mercredi, juillet 16, 2008

Free Translation Service

As it turns out, people do not always mean what they say. Even less often do they say what they mean. Which used to be one of the more demoralizing elements of public discourse. No longer.

With our database, software and search engine at last complete, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new Translater. The Obscure, Overly-Partisan, or Purposefully Arcane, Political Opinion Translation Service (O.O.P.P.A.P.O.T.S). Readers of Girl Pants can now send in comments they have proposed or overheard, and OOPPAPOTS can render them into a cogent, cohesive statement, stripped of obfuscation, sophistry, and based on the brazen reality of the situation. With our "Input Context" option we can even account for a wide variety of source material.

Here are a few of the samples our research team have released.

COMMENT: The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are what I watch for news.
TRANSLATION: I am uninformed. Let us share some ripping good rips on people with whom I disagree. After that discard my views on current events.

COMMENT: Coldplay is overrated.
TRANSLATION: Coldplay is either too mainstream, or not mainstream enough for me.

COMMENT: Bush is an idiot. (true BTW)
TRANSLATION: (*Input Context /loyal republican/) I am willing to concede that the president might not be a brilliant man if you are willing to shut up about Iraq, the price of gas, and to never say 'nobody died when Clinton lied' ever, ever again. Oh, go ahead. I guess this is my punishment for rubbing Jimmy Carter's royally inept destruction of the economy in your face all these years;
(*Input Context /stodgy conservative/see also older white male/) He ran as a conservative and governed like a liberal. I can't believe I voted for that chump;
(*Input Context /average middling or lazy social lefty/) I love saying things that don't have to be researched or backed up because they are accepted as media fact;
(*Input Context /activist liberal/) If I could spit acid on him I would. If he was on fire I wouldn't piss on him to put out the flames. But my virulent hatred is justified by my bumper stickers. I am at peace and love all people. Except for George Bush, for whom my heart burns with an everlasting red hot hate that I can barely even conceal when broadcasting the news.

COMMENT: We are destroying the planet.
TRANSLATION: Human beings tend to have a destructive effect, and need to do better. I might be a democrat or a republican, on this issue it really doesn't matter. Also, I have researched it and discovered that Mother Nature can cause, and has caused on hundreds of thousands of occasions, more damage to herself in a day than we could in our best 100 years. So I take a calm level headed approach to it. I don't fall for junk science. I accept that human beings, destructive as they may be, have a right to exist as children of this planet. I do my best to accept other people's choices. I truly love nature and make every effort, with my time and with my pocket book, to preserve and appreciate it.

COMMENT: WE ARE DESTROYING THE PLANET!!! (note tone of panic and exclamation points)
TRANSLATION: I am desperate for some emergency to get heated up about. It makes me feel important and sates my need to feel socially responsible, if not socially superior. The "devoted to a higher cause" vibe that other people get from their religion, or their job, or their family, or from actually helping people, I get from hyper ventilating over imminent disaster that has been steadily and wrongly predicted in various forms since the beginning of time, and telling other people how to live their lives. In fact, I am, socially and philosophically speaking, NO DIFFERENT from the panicked crowd in the 1800's who were convinced that the 2nd coming of Christ was around the corner and went around telling everybody how badly they were screwing up and how imminent was their demise. Remember, we blew out record amounts of hot air fretting about an upcoming ICE AGE back in the seventies. We've switched to global warming now, and I don't know what it will be tomorrow. But whatever it is, you can rest assured I'll give you an earful and tell you all the ways that YOU and the rest of humanity are f*cking up the planet.

COMMENT: Those pants do NOT make you look fat.
TRANSLATION: Either I do not have sufficient respect for your ability to handle the truth, or I don't want to mess up my chances of having sex with you later, or both.

As you can see, the applications of OOPAPOTS are numerous. While it is no help at all with a person who simply lies to you on the bald face of it all (for which there is no remedy), you can get, within an increasingly small margin of error, right to the heart of the matter, or to the matter in other people's hearts, thereby avoiding a good deal of the rancor and misunderstanding that has become the norm in American Arena of Ideas.

3 commentaires:

WendyCoe a dit...

One of my favorite moments working as a research attorney was when I worked in the phrase "obfuscate and inveigle the judicial process" and the attorney I was working with left it in! The fact that one of my favorite words is in your most recent blog just increases my adoration and admiration for you. Tu es un vrai ami de mon coeur!! A bientot.

Bissous, Wendy Coe

levineclan a dit...

Hi Scott it's Steve, Marianne's husband. I'm not only impressed with your creative talent but your appreciation of philosophy. I consider myself an existentialist, but I have to admit after a promising start both internally and with courses at UCLA I have totally neglected this, which is sad because I equate my philosophical views with my religious views (which of course means that I am off course). In any event, you mention in this blog:

"On to another contradiction: I think you can believe in Evolution and God at the same time. Einstein did."

What little I have done since college is realize that Tibetan Buddhism bridges the gap between my spiritual and philosophical views, and your reference to Einstein inspired me to reaffirm his ability to connect the two. here's an excerpt from an inspired blog:

"Einstein on Buddhism -
Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. -Albert Einstein

If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. -Albert Einstein

A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe'; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compasion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
-Albert Einstein

Here's another quote from Einstein that I love. It is my signature at the bottom of my emails:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. -Albert Einstein"

End quote from blog. I believe Aldous Huxley also expresses this in his book "the Doors of Perception" and Pete Townshend in his song/poem "The Sea Refuses no River"

Looking forward to discuss.


s.k.namanny a dit...

I love Einstein so much. Even if he did help make the Bomb.
Those men who are hard to categorize are the best. He was, by all accounts, not a great mathematician. He is not known for his social activism (although he had causes and supported them wonderfully). He wasn't a great writer (see Hawking).

Just a visionary. An idea guy. Have we seen anything approaching his like since?