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Al Gore has not done us any favors in publicising that phrase. He's managed to turn both "inconvenience" and "truth" into dysphemisms, touting truth as a threat and inconvenience as deserved punishment. Making life convenient for other people is supposed to be a virtue. Courtesy demands it. Making life difficult for other people, also referred to as making "hard choices," is not a praiseworthy attitude. Though politicians who see themselves as secular ministers seem to think it is. At a minimum, inconvenience, they suggest, is supposed to "toughen people up," preparing them for the fray, letting them prove they can "take it."

Despite the recent transference,"taking" is a positive in the Cons' playbook. They take without giving as compensation for having taken the slings and arrows of fate. Pummeled by their life experience, they seem to console themselves by taking revenge and everything else that comes their way. Perhaps deprivation has made them greedy.

I suppose they could, like the spider in her web, be considered passive predators -- trappers, not hunters. So, they exploit suckers, who deserve what they get because they, too, don't give anything back.

Giving back is an interesting concept. It's a sort of reversal of fortune. But, it's all good -- the initial getting from generous donors and passing it on to others. Surplus economics. And, instead of being a happenstance, fortune is a matter of intention -- Chinese fortune cookies wishing the recipient well. Just as exploitation is not a happenstance, neither are generosity and the convenience it spawns.

Convenience is the product of a generous spirit. The only problem with it is that it's hard to notice. So, it has to be taught.

Good manners serve to promote the interests of others.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    by hannah on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 03:16:10 AM PDT

  •  Global warming does not have good manners. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mopshell, GreyHawk, DaNang65

    Global warming is neither courteous nor convenient.

    It will not promote anyone's interests at all.

    It is a crisis for all humanity that demands action now. Al Gore's metaphor was entirely appropriate.

    What alternative would you suggest?

    "My dear friends, would you like to go out for coffee so we can hold hands and figure out some ways to make money off of extracting and burning all remaining fossil fuels, accepting as inevitable the skyrocketing pollution, temperatures, and sea rise that will follow"?

    Sorry, Al had it right.

    •  We have a long tradition of ascribing human (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rithmck, psyched

      attributes to natural phenomena. It's a homo-centric habit. Does it change human behavior? I would argue not. Pumping carbon from the earth's crust to the atmosphere is a bad idea, regardless of the effect on humans.
      The earth existed before us and will survive without us. Should we be concerned about human extinction. Probably. Unfortunately, the individual awareness of personal extinction has not made humans more inclined towards the principle of preservation. Après moi le déluge is not just a sovereign's dictum.

      "the evil men do lives after them" seems to act as a spur.

      by hannah on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 04:43:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Global warming is true and inconvenient. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mopshell, Meteor Blades

        Its main cause is not natural, but human.

        Thus, homo-centric descriptors for a homo-driven process.

        The fact Al's slogan hasn't yet stopped global warming is not evidence it has failed. "Abolish slavery now" or "End apartheid now" didn't work until one day, they did.

        That said, any messaging innovation to fight global warming is welcome. Maybe a less lofty version of "the evil that men do lives after them", something with bite?

        •  Messaging is a problem. It is easy, but it has (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rithmck, sillycarrot, psyched

          virtually no effect.
          Never mind that "global warming" says almost nothing to people who do not know what a globe is and sounds positive to people who hate being cold.

          Not to mention that slavery persists, humans are treated like property (even in the U.S.) and residential segregation (by age, income, ethnic heritage and economic activity) is codified in zoning laws and spreading.

          That people conform their behavior to directives is largely wishful thinking. It seems to drive the economy, until it doesn't. The culture of obedience relies on it, but the obvious need for sacrificial lambs is evidence that message alone doesn't work.

          by hannah on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:35:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Global warming should be fought. (0+ / 0-)

            Messaging is one tool to fight it. Just a tool, nothing more.

            If you want a new name, I'm down with calling it "Hellfire and High Water" as some have suggested.

            Yes, slavery persists. But it was still a big deal and a huge change when nation by nation abolished the slave trade, then abolished slavery itself on their territories.

            Residential segregation is not the same as chattel slavery.

            Nature does conform its behavior to directives. If we burn all the fossil fuels, nature will screw us. So what should we do?

            •  Fight meme. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I don't like the fight metaphor. It accomplishes little. The problem is not some antagonist that has to be overcome, but the human propensity to waste and destroy. It's a propensity which needs to be countered by innovation and transformation. Unfortunately, both rely on the perception of and appreciation of change, which some humans simply don't have. Perhaps it's because change is a process and, as such, not immediately visible. People who rely on superficial optics (for whom seeing is believing), cannot believe or understand what they don't/can't see.
              Our mistake is in letting such people set the agenda for society. Never mind the blind leading the blind. We're letting the blind lead the sighted.


              by hannah on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:11:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We can't befriend global warming. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Meteor Blades

                Global warming is not our pal. It hates humanity.

                I love the fight metaphor. Evils have never been overcome by rhetorically configuring them as non-evils.

                The only way to overcome evil is to name it and beat it back.

                We can't innovate or transform our way out of global warming, wasting or destruction.

                We either burn all the fossil fuels or we don't.

                There is time now to stop burning and avoid the worst effects of global warming. But yes, given that our leaders are the entitled and cynical who purport to be blind, we will probably fail. We can plan ahead for living with that failure while still fighting as hard as we can to avert it.

                Not fighting , however, just renders our failure inevitable.

  •  Al Gore prempted the RWNJ propagandists by.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..framing it as an "attitude"

    I always took the words as preemptive pushback to the very powerful extractors. And by using as you call dysphemism's, was a deliberate hardening of the language and putting out an attitude

    By making the words hard is aimed at the propagandist supporting the polluter industries, not to "toughen people up" so that people can "take it". By hardening the language the RWNJ's will have to go soft to take the opposing attitude.

     attitude is the appropriate word.

    The RWNJ's don't take positions, so much as they take attitudes about things. Hate, fearful, disapproving, discontent, put upon, misunderstood, disapproval, endangered, threatened by "losing their America".

    All emotion or attitude - zero actual positions/solutions to issues

    "Inconvenient truth" works because it preempts the attitude the RWNJ's would have taken if it wasn't used already as the attitude Al Gore presented.
    But I like this very much:

    Just as exploitation is not a happenstance, neither are generosity and the convenience it spawns.

    Convenience is the product of a generous spirit.

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