06/05/22 Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes, Cupcakes.

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Let’s start with some Sunday sibilance, in the form of semantic satiation.

“Semantic satiation” is the term linguists use to describe a word or term that has been mangled, overused, misused, redefined or in some cases cynically manipulated to the point that the word or term becomes useless at best and dishonest at worst.

We offer into evidence, “Conservative,” or “Conservatism.” The terms have become noise. In this case, White Noise. (See what I did there?)

Semantic Satiation. A word that fills you up with bloating gas but has no nutritional or communicative value. A word that no longer means what it used to mean, like “defecated.” (Look it up, historically. I ain’t your damn librarian.)

Other examples: “Awesome.” “Terrific.” And, of course, “gay.”

Words that now mean the opposite of what they appear to mean are known as “contranyms,” or “auto-antonyms.”

What the hell is “conservative” about folks who call themselves “Conservatives” these days?

What exactly do they conserve? They conserve nothing. In fact, they have become reckless, hedonistic, uber-consumers who mindlessly burn through everything, including natural resources, Earth’s atmosphere, brain cells, democratic institutions and principles, and now, shamefully, schoolchildren.

They have not conserved intellect. They have not conserved education. They have not conserved logic. They have not conserved either personal or political integrity. They have not conserved dedication to, or even acknowledgement of, the existence of observable facts and truth. They certainly have not conserved “adulthood,” choosing instead to hunker down in a child’s pretend “blanket fort.”

And they certainly have not conserved freedom. Rather, they have simply and cynically redefined it as personal selfishness, convenience and abdication of all collective responsibility.

Oh, and the “Big Government” thing? That’s certainly not “freedom” trying to pry into women’s uteruses.

Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott are “Conservatives”?

There is nothing conservative about 2022 Cult Conservatives. Nothing.

Good language is precise language. Good language is language that means what it says, and is impossible to misconstrue.

“Conservative” is bad language. Because it has come to mean the polar opposite of what it claims to mean. It is in fact a contranym or an auto-antonym.

So I’m not going to call these folks “Conservatives” anymore.

I’m going to call them Rainbows.

Put that in your pantry with your cupcakes, Cupcakes.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.