Monday, September 24, 2018

Look, there’s hypocrisy! Right there! And there! And there and there and …

The Hypocrites, by Paul Klee (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
     Oh my God!
     Earlier today, an enormous ball of flame crested the horizon in the east, casting heat and shadow as it rose, slowly, blindingly, majestically, marching toward some unimaginable zenith....
     The sun,.. came up ... this morning.
     Somehow, Chicagoans, going about their business managed to ignore this astronomical marvel, displaying itself in full rampant glory right above their heads. A blazing wonder whose tremendous scale can hardly be...
     What? What's that you say? Nothing to get excited about? Happens every day since the dawn of time, without fail, except when it's cloudy, and even then is still happening, only undetected, obscured by these giant masses of water vapor dangling ominously above....
     Sorry, but I was scrolling through Facebook, which I really must stop doing, seeing friends express continual shock and perpetual indignation at the hypocrisy they detect in public life.
     You've read the same memes.
     "Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Merrick Garland because he was nominated 237 days before the election. Now they're rushing to confirm a nominee 50 days before an election who's accused of sexual assault, lied under oath...."
     "I trust the GOP senators who insisted Al Franken step down will demand the same treatment for Judge Kavanaugh."
     ("You do?" I couldn't restrain myself from remarking. "Kinda naive, ain't it?")
     I could go on, but you get the point (or don't. Not getting the point has become an American folk illness). We react to each specific instance of hypocrisy like a person who has never seen the rising sun, with misplaced awe, as if it were something rare and unusual, when what we are really seeing is an ordinary phenomenon. Hypocrisy isn't an exception, it's the rule, the grease with which the whole political world goes clanking along.
     Almost ... as if ... people are not really assessing the world before them, not really gathering facts and then drawing conclusions, nor measuring situations against their long-held standards and principles, but cherry-picking information that suits their permanent inclinations, adopting and discarding values at will, to shore up their twisted, contradictory and mistaken beliefs.

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  1. We all hate hypocrisy and admire sincerity, but there are days that i'm glad that Donald Trump doesn't believe in anything. Given his proclivities, I think he'd be even worse if he had a cause other than himself to rally his troops around.


  2. Showing our powerlessness to the rampant hypocrisy of our shameless leaders has rendered your readers nearly speechless. Not so Rudy Giuliani who predicts regime change in Iran, a dangerous claim for one so close to a President. He must have forgotten how that worked for us last time. Hypocrisy isn't our biggest problem, it's incompetence.

    1. Maybe we should be thankful for trump's rank incompetence and that of his administration. Could you imagine the damage done if they weren't so inept?

    2. I've been saying that all along. As bad as Trump is, Ted Cruz would be worse.

  3. Only Steinberg might buttress his sensible argument with a quote from supreme, but largely forgotten, essayist Haslett and a picture by the wittiest of modern painters. Well done.



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