We have written previously about how today politicians appear to be speaking “jabberwocky,” the language spoken in Lewis Carroll's famous nonsense poem from his book, “Through the Looking-Glass,” a sequel to “Alice in Wonderland.”
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty lectures Alice, “it means exactly what I say it meansand nothing more.”
We have argued, as have many before us, that jabberwocky is a form of political lying practiced by government officials and wannabes around the country.
Whether conscious or not, their aim is to preserve their power and maintain leadership in the hands of people of their political persuasion.
After further study, however, it turns out that we had only identified part of the problem. You see, there are at least two dialects of jabberwocky in existence; liberal jabberwocky and conservative jabberwocky.
Further, it seems that people who speak liberal jabberwocky cannot understand conservative jabberwocky, and vice versa.*
Nor, we might add, do they want to learn the other’s dialect. This problem is of course exacerbated by today’s media outlets.
Some examples of all this come to mind.
It is now popular to refer to some individuals as “woke.”
Just recently, former United Nations Ambassador Nikky Haley referred to the dangers of heeding the desires of the “Woke Left.”
The “woke culture” is a political term which originated in the United States, and it refers to a perceived awareness of issues which concern social justice and racial justice, like you just “woke up” to all of this.
I asked my younger daughter-in-law how to interpret the phrase, “Woke Left,” and she tried to explain how the “woke” culture consists of people who have had their eyes opened to the inequities in society, the privileged class, and those who took too much for granted about things like racism, etc.
I am not sure if this is what Haley’s intent was in warning about the socialistic ideals behind the “woke left.”
She was warning listeners that we must not allow socialism to creep in with the “woke” movement, which mainly emanates from left-leaning folks. I guess.
See, I have to have this all explained, because I am lost in the jabberwocky of this politician, who may have just been testing the waters for a 2024 presidential run.
Another example came early in the Trump administration when advisor Kellyanne Conway used the term “alternative facts” to defend the argument her boss was making about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration.
Trump is often said to have ushered in an era of post-truth politics. Conway’s argument sparked a nationwide social media outburst and an immediate surge of orders for George Orwell’s novel “1984.”
Later, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani argued with “Meet The Press” anchor Chuck Todd that, “Truth isn’t truth.”
We are now supposed to also understand what Big Tech is all about and how it is either changing or ruining society, or both.
So when you are reading or listening to today’s news and especially social media posts - “beware the Jabberwock, indeed.”
*Note - for you young’uns - vice versa is latin for “the other way around.” Our generation was taught Latin in junior high school, which may be a topic for future comment.
Alan Clark’s columns have appeared on this page since 2017 and are available as podcasts on Apple Music. Co-author Richard Young is an environmental consultant and author of southern-inspired cookbooks.