Archive for September 14th, 2008

Postmodern Politics

September 14, 2008

I’ve been thinking about straight-talking John McCain’s somewhat flexible relationship with “truth.” He (and the Sarracuda) seem to be even more blatantly ignoring reality than the master liars in the Bush administration—they generally seem to give up and at least change their stories when called on sufficiently blatant fibs, and I think even Rove acknowledges the existence of some sort of objective reality. I’m not so sure about McCain. He seems to let reality trouble him not at all. Could it be that for him and his campaign there is no objective reality? That the signification of words is a mere social construct? That “Il n’y a pas hors-texte?”1

Humpty_Dumpty_Tenniel Nah, probably not. Maybe this is better…

I don’t know what you mean by “glory,”‘ Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you don’t– till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”‘

‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument,”‘ Alice objected.

‘When _I_ use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean–neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master– that’s all.’

 

1 “There is nothing outside the text.” Or maybe, “There is no outside-text.” I French isn’t much better than my grasp of deconstruction.