Glossolalia 101 is a series of articles discussing how pseudo-cons, neo-cons, and theo-cons (among others) use language to disguise, dominate, and obfuscate the issues.
This first article deals with how politicians and pundits can use math to disguise what is really going on.
For those of us who passed our math courses in school and/or college, there seems to be something wrong with the math. For those of us who squeaked by in these courses, it might be tempting to just let the figures slide and accept them as presented. If you failed math or just detested it, you probably just want to nod and get past the math.
Try to restrain your impulses. One of the reasons that politicians and pundits push the numbers at you is to get you to just lay down and accept the figures as-is. Because math is hard! Reasonable people should never have to deal with math. Math is a subject for those weirdos who like to design strange contraptions, like children’s car seats that actually provide a measure of protection in the event of an accident.
Most of the people who complained the loudest about how hard and terrible math was, back in my school days, are now lawyers and politicians (or they think they are). I have to wonder how many of them were actually just trying to convince the rest of us about math being difficult and impossible, just so that we would accept their statistics quotes later in life, without question. Just nod to the nice councilman, dear. Try to look like you know what he is talking about, because he does.
It would probably shock a lot of people to learn that there is no requirement for passing mathematics, much less excelling at it, for public office. Likewise, most media outlets could care less whether or not you can find the ‘plus’ button on your calculator.
Yes, math is hard. It is impossible. Otherwise, politicians would have to find other ways to manipulate the facts to suit their agenda.
Hmm. Yeah, let’s go with that.
The first thing to remember about those who claim to be conservatives is this: every fact is up for debate.
The way this applies to math is this: every number, every digit, every operator (those funny symbols that only second-grade teachers understand, such as +, -, ÷, ×, and =) is considered by those lefties to be ‘facts’.
In other words, a two-digit number, like 23, is actually three facts to debate (2, 3, and 23)
When you get to such things as “23% of Americans believe than 12% of British subjects are 71% retarded”, the debate can last for years, unless the politician discussing it also thinks British subjects are retarded, in which case, there is nothing to debate.
Oh. That’s another thing you have to remember. If there’s a debate, that means the so-called conservative doesn’t agree with it. Either that or he/she believes that they can twist the argument around for a pay raise, campaign contribution, or to screw the other side.
When you understand that each “fact” is up for debate, you might think you see the problem. Wrong. Because so-called conservatives have their own way at looking at each fact. And each fact has numerous complications which must also be considered.
- Did this fact enter the country legally?
- Has this fact every owned a gun, ever shot a gun, ever shot a person with a gun, or ever handcrafted ammunition for a gun using materials currently (and unfairly!) banned from sale to private US citizens, such as cesium?
- Has this fact ever had an abortion, or could it have an abortion at any time in the future?
- How does this fact feel about civil rights legislation? (conservative wannabes claim that there is only one right answer to this question, but nobody knows what it is. Just mumble a lot and make sure you say “Christian” and “states rights” a few times)
- Has this fact ever done drugs? How do we know it is not under the influence of drugs right now?
- Has this fact ever accepted money from George Soros, the Tides Foundation, the Nazi Party, or Anita Bryant, how much, and when? (this is a trick question)
- Does this fact pray to the right God every morning, noon, and night? At what times? Which direction does it face when it does so?
- Has this fact ever been unfairly victimized by leftist pundits and talking heads? Is this fact forced to pair an unfair share of its income to the federal government as taxes?
- Has this fact ever taken money from an entitlement program without seeking permission of their duly-elected (i.e., Republican, Libertarian or Tea Party) representatives?
And the list goes on.
But let’s get to the real nuts and bolts of the subject. Nah, we’ll skip the discussion of the various sex scandals that numbers and operators have been accused of. That’s pretty boring anyway (except that slut, 6).
Let’s get to the stuff that you can use to understand the issue. You may need some smelling salts.
We’ll start with a simple math problem.
3 + 5 + 9 = ???
What is the answer to this problem? If you answered 17, you obviously were not home-schooled properly or went to the wrong private school. The answer is 5.
You see, pseudo-cons will tell you, we have no actual proof that 3 entered this country legally. The number 9 is also suspect, as there is no peer-reviewed, scientific evidence, from a reputable (i.e., Republican, Libertarian, or Tea Party) institution, that 9 even exists.
On the other hand, the neo-cons assure us, we have faith that 5 will be cleared of all charges regarding embezzlement and mishandling of public funds, and justice will be served, God willing.
So 5 is the only real number here. Therefore the answer is 5.
We will ignore the presence of those two +’s and the = for now, as that just gets too complicated. I mean, what are those two +’s doing together? Is this a Christian relationship? And as far as the =, nobody really wants to get bogged down in a discussion of Higgy-Biggy-Bison particles and fetal regression engineering experiments.
Basically, what it boils down to is this: so-called conservatives will ignore any fact that does not serve their purposes at the time. Not only will they ignore facts, figures, and operators, but they will quietly arrange a “permanent tour” of Gitmo, courtesy of Homeland Security, for them.
Now, there are other “tricks” that can played with facts and figures (not the least of which involves the Hudson River and 50 pounds of wet cement). One recent example was to display the figures reversed on a poll. It’s easy. Just put the numbers where you want them to be. If 45% are against you, and 25% are for you, and the rest are undecided, just switch it up! It’s fun for the whole family! Eureka, 25% are against, 45% are with you, and the rest are willing to vote for you if you would just appear on TV more!
If anyone questions you on it, just point them to the original source. Only lefty perverts check sources anyway. Be sure to mention that several times.
Another trick is to use all the numbers as published, and link them to something completely different.
Let’s take this (fictitious) survey on favorite colors:
Now, that’s pretty straight-forward, right? And therefore Unamerican.
So we check to see what a few whackjob experts have to say about colors.
Environmental Terrorists 9.21
Darkies African-Americans 5.45
Caucasians Republicans 17.66
Scottish (more Republicans) 15.78
Now we all know that paisley is a spice, not a color, and nobody really likes orange as a color, so we will just rename those “undecided”. We consolidate our figures, and voila!
Undecided 3.38 + 6.39 = 9.77
Liberals 5.82 + 9.21 + 3.57 + 15.97 + 5.45 = 40.02
Republicans = 17.66 + 11.84 + 15.78 = 45.28
And here you have absolute proof that, while more Americans support your side on the issue at hand, the godless liberals are dangerously close to forcing their views on our poor country.
Join us next time, when we will discuss how Liberals are trying to control our taste-buds through the implantation of microchips in comfortable shoes.