AskWHYBlog: Carol Harvey In San Francisco

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

HOW DOES THE BUSH WAR USE WORDS AS "DEPTH CHARGES?"








YOU GOTTA HAVE HEART ---

AND, IF YOU DON'T REALLY HAVE THAT, YOU GOTTA HAVE MILES AND MILES AND MILES OF REPETITIONS OF THE WORD.

BUT, DOES THE WORD "HEART" PRESUPPOSE ITS REALITY?

As I watched the noxious pairing of former Presidents Clinton and Bush Number One as Ambassadors of Compassionate funds to the Tsunami victim countries, I noticed the number of times they both repeated the words "Heart" and "Compassion." Then The Son of Bush, gave a speech in which he, too, repeated the word "Heart" at least twice as he tapped his chest with a clenched fist much too near to his cardiac area.

Today Colin Powell repeated his ad nauseum defensive sound bite about how "Compassionate" is the United States. When other nations talk of giving money, they don't insist on portraying themselves as Compassionate. They just give the money.

On Thursday, January 6, 2005, Gerhardt Schroeder committed the largest sum so far --- an amount variously reported between $665 and $674 million U.S. ---to be spread out over the next five years intended to help rebuild infrastructure. No fanfare. Just the money where his mouth was.

By Sunday, January 9, 2005, Japan was reported to have pledged $500 million dollars.

The Australians have given the largest amount. A telethon raised 10.5 million over the 120 million the Australian Government has already paid, in addition to a one billion dollar pledge package.

Actually, relative to potential U.S. wealth, our government gave far less than most other nations.

The responsive outpouring of the American people through calls to private agencies has been overwhelming and has almost reached $337 million, closing in on the Government's $350 million.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I was aware of the dearth of potable water for 50 miles around --- except for the ocean, which is undrinkable salt. There is one drainage ditch running through L.A. No other lakes or rivers to speak of. Yet multiple streets are named "Water," "River," "Lake," or "Lagoon," as if the name of wetness could create it. Thus, the power of Hollywood's Dream Machine to conjure reality from words.

The Bush/Rove strategy has been to create the same kind of magic. With their "broken record" manipulations, they follow in the footsteps of Republicans back to the sixties.

Berkeley Professor, George Lakoff, political expert, far in advance of the election, pointed this out in a November 2003 article He explained how the Republicans would win partly by the Use of "Framing," (determining the field of Battle in advance so the enemy must fight on your terms, not theirs) and partly by using Words as Depth charges into the farthest abysses of the Collective American Subconscious.

WindyCityLefty, and other Progressives have been aware of this manipulative technique for a while. His interesting BLOG article "Republican Mantras of the Past 37 Years" (scroll way down) just post-election pointed out the effective linkage of "Kerry" with "Flipflopper" to win the Red States vote.

So, as you hear the word "Heart" intoned by both Bushes and Clinton --- and Jimmie Carter, if they can rope him into it ---think about how John Kerry's swift boat was capsized by the "Flipflopper" depth charge, and be wary of the words that are thrown at you. They sink into your medulla oblongata from where they can do a lot of damage --- without your knowing it.

Words create images, but do not produce hard realities --- unless somebody is buying the words whole off the shelf.