Archive for the ‘Al Franken’ Category

You’re Being Ridiculous

December 13, 2017

This notorious and insulting imprecation – spoken by “comedian” Sarah Silverman – essentially telling people at a convention to shut-up – gives us a perfect example of the kind of trouble people get into when they use the verb TO BE.
For those who don’t recall the moment when a pissed-off comic treated half the democratic party as hecklers, take a look:

“YOU’RE BEING RIDICULOUS,” she said to the very people she and the other Hillary supporters needed to win over.
She used the verb TO BE two times in her insulting, condescending, scolding tirade. 50% of her words.
And it infuriated the progressive wing of the party – which then launched DEMEXIT and helped drive the democrats to the brink of bankruptcy. It has brought the democrats so low, that today they celebrate a victory of 1.5% over a raving religious fanatic and all ’round nincompoop. Any port in a storm, I guess.

What Silverman did came as no surprise to me. The Withers (“I’m With ➔HER”) treat all who differ from them with unveiled smugness and contempt. To this day, they blame the Sanders voters for She Who Must Be Elected losing to a TV gameshow host. But they never wanted them anyway:
So why blame them now as Hillary and her myrmidons consistently do? They do it out of sheer pique and an inability to take responsibility.

But back to the irate and heavily medicated Sarah Silverman and YOU ARE BEING RIDICULOUS!
Her words amount to a condescending GOD-LIKE pronouncement of stern judgment. It did not have to happen like this.
Suppose Silverman had used the more clear form of English known as E-PRIME – in which the verb TO BE never gets used. This makes for more personal and responsible communication.
Some examples from THIS LINK

Consider the following paired sets of propositions, in which Standard English alternates with English-Prime (E-Prime):
lA. The electron is a wave.
lB. The electron appears as a wave when measured with instrument-l.
2A. The electron is a particle.
2B. The electron appears as a particle when measured with instrument-2.
3A. John is lethargic and unhappy.
3B. John appears lethargic and unhappy in the office.
4A. John is bright and cheerful.
4B. John appears bright and cheerful on holiday at the beach.
5A. This is the knife the first man used to stab the second man.
5B. The first man appeared to stab the second man with what looked like a knife to me.
6A. The car involved in the hit-and-run accident was a blue Ford.
6B. In memory, I think I recall the car involved in the hit-and-run accident as a blue Ford.
7A. This is a fascist idea.
7B. This seems like a fascist idea to me.
8A. Beethoven is better than Mozart.
8B. In my present mixed state of musical education and ignorance, Beethoven seems better to me than Mozart.
9A. That is a sexist movie.
9B. That seems like a sexist movie to me.
10A. The fetus is a person.
10B. In my system of metaphysics, I classify the fetus as a person.

Get the picture? E-Prime makes us take personal responsibility for the expression of our thoughts. I have written several entire books without ever using the verb TO BE.
Consider: Would the outrage at Silverman’s scolding, reckless, and divisive words perhaps have rolled off the backs of half the party had she said something like:
“It seems to me that you have taken a ridiculous position.”
or
“You strike me as ridiculous.”
or
“I think of your support for Sanders as ridiculous.”
These comments sans the verb TO BE may stir up controversy, but they no longer hit people as an insult; as fighting words. Had she eschewed the verb TO BE, Silverman then expresses – and takes personal responsibility for – her opinion. She no longer speaks as The High and Mighty Arbiter of Thought.
Meaning with E-Prime, Silverman could have started A CONVERSATION by stating how SHE feels. And then others can respond later. Her belligerent pronouncement “You’re Being Ridiculous” stops conversation dead in its tracks.
She spoke in the role of an exasperated parent giving an unruly child a rap on the knuckles. How the hell did she think people would react to that?  
And here we arrive at the key to the whole problem: Clearly, Silverman DID NOT THINK. She shot from the hip.

The most often expressed problem people have with using E-Prime boils down to this: it takes them too long to formulate their thoughts. Yes, speaking in E-Prime forces the speaker to THINK before talking.
Does anyone consider THINKING BEFORE SPEAKING a bad thing?

Perhaps had Silverman, who gets paid huge sums of money to communicate, understood the basics of communication, she would not have alienated the very people she needed on Election Day. And owing to her rash and clumsy dressing down, democrats could not unite behind their flawed candidate who needed every vote out there.

As to Al Franken, standing there simpering and then making the lame excuse that Silverman spoke as a joke, he may not have ended up in a fight for his political survival had the words not come across as an insult. I find it quite clear that democrats have turned against Franken because of his smiling and making excuses for Silverman at this precise moment. Democrats desperately need the Sanders wing to return to the fold. Ousting Franken amounts to a calculated sacrifice made to placate the people he and Silverman insulted in that moment. But the progressive wing of the party will have none of that. The democrats simply cannot un-ring that bell.
And this didn’t have to happen. It only happened because an inept communicator spoke four hostile and judgmental words – half of them… the completely unnecessary verb TO BE.
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I did not kid you about my books. I refused to use the verb TO BE in these three books, except when quoting other people (and once as the punchline to a joke). Thoughts crystalize this way. We no longer pronounce – we explain. Nor have I used the verb TO BE in any of its forms in the introductions to some of the other books available. Take a look. 

Click Picture To Read About These Books

 

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