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 Post subject: The News, 8-19-19
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:49 am
Posts: 153
The August 19, 2019 Lost Horizons Newsletter
...where real knowledge intersects with real Americans!


Three Bits Of Pernicious Propaganda To Guard Against And Denounce
Taking the varnish off "survivorship"; the "Latino" thing; and "Thank you for your service".


THOUGH I HAVE LONG GRUMBLED QUIETLY about the increasingly widespread use of the term "survivor" in reference to someone who has experienced any damn thing they choose to view as traumatic, regardless of its actual significance, I have now come to view this language abuse in a more serious light. I don't know what prompted this modest epiphany-- something heard on NPR, I imagine, or maybe something thrown out by one of the Democratic presidential candidates.

However prompted, here is the thought: If you are a Tutsi with both arms remaining (or even are just alive), despite having been in Rwanda while the Hutu majority was hacking your people up with machetes, you can call yourself a "survivor". If you were a victim of a serial rapist with a history of murdering his victims and you lived to tell the tale, you can call yourself a "survivor".

Likewise, if you were in a party on a beach upon whom a cliff-face fell and you made it out alive, you can call yourself a "survivor". If you are a Yemeni schoolkid who walked away after your bus was bombed by Saudi Arabian-flown F-16s, or made it through a sanction-induced famine, a carpet-bombing of your home city or an over-crowded sea-crossing as a refugee from a military invasion, you can call yourself a "survivor".

But if you are merely a #MeToo snowflake who experienced some unwanted flirtation, sexual advances, or even contact-- up to and including non-violent "assault", you are not a "survivor". Calling yourself one (or referring to someone else that way under the same circumstances), is despicable.



OKAY, IT'S A PRETTY CRUDE AND EXAGGERATED RENDERING of a fluent Spanish-speaker's pronunciation of "Latino". But at the same time, that's part of my point.

Talking heads in the MSM (especially at NPR) and other bastions of in-your-face neo-liberalism have for years now made an annoying practice of pronouncing "Latino"-- even when just the next word in an English sentence-- as though they had been teleported to Barcelona for that half-second before returning to Los Angeles (or wherever) for the next word and the remainder of the sentence. I can't help but see this obnoxious affectation as part of a propagandistic agenda.

One effect of this affectation is to suggest that it is somehow disrespectful to people of Latin-American heritage to just say the word with its English pronunciation. This, despite the English pronunciation having been the successful standard practice in these parts for the last five hundred years or so until just lately.

Another effect is the suggestion that people of Latin-American heritage now in the USA are worthy of special respect and recognition for some reason.

After all, these "Hlatí:no"-mouthers make no corresponding effort to pronounce "Russian" or "Croatian" the way a Russian or Croat would do so. Nor do we hear "Irish" ever said with an attempted Celtic accent, or "Iranian" as it would be properly-rendered in Farsi. In fact, we never hear ANY other such honor paid to ANY OTHER native-speaker's manner of pronouncing their chosen referent...


"Thank you for your service!"


FRANKLY, ANYONE WHO ASKS FOR or accepts this smarmy (and usually rote and insincere) expression is a manipulated naif. Anyone who offers it-- both in person or as an institutional tag, such as on product packaging or at the beginning of sporting contests, etc.-- is an exploiter trying to either borrow virtue for personal elevation of guilt-relief, or signal it for some commercial advantage.

Let me explain.

My Dad, now 8 years in the ground at Great Lakes National Cemetery, commanded a tank in Europe under George Patton during World War II. He was wounded in action and earned a Purple Heart, but thankfully, not disabled.
The war in which Dad fought was a real war. It was not an invasion with overwhelming power, total air-superiority, and ground action consisting of the mop-up of largely disorganized and ill-equipped resistance efforts by a basically prostrate population of the conquered country.

In Dad's war, "our guys" were evenly matched by "their guys". Every combat soldier boarded his troop transport knowing that his side might not win and that he might very well end up in an unmarked grave or a POW camp.
In Dad's war, the US not only lacked air superiority, but there were times and places where it suffered air inferiority. Their tanks were better than our tanks.

At sea, the enemy had just as many aircraft carriers and battleships as we did.

For a combat soldier getting on a troop transport it was not a matter of chance whether "you" might be unlucky enough to be someone's target. Rather, EVERY SINGLE combat soldier was virtually guaranteed to be targeted with bullets, bombs and artillery shells.



Other Voices: 'The War On White Supremacist Terror'
An important (if sarcastic) commentary by C.J. Hopkins with an equally important afterword by Yours Truly.



And, of course, as always: Illuminating Anniversaries For This Week!

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