Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Commentariat Speaks (11)

Cail Corishev on truth:

“I think the rhetorically-challenged person hears ‘truth’ and thinks, ‘literal truth in correspondence with the facts.’ In that regard, he sees a picture of Donald Trump riding a war horse over a corpse labeled CNN while a cartoon frog-pope waves, and sees no truth at all. Literally, nothing in that picture is true, so that’s bad, maybe even Leftist.

But rhetorically, that picture is completely true, and a better, more persuasive representation of the truth of that situation than you could convey in any amount of dialectic.”

Now, like everyone else, I too can be sold by a grand rhetorical flourish, but that’s fairly unusual. Generally I’m inclined to skepticism. So here’s the meme to which Cail is referring.

You decide:

I don’t know if you see what he’s getting at, but I think I do. The liberal media, CNN among them, is telling us lies on an epic scale. President Trump is calling them out. In this he is very vaguely reminiscent of the crusader of old.

Really? Yes, really.

Sure, it’s propaganda. Sure, it’s exaggerated. Sure, it’s rah-rah. But there’s something essentially accurate about it. It captures the spirit of Trump’s one-man windmill-tilt of a presidency. Incontestably it’s way more on-the-nose than the relentless PC virtue signaling of the journalist class. And ‘Pope Pepe’ up there in the ether reminds the reader that Trump has millions of voters still out there cheering him on as he continues to upset the Beltway apple cart (exactly how many millions still to be determined).

It’s yet another Internet meme, and it drives the Left crazy. They’re losing, at least for now, and this sort of thing is yet another unexpected faceful of right-wing schadenfreude. Getting meme-bombed when they misbehave is not the sort of response they’re conditioned to receiving from conservatives, and they have no idea what to do about it. So they rage and fume and mutter “it’s inaccurate”, “it sets a dangerous precedent”, and especially “it’s unpresidential”.

That sort of combustible nit-pickery is even found in scripture once in a blue moon, and it’s not commendable even when it has a point.

For instance, the CNN account of David’s repatriation of the Ark of the Covenant might have read something like “Queen Scandalized by Tawdry Royal Display”, with the obligatory shot of King David dancing in the streets sans vĂȘtements, probably looking half baked out of his gourd, as the majority of candid snaps taken by the paparazzi tend to appear. Certainly the Bible leaves us in no doubt that Michal saw her husband’s grand public gesture in exactly this sort of unflattering light. Rather than rejoicing in the ark’s historic return, Michal saw nothing of note in the events of the day beyond her own humiliation.

But does such a fussy, aggrieved, self-absorbed reframing of events give us the whole story? Not at all. Many students of scripture agree it was Queen Michal who stepped out of line, not the King. She remained childless to the day of her death.

Coincidence? Possibly.

Or perhaps, like devotion, truth can be expressed in strange ways now and then.

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