I happened to read one of the 'daily updates' which talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh provided recently, and realized it was a fine example of how one could use nonsense, wild conjecture and pop culture mythology as a substitute for facts and information to score emotional points.
He's a pro at this gambit, has been for years, and nothing I could ever write on this humble but lovable blog will ever alter his status or influence. Still, the blatant nonsense and witless argument is so obviously deluded, it's as if he decided to plop down a goofy premise and defy anyone to challenge it.
Here is the passage:
"2007-12-18 05:56:25 Now, this theory of mine based on this Drudge picture of Mrs. Clinton, with the headline: "The Toll of a Campaign." Now, it could well be that that's a sympathy photo, too, to make people feel sorry for how tough the campaign trail is. Now, I want to preface this by saying I know it's going to get out there. Media Matters is going to get hold of this and they're going to take it all out of context. We can expect that. It's a badge of honor when this happens, but for the rest of you, I want you to understand that I am talking about the evolution of American culture here, and not so much Mrs. Clinton. It could be anybody, and it is really not very complicated. Americans are addicted to physical perfection, thanks to Hollywood and thanks to television. We know it because we see it. We see everybody and their uncle in gyms. We see people starving themselves. We see people taking every miracle fad drug there is to lose weight. We see guys trying to get six-pack abs. We have women starving themselves trying to get into size zero and size one clothes; makeovers, facials, plastic surgery, everybody in the world does Botox, and this affects men, too. As you know, the haughty John Kerry Botoxed his wrinkles out during the campaign.
There is this thing in this country that, as you age -- and this is particularly, you know, women are hardest hit on this, and particularly in Hollywood -- America loses interest in you, and we know this is true because we constantly hear from aging actresses, who lament that they can't get decent roles anymore, other than in supporting roles that will not lead to any direct impact, yay or nay, in the box office. While Hollywood box-office receipts may be stagnant, none of that changes the fact that this is a country obsessed with appearance. It's a country obsessed with looks. The number of people in public life who appear on television or on the big screen, who are content to be who they are, you can probably count on one hand. Everybody's trying to make themselves look different -- and in that situation, in that case, they think they're making themselves look better. It's just the way our culture has evolved. It's the way the country is. It's like almost an addiction that some people have to what I call the perfection that Hollywood presents of successful, beautiful, fun-loving people. So the question is this: Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?
First, the sentence "Americans are addicted to physical perfection, thanks to Hollywood and thanks to television. We know it because we see it." is an astonishingly ignorant viewpoint which avoids contact with all of human history.
Another absurd leap of logic - aimed at women in general, whom Limbaugh apparently loathes or fears - arrives with this comment: "... women are hardest hit on this, and particularly in Hollywood -- America loses interest in you." While there may be a point to be made that "youth" has an advantage over "age" in pop culture, that is not the point he is making - which seems to be instead something along the lines of "I hate women and Hollywood."
He goes on to say that his fractured nonsensical premise is not just a factual concept, but forms a basic construct of society which he deems Evil in and of itself: "It's just the way our culture has evolved. It's the way the country is."
And all of the comments are truly just a preface of sorts to say one thing: "I hate Hillary Clinton, because she is female, she is empowered and she does not fit my model for what women are good for."
What's the old saying? If you can't blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit?
The commentary is also a sterling example of The Chewbacca Defense. "That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense!