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the rat

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  • louise
    Bill, There are different domains of meaning; we live in an era - and let s, a little arbitrarily, date this from the 1920 s - in which language, and imagery
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2004
      There are different domains of meaning; we live in an era - and
      let's, a little arbitrarily, date this from the 1920's - in which
      language, and imagery or music often accompanied by language, begins
      to lose authority, definition (clear 'edges'), sonority and radiance
      such as a backdrop of relative quiet makes possible, and is shaped
      increasingly in order to sell products, and, by extension, beliefs,
      ideologies, an illusion of desire. Contemporary politics is now at
      the flood with this kind of displaced symbology; documentaries blend
      fact and fiction; history is presented on tv with reconstructions
      that make the words sound ridiculous, because the facial expressions
      are so out of keeping with the character and spirit of the Tudor
      monarch or eighteenth century scientist or whoever involved. People
      watch and enjoy these things - I do not wish to be a killjoy. I
      just think that if truer alternatives were available, there'd be a
      good chance of a shift in actual desire. This is the word I always
      favour over choice. Sometimes, I would use the word, decision, to
      indicate a difficulty of asserting a desire one knows or feels is
      right, against the pressures both of inauthentic feeling and
      socially inculcated choices. I think these concepts are distinct
      but related. What I am saying is that the rat, clearly not of the
      biological kind, is a symbol, and has multiple meanings in different
      contexts. The British media establishment has been fully occupied
      in sniffing out all manner of rats, by way of political evasions,
      concealments, mis-statements, failures to protect civil servants,
      etc, etc, from before the latest military incursion in Iraq, and
      satires evoke laughter readily from huge swathes of the population,
      but it did not stop the war. This is where I think some kind of
      elite has to take a lead, in fact several elites; and I consider it
      my own privileged duty to use the word, unembarrassed, scornful of
      its use as a weapon by those who stand to profit, emotionally,
      financially, or any way, by intimidating the quiet and the
      I feel free to speak of these things, more than ever before, because
      the invasion of my own living soul by wielders of false wordings is
      at an end, or so it seems. They may claw, or flap at me, but there
      is an armour now in place they can no longer penetrate.
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