6 August, 2006, New York City, NY, USA
Bullshit is everywhere.
There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some way, infused with bullshit; not all of it bad. The general day-to-day organic free-range bullshit is often necessary, or, at the very least, innocuous: "Oh, what a beautiful baby! I'm sure it'll grow into that head!" That kind of bullshit, in many ways, provides important social contract fertilizer, which keeps people from making each other cry all day. But then, there's the more pernicious bullshit; the premediated, institutional bullshit designed to obscure and distract. Designed by whom? The bullshit-ocracy. It comes in three basic flavours:
1. Making bad things sound like good things. "Organic, all-natural cupcakes", because "Factory-made sugar oatmeal balls" doesn't sell. "Patriot Act", because "Are-you-scared-enough-to-let-me-look-at-all-your-phone-records? Act" doesn't sell. So, whenever something's been titled "Freedom, Family, Fairness and Health America", take a good, long sniff. Chances are it's been manufactured in a facility that may contain traces of bullshit.
2. Hiding the bad things under mountains of bullshit. Complexity. "You know, I would love to download Drizzy's latest Meek Mill diss, but I'm not really interested right now in reading Tolstoy's iTunes agreement. So, I'll just click "Agree", even if it grants Apple prima nocta with my spouse!" Here's another one: simply put, "Banks shouldn't be able to bet your pension money on red" Bullshitly put it's, "Hey, a handful of billionaires can't buy our elections, right? Of course not. They can only pour unlimited, anonymous cash into a 501(c)4 if 50% is devoted to Issue Education, otherwise they'd have to 501(c)6 it, or funnel it openly through a non-campaign coordinating Super PAC, with a quarter- I think they're asleep now, we can sneak out!"
And finally, the bullshit of infinite possibility. These bullshitters cover their unwillingness to act under the guise of unending inquiry. "We can't do anything, because we don't yet know everything." "We cannot take action on climate change until everyone in the world agrees gay marriage vaccines won't case our children to marry goats who are gonna come for our guns"
But the good news is this: bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy, and their work is easily detected, and looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time, like an I spy of bullshit. So I say to you tonight, friends, the best defence against bullshit is vigilance. So, if you smell something, say something.