So well said and love the historical tie in. Wordsmiths they are and with so many of them being lawyers, it makes perfect sense. Shakespeare had some advice about lawyers that might have helped our present situation.

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Jun 16, 2022·edited Jun 17, 2022Liked by David Gosselin

I get the feeling that Plato and Socrates were very very ambivalent about poetry. As indeed many poets are. One recalls Marianne Moore's famous expostulation, 'I too dislike it...' Indeed the best poetry tends to consist of an exploration of ambivalent feelings. So that one is led to the conclusion that poets are often ambivalent about everything.

Poetry employs all the devices that advertisers and politicians use. The main difference being that poets aren't trying to sell you anything. There is no power elite behind them. (Though many have tried to curry favour with them.) Indeed it tends to be a lonely voice speaking up against power and in favour of truth. So it is more sincere and individual and heart-to-heart. It is a witness rather than an advocate. It uses rhetoric, but it is an innocent rhetoric intended to defend rather than prosecute. And so that rhetoric far from being manipulative is heartfelt and sincere. And its logic is astonishingly coherent. And as I have already explained because it is truthful it tends to be openly ambivalent. As I say it isn't trying to sell you anything.

A poem is a self-contained object. And so it is possible to maintain an objective distance with regard to it. And because in that way it allows us to be more critical it doesn't cloud the mind but rather clarifies it. It is like a lens rather than a blindfold.

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I could read your posts ALL day all the time. I told my husband today that I’ve found a few people to read here on Substack (I only joined a few days ago) that may keep me from properly attending to my daily home duties. Haha! Wow!

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One thing for sure, the first months of the 'pandemic', caused enough of a fear that people accepted the mask and is STILL wearing them.

How naive was I to think that there are so many that can believe just like in the Emperor's new clothes, those that really go along. What exactly is in their minds? I am baffled.

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I want to apologize for this ridiculously late and long comment. But I wanted to convey my appreciation for this brilliant essay.

[This inchoate post is a follow up on my attempt to comment on your RTF livestream several weeks ago. I am the person who had her Internet connection drop (not once, but twice) before I managed to put my thoughts together.] I am trying to overcome my considerable embarrassment because I am enthusiastic about your topic and would like very much to share my thoughts with you in an essay. I do not share your knowledge, but am a visual artist and might approach the topic from another angle. Before coming across your essay, I had intended to write on simulacra and deception--an essay that like a fugue wandered (The Doors!) from Breton to Girard to Baudrillard, connecting (perhaps) psychedelic art to pseudoscience. Maybe I will alter this plan or issue a series of related essays.

There is obviously a large net cast by Breton and Girard's theories (FreudoMarxism and mimetic desire respectively). The psychology of consciousness seems to have been a focal point of Bay Area scholars and artists (Marcuse, Foucault, and Kahneman at Berkeley and Girard, Tversky, and others at Stanford); Ken Kesey and others in the Big Sur community (The Beats, Henry Miller, Hunter Thompson...) and the psychedelic Bay Area bands. I sometimes joke that the past three years have felt like a mass-staging of the Stanford Prison Experiment...

[I appreciate your criticism of Sam Harris. He and if I am not mistaken his wife (she wrote a book on Consciousness that was a good primer) come out of this milieu.]

Silicon Valley was attracted to developing commercial (technopolitical?) applications of psychosocial behavior (Thiel studied w/Girard and recognized the import of Facebook (social media). Joan Didion—a Bay Area native—exposed the Yippie drug CULTure of San Francisco as pathetic. Living in Malibu, perhaps she recognized a similar decadence and delusion in Los Angeles/Laurel Canyon. Were Adorno and Horkheimer correct in their assessment of Hollywood's culture industry (Enlightenment as Mass Deception)? I am interested in learning more about the Esalen component (Matthew mentioned it during your talk). From the vantage point of the French sphere of influence, as Matthew rightly stated, it was channeled from Baudelaire and the Decadents to Breton and the Surrealists to Debord and the Situationists.

It will take me some time as I have commitments but I hope to put together my thoughts in more respectful manner for your consideration in the not-too-distant new year.

In any event, just wanted to finally chime in to thank you for the inspiration!

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Excellent article. This should be the introductory read for all high school students taking rhetoric classes, which should be required. For understanding the ways truth is disguised and hidden, reveals the reasons unchecked capitalism is a disease, and underscores the motives directly responsible for exactly how so many of 'our laws' are not for 'us' at all. The propaganda machines mean many broken and fragmented factions of society which are all divided, distracted, disinterested, on drugs, drunk as fuck, brainless consumers and loyal customers, manipulated into being, on purpose, and only for profits. When context matters much, critical thinking correlates to massive amounts of questioning, and truth is the ultimate byproduct. Did you know Harvard tried to kill rhetoric? We should Revive rhetoric, for the sake of, Everything! Also, there should be a Revolution for the sake of Everything! But we must first communicate better and agree more, which is why we might have to teach ourselves all the ways to Revive rhetoric and Revolutionize... I try to do both. I'm apparently terrible at both. My rhyming started with a dream to help us unite and possibly communicate better... Buy Algorithms can disguise truth too and there's power to be lost if a Revolution actually happens, so..... Anyways, here's my poetry, my reason and my reasons, my dream and my failed rhetorics... and many many songs that have saved my life... and 14 seasons of taskmaster because laughter is medicine... www.humbledeeds.com

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Absolutely true ! Hope, hope, hope, yes, yes, yes, wonder, wonder, wonder, rolling eyes ... LOL !

It is really hard to feel I am accomplishing something when nothing or nutting is changing, ... NO LOL !

For example, getting 100 subscribers when a month ago I had 0, while two months ago I had thousands below 0 .... sorry, I am a bit perplexed, by hope, by wonder, by the whole concept.

The problem with democracy is the same as with dictatorship, my boat, my rules, obey or obey, or else. Society or humanity has not evolved much, there are still wars.

The good thing is that my totalitarian instant classic posts get spread like Covid, LOL ! I am trending on social media ....

Well, trending, if you, my dear readers, pass it along, altogether now ! Here is a little appetizer !






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