December 28, 2016

Updating “The Devil’s Dictionary” (updated)

A while back, I did a blog post called "Observations about life." I still occasionally update it, primarily with real-world observations, no fluff or New Ageyness, about the real world.

Well, being the editor, writer and language maven that I am, I'm now starting a blog post with a slightly skewed set of fake word definitions.

These won't be "cutesy" ones, at least I hope not. Rather, think of a kinder version of Ambroise Bierce's magnum opus, The Devil's Dictionary. (Some of this is taken from another blog post, called "Daffynitions."

To allow for updates, until my cup overflows, I'll alphabetize the words and phrases, starting with:

American Exceptionalism: The idea that America's collective shit doesn't stink, or, in more extreme versions of the idea, the theory that America doesn't have any shit to collectively stink anyway.

Capitalism: The worst of all economic systems, except for the others that have been tried from time to time. Except that, by itself, without strong (and true) regulatory restraining, the moderation of at least a reasonable amount of social democracy and more, it IS the worst of all economic systems.

Conservative: A person whose most important item of conservation is his or her personal advantage in life.

Employment: Winning a ticket for the lottery of eventually being fired.

Evolutionary Psychology: The quasi-religious belief that the explanation of the evolution of human nature from our Australopithecine ancestors can be explained by an appeal to John Gray's "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" covered with a veneer of pseudoscientific special pleading.

Fauxtrage: A fake outrage over some President  Barack Obama or general Democratic Party or general liberal political action or news event, as "reported" by Fox, er, Faux, News, or some other public relations organization.

Fourth Estate: The fourth branch of unelected American government, the newspapers and other news media. The other three branches are lobbyists, capitalism-supporting theorists, and general, otherwise politically unidentified prostitutes of various sorts.

Liberal: Someone pretending to be a leftist, who's actually afraid of being mugged by reality. 

Libertarian: An elitist who thinks his lucky ascent into a highly valuable position of employment or social standing is proof of the existence of meritocracy. Illustration: Being born with a silver spoon in one's mouth, then thinking that people without silver spoons must have lost or thrown away theirs.

Life: A struggle between two dung beetles for the same small piece of half-dried horse shit.

National Intelligence: 1. A set of interpretations of various aspects of happenings outside the United States, regularly offered up by various agencies of the United States government, in order to keep their jobs, get more money from Congress and otherwise bolster their standing inside the Washington, D.C., Beltway. See also National Security.
2. The belief by Americans that they, individually and collectively, have a degree of insight about the world and its needs unpossessed elsewhere. A subset of American Exceptionalism, qv, and part of the Dunning-Krueger Effect, qv.

National Security: The constitutional exception to the bar against yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, as long as that theater contains 300 million or more Americans.

Newspaper: A set of sheets of paper that is nearing obsolescence and that, in its fiscal prime, was the first version of what is called today social media, which see. From its fiscal prime, it passed into an alleged Golden Age, which may or may not have actually existed. From this Golden Age perch, it claimed for itself the title of Fourth Estate, qv, which it soon had to share with other news media.

Pine Time: A would-be-in-his-own-mind sports god, "gifted" with even more ego than the actual Prime Time, Neon Deion Sanders, but about half the talent and hence, at some point, when his ego not only can't cover lack of skills but actually becomes an irritant to his manager or coach when said skills slippage becomes apparent to everybody but him.

Racism: The cold-sweat fear that someone with a different skin color than yours might just be your equal socially, and even your better intellectually or psychologically. In a modern world demanding evidence, this is usually followed by invoking one more more discredited ideas from a constellation of such called racialism, in an attempt to convince yourself that your own skin tone is, in all ways, superior.

Revenge: Traditionally called “a dish best served cold.” But, with modern culinary tastes and modern technology, we can do much better. Revenge is “a dish best served cold, in terms of a wait time, but stuffed with habañeros and microwaved right before being served.”

Social Justice Warrior: a person who is not particularly social, does not understand justice, and has never set foot on a battlefield.

Social Media: Various Internet forums for sharing information and alleged information which usually are not that social, and often become even less social over contentious issues, and are not media in the sense of what news media theoretically are. See also newspaper.

-Splaining: A suffix attached to certain nouns wherewith the user, at least in his or her own mind, attempts to simultaneously prove the social elitism of the target and disprove the social elitism of the user.

Wasted vote: 1. Any vote not cast for a Republican or Democratic candidate, according to Republican or Democratic candidates. 2. Any vote cast for a Republican or Democratic candidate, per those who know better.

No comments: