Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Nature of Doggerel Part 2: Thought-Stopping Clichés

Yesterday, commenter Wes dropped a phrase he heard that wraps up the idea of "doggerel" so thoroughly, I have to study up on black holes, neutron stars, and other astronomical phenomena to come up with an appropriate metaphor for how compact that phrase makes the meaning: "Thought-Stopping Clichés"

It does a good job of capturing just how I feel about a woo's tactics when he starts spouting doggerel: Woos don't explore. They defend and they shout how powerful their defenses are. When change comes, they throw up verbal brick walls in hopes of deflecting us from the core issue. After we breach a wall and debunk a cherished myth or answer some supposedly unanswerable question, they pretend the attack never happened or that the territory is unimportant. That's the mentality we are up against: The illusion of stability is more important than wonder and mystery.

What's even more annoying is when the woos try to cast themselves as scientists or skeptics and project their attitude on us. It's both hilarious and irritating when a 9/11 twoofer tries to claim that we won't ask 'the hard questions' and drones on about irrelevant (and usually nonexistent) political affiliations, arguments about Bush, rather than the data, science, engineering, etcetera that went into forming the current well-established theory: In short, he was doing everything in his power to avoid asking tough questions and spending all his text on asking easy, meaningless ones.

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