Shellshock

What a lot of American liberals (and I include identitarians in this group) don’t seem to be aware of is that their obsession with changing language instead of material conditions is just another version of this. And that the rest of the world, especially what is sometimes called the Global South, is mostly just baffled by it.

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3 Comments

  1. Funny as this bit is, he conflates a lot of different word changes into one giant issue. For instance: PTDS is a much more accurate diagnosis than “shell shock”, as there are many, _many_ non combat arenas from which one might experience mental trauma.

    And “visually impaired” can refer to people who have some sight, whereas “blind” refers to the much rarer condition of people who have none.

    Far too much of this routine boils down to an old man regretting the more accurate labels that have been developed and applied as our understanding of reality has expanded.

    The bit about “freedom fighters” was funny, though.

  2. Rob

     /  July 19, 2013

    I haven’t listened to Ol’ Carlin in a while and it has me grinning from ear to ear like a bitch in heat. Thanks for that.

  3. Far too much of this routine boils down to an old man regretting the more accurate labels that have been developed and applied as our understanding of reality has expanded.

    I don’t agree. For one thing, it’s nothing to do with Carlin’s age; Carlin has been talking about language since pretty much the beginning of his career. Furthermore, though of course terminology can become more accurate and more useful*, I think his point about how we employ an increasing number of euphemisms still stands, especially given that since the 70s or so, there’s been a change in politics from criticizing people’s actual situations/actions to getting incredibly outraged because someone used “inappropriate” terminology, or “fighting” to change a few everyday words.

    *I’d note that your examples are all of terms that have wider meanings rather than more accurate ones, distorting the specificity of the conditions described.