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December 30, 2014

2014, A Year of Lies and Panics

The Year of the Fainting Couch, as Rich Lowry terms it.

The fainting couch doesn't have the same cachet it did in the 19th century, which is a shame, because it should be more in demand than at any time since the age of corsets and delicate sensibilities.

To put it in Victorian terms, 2014 had a case of the vapors. It was all aflutter. It needed smelling salts and a fan, and a good rest on a fainting couch to restore its bearings.

It was a year when the national pastime of taking offense and of fearing that someone might be offended reached such parodic levels that Kim Jong-un got in the act....

It was before so much time and energy were invested in taking offense and coddling the offended. It was before the nation needed a fainting couch.

Robert Traczinski calls it the year of the Narrative, which is a polite way of saying "lie."

I think you can begin to see why 2014 has been the year of Ben Trovato [a made-up name used to indicate an explanation is actually a fable]. It has been a year full of things that were non vero, but which had really good narratives. Or at least really convenient narratives.

It may not actually be true that Michael Brown had his hands up and was saying "don't shoot" when a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot him--the bulk of the eyewitness testimony and physical evidence indicates otherwise--but "hands up, don't shoot" is still a great slogan because it's such a good "metaphor" and captures a "larger truth." Ben Trovato at work.

Like Al Sharpton, Ben Trovato has frequently been invited to the White House, where he spent some time hanging out with the son Barack Obama might have had, before swinging over to the First Lady’s office, where he prompted Michelle Obama to describe how an incident at a Target store shows that she still needs to fear being mistaken for the help because she’s black. Proof of America’s persistent racism. Sure, she told the same story a few years ago with a totally opposite meaning. But you’re missing the point. The point is that the new version of the story is well constructed to convey an important narrative. It has Ben Trovato’s fingerprints all over it....

We live in the age of Ben Trovato now, and this year announced that fact loud and clear. Any time there were people with a cause in need of a narrative--and not too particular about whether it was supported by the facts--he was there. Which means that he was everywhere.

He rounds up the various lies perpetrated on us by the Clerisy. There were more of them than you know.


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posted by Ace at 01:21 PM

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