Thursday, July 27, 2017
Accidental synecdoche

Accidental synecdoche

Volume 1412,  Number 15

 Liars destroy credibility of all

. . . A story meant to demonstrate the seriousness of the campus rape problem has become an accidental narrative about lying (a synecdoche*). Breitbart News published an investigation casting serious doubt on Lena Dunham’s tale of sexual assault in her memoir the same week driving the same message home.

On the left . . . Others insist Jackie ought to be believed, 1 lies notwithstanding, because she “is still a person,” that is, she’s a female person.

(Similarly) . . . Brown-myth apologists deny that the truth matters. A Ferguson-area protester named Taylor Gruenloh, “a 32-year-old white man” quoted in the Huffington Post, 2 says, “Even if you don’t find that [the story of Brown having his hands raised when he was shot] is true, it’s a valid rallying cry. It’s just a metaphor.”

That sanctimonious nonsense led to this “counter-metaphor:”3

That reminds me: Taylor Gruenloh killed a homeless person while driving drunk.

I don’t mean he actually killed a homeless person; I don’t even know if he drinks or owns a car. It’s just a metaphor intended to attract attention to the issue of the risks taken by homeless people. And, hey, it’s an important issue so who really cares about a little lie if it makes people think about such a major societal problem?

With UVA and Dunham and Brown, it is depressingly easy to find shrill voices arguing that the truth is secondary to the importance of their cause.

But it’s not.

Lies are not harmless.

In Costa Mesa, we have an LEO asserting one story, then testifying to the opposite when placed under oath. We have people asserting that the Mayor gives City business to his “developer friends.” We have Bubbles4 asserting that the Mayor and Pro Tem drove their previous employers’ businesses into bankruptcy, that they were about to launch asphalt assaults on Fairview Park’s vernal ponds, and that another blogger held a perverse sexual interest in him.

Lies are not harmless. They’re difficult to reverse: three members of the Duke Lacrosse team were falsely accused of rape in March, 2006 but not exonerated until April 2007.  They suffered devastation to their lives and careers. By March, 2013 most of the civil suits (and an attorney’s disbarment) were finished. Both the players and the university paid heavily for an exotic dancer’s lies.

The CMPD’s union will find that the “cost of lying (and cheating)” is very high. The loss of respect for all local LEO’s, undeserved but certainly growing, is part of the price.

Liars don’t stop lying until they’re held responsible.

* A figure of speech in which the name of a part stands for the whole; e.g., banker for corrupt manipulator

1 theguardian article 

2 Huffington Post

3 Spectator article

4 Usage defined here

 

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