on because of the mentally debilitating shenanigans intent on increasing that kind of voter base till there is a critical mass of them to accomplish the goals.

    There is plenty of valid information out there, and I can understand why you call these people lazy for not doing the leg work, but in truth, ethical and moral society doesn’t suffer so many people who spout falsehoods and equivocate lies with truth fluidly.

    This is the key difference between being elected on the merits of your platform or candidacy, or being elected because while they play platform your winning as a cult of personality. Substance vs. Image.

    The people are doing the cultural community thing that comes naturally to us and they are exploiting economy of scale in being made to pick their ‘leaders’ and let them filter the information they need while they do more work. technically part of the reason that the industrial revolution came about the time that it did was it also coincided with a culture that was mostly behaving very good and trustworthy. Books were important thing and we had not worked out how to abuse their stature yet, nor for newspapers either.

    Lying to the public always happened, but communities had a network of women that interconnected the whole place in a social tree. She kept her ear to the ground and that made a network. Crime was low because there were people always in the living areas, and it was hard for the press to lie since the truth eventually made it through the network. Yeah it also traded crap too, but its an anchor. Its why Marx said revolutions would have to start with women, because they were the foundation of family, and were the network of community. Without them, all you have left is the state, media, and rumor with no consequence for being wrong (unlike the network that would not listen and held up merit).

    We are made to have that network, to have certain things. everything our bodies can perceive in some way (conscious or not), effects our biology. [a interesting example is in recent findings on the genetics of PWS. The presence of a father in the childs life will mitigate the syndrome is the short version]. So we actually settle into these things except now they are not stable and interconnected.

    The culture is fractured like people on large rafts of ice, our unem has gone pluribus. We have been manipulated into adapting a false schema in which we accentuate the differences while pretending that constant reinforcement will not lead to permanent habituation of the false schema. All the while denying that what we are doing is bringing things in high relief rather than letting them disappear.

    If you have such a powerful and cohesive thing that crops out of history like western culture and judeo Christian morals, with protestant work ethic, you cant defeat it head on.

    You have to rebuild it by replacing a brick at a time. Eventually you have changed all the bricks and there is a different wall in place of the old one. everyone is being distracted through this fracturing, and being set upon each other rather towards their real enemies.

    They are not lazy, they have been working in a more moral and sane way for so long that they rely on it to be able to trust the environment enough to work at something else. Its probably a key reason we can live in large cities, in which we can no longer spend all our time trying to get the lay of a land too large to understand at one time. We had a network knitting it all together, and we had self interested sources that wanted to make money rather than set agenda, so digging for dirt kept things cleaner. Our politicians had to be read about, not seen. Division of labor in the home made for large leisure time compared to any time in history before that (and now maybe after).

    We now know enough about ourselves to be able to screw with our minds on a mass scale. How else can we say there is a recession when there isn’t. Why else can we have dissonant things expressed to us and not bat an eye? Read about things like dialoging to consensus, or unfreezing/moving to a new level/refreezing.

    We no longer deal with each other honestly in many spheres and that’s a broken culture, and these things working the culture are breaking it intentionally as that’s how you build a mass movement.

    As I said before, Lincolns quote in which you can fool the people, left out the option that if your intent is to be a despot, then all you have to do is fool enough of the people just once.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: Here’s a thread on that very topic: what Milan Kundera calls “imagology.”

  22. Jim Miller Says:

    I stopped listening to most political speeches back in the Nixon administration. I found Nixon annoying to watch, but often interesting to read. (Disclosure: I didn’t vote for him in 1968 or 1972.)

    Since then, I have decided that I am almost always better off reading the speeches, rather than listening to them, even if I like the politician. Reading allows me to concentrate on the argument and skip the presentation. And I can stop, think about an argument, and even check it, if I want to.

    Exception: Sometimes I will watch a speech to get some sense of how well a politician appeals to a crowd. But I don’t do that very often.

  23. Artfldgr Says:

    THANKS NEO!!! always like to learn… 🙂 (hope i didnt yell to loud there)

    Tom Something is afoot in Obama’s oratory, and I’ve been scratching my brain about it for a while

    I have been trying to pass on that Obama is speaking in codes. Phrases that mean one thing to you, but mean something else to them. it’s a way of speaking plainly to your own people, and yet not alienate and make opposition of others. Thins sound weird because he is trying to keep showing his ‘badges’, to keep having the people respond to the phrases that have been pumped at them for years.

    In the other long posts I tried to show that this has been their way for nearly 100 years. It relies on your lack of knowledge, your unwillingness to believe such and so never check, and so forth.

    For them its kind of like fishing without disturbing the waters. In general, if we were not fractured, then we would consider candidates more as a mass. In that way, we rarely would have exciting elections, but thoughtful ones. However, what we have is a fractured population, not just left right, but tons of subgroups of special interests below that division.

    Using these words over and over is hypnotic to the group that gets what they are signaling. That they believe and have believed, that one day, there will be a revolution (change), and that will bring about social justice (fairness), and a state implemented redistribution of wealth (better economy), and finally no opposition to socialism/communism (peace), through implementing our communist (progressive, liberal, leftist, parties) programs immediately. .

    I used the nasty words in the sentences, not the nicer equivalents and wasn’t too artsy about it, but if you take out the bad words and such you get something more like.

    That they believe and have believed, that one day, there will be a change, and that will bring about fairness, and a better economy, and finally peace, through implementing our progressive programs immediately.

    Fellow travelers and such who have read stuff, or taught stuff at meetings, or captured the lingo, feel they are in a secret club who knows the truth. They get the message that others don’t see. These terms have been used and written about all the way back to Lenin himself.

    At this location there is a nice post:

    “Universal health care” instead of socialized medicine
    “Collectivism” instead of Communism or Marxism
    “Progressive” instead of socialist or leftist
    “Affirmative action” instead of quotas
    “Undocumented Americans” instead of illegal aliens
    “Shared prosperity” instead of income redistribution
    Political correctness” instead of censorship
    — Posted by Amon Fischedick

    Codes, dual language, easyspeak, Orwellian…

    Take your pick… some of them are several terms deep.
    Progressive is socialist, socialist is communist

    So when you hear Obama giving a speech he is constrained to mention these words over and over, or work in any he can think of. The more he works in, the more he is like a guru to the people who have been waiting for the progressive change in government to happen.

    This is one reason why he doesn’t really come off eloquent, and yet, the more left the press, the more gushing they get. Same with other communists around the world. If your clever, they are all exposing themselves as being on the same side. Interesting that china hasn’t endorsed him (as far as I know), but every leftist extremist and even terrorists have. Every one of them endorsing is in Russias sphere of influence. (and china just surprised Russia by not backing them on Georgia. A feint, or a real thing, who knows?)

    The people are not looking for information on issues to judge, they are looking for the person who is expressing the most leftness, and the most leftness is expressed by the man that uses these terms and works them in the most.

    And as I said, trying to make sense of the arguments is a waste of time. It’s a wild goose chase. It’s a code. Everyone is wondering whether nanci pelosi or obama understands supply and demand. which means that everyone is trying to find a plausible way out for the inane point.

    However, the inane point is a test. Are you on my side? Well those on my side believe the sun comes up blue. Do you see the sun come up blue? No? Then you’re not on my side.

    To the average person these points are things to be discussed in merit. But they hold no merit. To the fellow traveler these things are a call from the leaders to the followers who believe in blue sunrises to pitch in. do whatever you can, be a part of the solution.

    Its not the leaders who are dumb, it’s the people who have allowed themselves to be so vacated with real world information that reality can be defined by choosing the right person.

    No wonder the speeches bother you.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: As O’Brien said in 1984, “two plus two makes five“—if the Party so decrees.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    THe kundera piece is fascinating… though its really more biological in an explanation.

    however he leaves out what culture could do, or did do about this problem before it was broken (the children of the 60s abandoned the hand me down information).

    your obvious connection to sources like al jazeera using it to keep the coals warm is quite correct.

    though in other posts i am trying to point out that we have another country chocking our chain since our system is open, and it only takes money to gain entry to many of its intimate parts.

    once there, or started, everything can fund itself through donations and exploiting the well meaning hearts.

    so knowing the mechanics of how a poll or such shapes and creates reality, bespeaks nothing of those who pay for the polls to be dishonest for an agenda.

    in the description that he puts forth, leisure time would do a lot to ameliorate the effect. and a traditional family life would too since one side could ground the other if one side was still closer to reality by not sharing the fate of the one working.

    our choices of how we spend our down time has a lot to do with it too. though that has a lot to do with our new morals taught in collective schools, rather than the morals they used to teach, in which work came first, and you earned your play, nothing came free, and if it does you should find the real owner.

    if you think of some of the other things schools did differently, like teaching us to be good losers and winners, rather than esteem, feeds into certain qualities that get accentuated.

    could be why the people from the older generation and the people who have stepped out into the real world and gotten their hands dirty, tend not to live an ideological life. that they dont find it uncomfortable to challenge what they are being told, where those who are raised on self esteem pills, tend to never want to accept being wrong or losing (it hurts too much). so they follow the lines they were givin in the mostly left schools.

    they build their world to make sure they know the mass message because how can millions be wrong? and they keep reinforcing it by listening to the same sources, and those sources keep inserting the same words, so they are keyed to those terms. diversity, equality, democracy, change, etc…

    thanks for the arrow to some interesting stuff!!! 🙂

  26. Thomass Says:

    I’ve never watched one… same reasons. Zzzzz

  27. Thomass Says:

    Tom Says:

    “Something is afoot in Obama’s oratory, and I’ve been scratching my brain about it for a while.”

    That his speeches are long lists of fallacies chained together with a ton of misdirection thrown in between? Maybe?

  28. Cappy Says:

    I don’t know why they even pretend to talk to us Carbon Based Taxpaying Units.

  29. huxley Says:

    Count me in on the auditory problem. I did well in school because I loved to read, but the lectures were a complete waste. Seminars not much better — they just seemed like tag team lectures between the teacher and the most verbally dominant students. Corporate meetings ditto.

  30. Darrell Says:

    I have been watching it with the sound off as I do my evening work, glancing every once in a while in case some actual news came on. I was aghast at the expressions on the faces in the crowd, orgasmic? Almost in tears at the speeches? I still cant believe what I was seeing. What kind of person can be that emotional over a speech? I guess the kind that go to conventions, weird as hell. It seemed like some sort of cult.
    BTW another left handed visual learner here.

  31. huxley Says:

    I like the blog comments and wiki formats because you get a chance to absorb what others say at your own pace and contribute at your own pace.

    And what gets said is automatically stored for later perusal, instead of everyone taking down imperfect notes and arguing about it later.

  32. Tom Says:

    It seems I am not alone. Peggy Noonan suggests that tonight might be a “Nuremberg rally”.

  33. SteveH Says:

    Choosing to watch Obama’s speech is akin to saying…”Hey….lets watch this cool infomercial”.

  34. Roy Lofquist Says:

    Dear Neo,

    Dig up Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer” if you want to understand what’s going on.


  35. goesh Says:

    -mesermized by a political savior, I could never understand it either – it’s perverse

  36. Dennis Says:

    Just an aside, I believe that large numbers of individuals have trouble with the current method of teaching. Many, I suspect, are like I was in that I had a lot easier time when I could visualize the whole picture, Global thinking, than just having a lot of small segments thrown at us in a lecture. Again, I think many people were like me in that they started off with low to moderate grades and by the time that the end of class came they were acing the finals and getting all the extra credits. This of course meant that, in general, we attained a 3.4 or 3.5 average.
    To this day I think many of us develop the goals and then have little trouble visualizing the steps required in attaining that goal. Real life requires one, and this is where I think your average leftist and Dem fail, to set a realistic goal and consider all those messy details that makes it happen. The first questions that should occur to us are who, what, where, when and how. If those questions have not been addressed then it is nothing more than wishful thinking, if you would hope and change without substance.

  37. Stan Says:

    First, they have to believe that politicians can make their lives better. If they believe garbage like that, they’ll believe anything or believe IN anyone.

    It’s a brain defect.

  38. goesh Says:

    Palin for Mac’s VP – brilliant move IMO

  39. The Thunder Run Says:

    Web Reconnaissance for 08/29/2008…

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often….

  40. goesh Says:

    Neo – just throw it out there – other blogs are going wild with this GOP move

  41. Sergey Says:

    People start to idolize politicians immediately after they cease to believe in God. This is why they idolized Hitler or Bolshevick rulers. All totalitarian movements of 20 century have common root: atheism.

  42. Sergey Says:

    While we are blogging, MacCain announced his VP: Sarah Palin.

  43. SteveH Says:

    This Palin lady rocks!

  44. Artfldgr Says:

    it will get real interesting soon…

    russia just tested a new nuclear weapon… its flight spanned the whole soviet union, 3730 miles..

    they are threatening war with their language (do i really need to quote them?).

    so i wonder what speeches will start to say now.. i wonder what people will think?

    the problem is that we live in interesting times…

    on palin: if she is selected the whole voter layout will shift… should be interesting… and she is a woman i would vote for, unlike hillary.

  45. cSimon Says:

    ” I have no idea how a grownup thinking person can invest that much love and hope in any politician.”

    This phenomenon has, all along, and still to this day, continues to mystify me. It’s as if Obama’s voice tone is literally mind-numbing to certain listeners. Either that, or some subconscious form of hypnotism has been practiced, with key words — say “Change” or “Bush” — used to set in motion the programmed behavior. Maybe, even with the naming of Biden as VP candidate, they couldn’t abandon the word “Change” so instead, redefined it?! (With Neo’s background, she may know more about this than I. Maybe that’s way Obama has zero effect on me. I know I am highly resistant to hypnotism….I have the same proclivity as Neo to “zone out” at prepared speeches, especially when something is read from a script. My brain always seems to have ready so many much more interesting things to think about.)

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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