I am posting this for Elvira Narvaja de Arnoux, Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Sociology of Language at the University of Buenos Aires who has published widely in Spanish on political discourse. Her comments here indicate that replacement of truth by emotional “truthiness” noted by comedian Stephen Colbert is a widespread political phenomenon.
The countries of the Americas share much common history: Indigenous peoples, European colonizers, revolutions of independence, global immigration, racial and ethnic diversity, natural resources, wild and beautiful landscapes, hopes for the future invested in education, young and experimental societies. We also share periodically troubled democracies and monied oligarchies who attempt to control the ferment of these newly emergent lands.
So … Read more
Multiple stories circulate about the origins of the statue given to the City of Valparaiso in Chile by a French donor in 1876, some cynical and some more official. But whatever the origin, the iconography is strong.
The scales of justice are folded, unused, and a bit disordered, with one pan spilling out. They hang at the side of a … Read more
One of the recent astonishing developments of our public discourse has been the rise of the commonplace that all facts just reflect points of view. There is no way to tell whose facts are better. The political right, especially, has seemed to have embraced academic theories of postmodernism, previously excoriated by these same forces as threats to Western civilization. These … Read more
Some days watching the news I am outraged and ranting. Other days I am overtaken with ironies and dark laughter. Often, I am cynically analytical. Occasionally, hopeful. Some days, even poised for action. Other days I am just depressed about the future of our democracy, our country, and the planet. But whatever I feel, little comes of it, beyond cusses, … Read more