George W Bush is climbing the Ladder of Abstraction just as fast as he can

Count Alfred Korzybski, founder of the field of General Semantics described what he called the structural differential and the nature and function of abstraction in his book Science and Sanity. It doesn't matter that he wrote it in 1921. Read a line, such as this one quoted by Bobby Matherne in the Southern Cross Review:

'A civilisation that cannot burst through its current abstractions is doomed to sterility after a very limited period of progress.'

It is as relevant today as it was ahead of its time 80+ years ago. (Ok, granted, some people read Science and Sanity and find themselves saying, "For the love of God -- if you invented General Semantics, why in Hell can't you write a simple declarative sentence?" I did, the first time I tried it, but somehow, it doesn't seem very obscure at all today.)

S.I. Hayakawa--he was a brilliant semanticist and observer of symbols and their manipulation in society ("If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it. ") before he became a terrible U.S. Senator. Hayakawa developed and explained that concept as the Ladder of Abstraction in his book, Language in Action, later revised, expanded, and reissued as Language in Thought and Action

To oversimplify, the bottom of the ladder is where specific terms and ideas are located. The top of the ladder disappears into the clouds.

In positive usage, going up the ladder allows a person to use large inclusive terms which may serve to tie specifics together. It is a place where, for example, you can speak of counties and states and geographical land masses instead of being limited to houses and streets and backyards.

In negative usage (such as when words are coming out of the mouth of a politician), it's a shell game.

Here's an example:

Speaking to us from the top of the ladder, the politician says "Freedom -- I want freedom for all people."

You ask him what he means and he says, "Liberty."

You ask him again and growl and threaten, and if he comes down to our level and actually gives us an honest answer, he might say: "Save your money or die homeless -- we're giving all the Social Security money to my pals on Wall Street."

George W Bush can't say what he means because, more and more, I get the sense that what he means is that the End Times are coming and it his obligation, as God's Chosen One to use it all up.

What he means is that being poor is God's punishment for being bad.

What he means is that he was born rich and you weren't because he deserved it and you don't.

What he means is "Fuck you."

And the press doesn't push him because no one really wants to take him down to the bottom of the ladder and have to face just how fucking nuts he and his cronies are.

You'd have to be a BIG fan of William Burroughs to stand looking that crowd in the face with their masks off.

("Don't tell them about the insect conspiracy!")

Think about what it means to have a president with the same resting heart rate as a lizard.

I may not believe that Bush is part of some reptilian New World Order, nor find that David Icke has the answer to the cause of and solution for all our woes.

I only know (or think I know) that there's something seriously creepy and covert about George W. Bush, something animatronic and non-human. And that I don't believe anything he says, and I do not think that he has an answer to anything.

When you think about it, the idea of cross-bred reptilian humans isn't a whole lot more far-fetched than the theory that George Carlin calls "The Invisible Man' -- the one in the sky who loves us all so much he'll cast us into eternal fire, pain, suffering, and torture if we don't obey the rules.

I've SEEN reptiles.


eXTReMe Tracker