June 03, 2007
A real definition of 'torture'
Obviously, Sockpuppetmeister Glenn cannot quote a single person he attempts to flog with anything resembling "let Americans gouge out eyeballs, too!" He just imputes, then impugns. It's the stuff of junior high soap opera.
GiGi: It's awful! Horrible, I tell you. There I was at the dance when she..that THING I used to call a friend ... came in wearing the exact same dress.Honesty about the debate is something Glenn and Amanda wish to avoid, because it is more than about "torture" and why the MSM just couldn't get enough of Abu Gharib, letting non-sequitor cites creep into everything thing from movie reviews to sport reports, yet ran the other way when the Al Qaeda torture manual, tools and victims were discovered. Even beyond the politics driven by a multi-cultural chic that holds The Oppressed Du Jour have not only moral authority but can never be held to any standard, is the strategy of word inflation they use against their political opponents.
Jay Calm down. I'm sure she didn't know ...
Gigi Of course she knew. She did it on purpose. She did it to humiliate me. It is THE WORST OFFENSE EVER.
Jay The worst? You call her a 'thing' because of a dress? Because of a mistake? What about when Joe got expelled for beating up her brother? Isn't that worst?
Gigi How dare you! Now you want Joe to beat me up? Is that what you're saying?
Mandy Yes, that's what Jay's saying. Jay's a violence apologist.
When "torture" includes female interrogators questioning Islamist males, what word can be used for gouging out eyeballs? "Really real torture"? "Double-dog dareya torture"?
Who benefits from such word inflation? Who benefits by holding only America to utopian standards? Who benefits when only American transgressions get the press but those engaged in 7th century barbarism are shrugged off to the back pages?
"Torture" joins "rape" as yet another word that used to actually horrify one when used. A horror that was as automatic as it was visceral.
Now we have to stop and ask for details in order to decide what is really being described.
And that is torture.
Posted by Darleen at June 3, 2007 05:51 PM
Word deflation is congruent with grade inflation, i.e. the deliberate dilution of heretofore demarcated differences. The intent seems to be to break down not only previous mores, but also the language which expresses them.
In other words, this is just relativism run amok, and you're right, no one can possibly be enriched by it. As words lose their original meanings (rape), or are co-opted (gay), or simply misunderstood (niggardly), the language is debased, just as culture has been.
Posted by: Chris at June 4, 2007 08:44 AM
Downright Orwellian, it is.
Posted by: Stephen Rider at June 4, 2007 11:01 AM
So now modernism and relativism is to blame for our present conflict? Give me a break.
How about the relativism of conservatives, who used to hold to a notion of absolute standards under the law but who now countenance anything the Executive Branch wants to do in the name of "freedom" and "security"?
No one is arguing that terrorists don't torture.
The argument is that this isn't news . When a nation founded on the principles of freedom and individual liberty starts torturing not only enemy combatants but anyone unfortunate enough to get caught in a sweep then that's news.
If you want an argument for how torture corrupts, read the Washington Post article on Tony Lagouranis.
Posted by: Brad at June 4, 2007 03:32 PM
Hey, Brad, in case you hadn't noticed, Darleen's post was about the use of the word torture. My comments were about the degradation of language, and how it impoverishes expression and makes legitimate debate more difficult.
Feel free to introduce more off-topic banter now.
Posted by: Chris at June 5, 2007 09:05 AM
When "torture" includes female interrogators questioning Islamist males
Who claimed female interrogators questioning Islamist males is torture? Provide some names or this is just more BS.
Posted by: Josh at June 5, 2007 10:58 AM
I thought I addressed your comments on "relativism run amok" as well as the first half of Darleen's post, which was targeted at two Lefty bloggers that she obviously detests more than the jihadists whom everyone knows engage in torture and don't pretend (as the American Right does) to eschew the practice of torture.
"Degradation of language"? How about commenting on the administration's choice for GWOT to GSAVE? Or the ongoing denial of torture by Bush & the Pentagon? What would Orwell have said about that?
Posted by: Brad at June 5, 2007 11:14 AM
So if the administration denies that U.S. forces are torturing people, that's an obvious lie? How so? Where is the proof? Just because you don't like Bush doesn't mean every time he opens his mouth, he's lying.
The whole post was about THE WORD TORTURE, and how it's used. Rubbing panties on someone's face is not torture. Having fake menstrual blood hurled on you is not torture. Having an Israeli flag wrapped around you is not torture. Being deprived of sleep is not torture. Having to sleep in a small concrete cell is not torture. Listening to awful music is not torture. Being menaced by dogs is not torture.
Having your tongue cut out is torture. Using power tools on someone's body parts is torture. Eye-gouging is torture. Cutting off limbs is torture. Whipping is torture. Rape is torture.
Posted by: Chris at June 6, 2007 10:52 AM
Listening to leftist loonies is torture!
Posted by: Dubya at June 9, 2007 08:05 PM