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Nuance

 
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Nuance Reply with quote

The Right wants to demonize "nuance" as much as it has demonized"
"liberal". None of it works as well as it has in the past.

"Voted for it before he voted against it?" Forget it! You continue
to insult us, to insult our intelligence? Honestly, forget it.
We know the circumstances were different, even if we don't
know the details. We know that you are manipulating the record
for your own advantage, knowing that most of us won't get past
the headlines. But sometimes we get accountability. It takes
either a lot of effort, or a lot of time to go from 70+% approval
to 19%. For George W. Bush, it was 7 years.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you expand, how does the word "nuance" or its meaning play into what you are saying?
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a while there in the 2004 election, it was broadly suggested
that we sneer at Kerry for having "nuance". That's French, right?
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess you refer to definition #3:

Quote:
3 : sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value)


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nuance

In Kerry's case, that's what he should have done, but he didn't. He expressed two opposing viewpoints ("but on the other hand") simultaneously without forming a synthesis or decisive, if nuanced, answer.

I often tend to employ nuance (maybe that's a more elegant term than my slider bar nouns definition), but that doesn't seem to satisfy people who are looking for black and white answers...
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow it just doesn't seem fair, the distinction you
make between Kerry and yourself.

You, you capture and reflect the rich shades of meaning
in your statements, but Kerry, why he (often?) said just
the opposite of what he previously said.

I suggest your distinction is one that is heavily biased
by sound-bite reporting, the right wing echo chamber,
and your own, acknowledged, partisanship.

Hence the story (meme) became that he was a flipflopper.

=========

The next step was a bit of junior high school genius.
He tries to explain some of those differences, and the
exercise is derided as "nuance".

To be fair, I do not recall any time that you, personally,
took this approach, in describing Kerry at the time.
Revisiting this topic reminds me of the anger I felt
at the time, when numerous media outlets echoed
the idea that "nuance" was sleazy or something. Frankly,
I viewed it as tapping into and activating a kind of
anti-intellectualism. Here was a chance to sneer at
all those people that were smarter than us. What good
are they if all they can give us is more "nuance".

I get the feeling that if that didn't work, the "deriders"
would fall back on the even earlier strategy of covering
their ears, making loud noises and saying "I can't hear you"
over and over again.

The way this meme has been manipulated, I can't help but
think of the schoolyard bully recommending that we
stop hitting ourselves.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kerry very definitely flip-flopped with opposing statements, repeated in sequence. He did this often during the 2004 debates.

In that sense, the "flip-flop" label was accurate, if childish.

I explicitly asked that I be allowed to phrase my answer (single answer) in a way that reflects what I believe.

Perhaps you should be interrogating John Kerry and you could help focus his answers in the future.
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jabailo wrote:
I explicitly asked that I be allowed to phrase my answer (single answer) in a way that reflects what I believe.


Maybe its just because it's getting late, but I honestly don't
have any idea what you are talking about here.



Quote:
Perhaps you should be interrogating John Kerry and you could help focus his answers in the future.

So far as I can tell, the only interrogation I've made of you in this
area is whether "nuance" is French. You seemed to have, properly,
interpreted it as a "rhetorical" question.

I appreciate the suggestion and I plan on giving it all the consideration
it deserves.
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the end though, it comes down to the electorate itself.

What is the point of "nuance" in a populace that demands certain answers.

Obama did use some great "dampening" techniques to prevent runaway memes from the Republicans...or perhaps they simply got lazy and thought the previous ones would work. I noticed he even went out of his way to "lay to rest" some of the classic ones of the previous elections (deliberately using "arugula" in a speech as a nod to Dukakasis' "Belgian endive" comment which was used to label him an elitist).

At the same time, he introduced some really bad ones himself ("Person X is 'Old').

Again, our language has become so digital and label oriented. The way we refer to each other, our immediate classification, and the acceptance of labels which formerly would have raised hackles.

We now live in America, H.S. Nuance is college level.
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to respond to this, but I find myself at a loss. I guess,
this time, I really am "nonplussed".

The places where you haven't filled in the blanks to the point
that I can reasonably "read between the lines", have become
too numerous to support my making a reasonable interpretation
of the allusive remarks you are making.

I hope you'll laugh, and I'd be okay if you wanted to ignore
my desire that you fill in the dots between A and B, and R and
X, as well. I find myself easily swayed when you use the phrase
"in the end..." It seems to add such heft to your argument.
But then I find myself treading water. Unless you are a noted
poet, I shouldn't have to work so hard to make sense of what you
write. My first few interpretations didn't seem to pan out.

You've gotten so abstract. What are the labels we accept that
would've raised hackles? Does the idea that nuance is now
college level mean that it is more important, or less relevant?
Are you dismissing my analysis? I honestly can't tell.

I'll leave the Obama "dampenings" to another topic. (Those would
be good topics, I think)

You know, I know you think I do, but often I am not asking you
questions. Sometimes, yes. But not mostly. Here, I am.

Still, there is really no need to answer, unless it sheds some
light on the topic. I don't want this topic to end in digression.
There was a war on "nuance", one that did not involve soldiers
in tanks. I do not wish for "shades of meaning" to be belittled
in the national debate again any time soon.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's start by not attacking someone by first labeling them with terms such as "Hockey Mom".

Let's try and get more details on the person...a more nuanced viewpoint.

I agree, our new Obama Administration will not be about name calling, and you should participate in that spirit!
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I do not believe that I have ever "attacked"
anyone as being a "hockey mom". I *did* take a term
that was self-attributed, and tried to see where it led me.

I ran it through the Hollywood "high concept" filter, and
spun out a movie scenario. If anything, I was sad she
didn't win, because I wanted to see if my predicted
screenplay would actually be up on the silver screen.
It gave me a reason to support her - it'd make a great story.

You're playing up this nuance thing almost as much as *I* might.
I'm kind of puzzled. So now you're saying that *I* am lacking
in nuance? If so, it's fair for me to apologize I guess.
If my writing has been lacking in this way, it is not because
I am afraid someone will "swiftboat" me, because I can't
see why anyone would want to.

Maybe I'll give up beating my wife when Obama actually takes
office. Until then...
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, you are highly nuanced.

You spend a good deal of time fighting labels ("computer guy", "techie") and not allowing others to define you.

However, sometimes you don't apply the same restrain in defining others, or you seem like you are full of pent up anger perhaps about people using terms stupidly.

One can understand, but one must also pick the right targets.
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[If you want to repeat your analysis of my personality
in the Hockey mom president post, or somewhere that
I have unfairly attacked someone, then I will respond to
it. I think it is fair to ignore it in the context of this topic.]

===============

To me, the "war on nuance" is a fair topic for anger.
Political hacks used this tactic, and numerous others
to manipulate the public into voting a particular way.

People are starting to catch onto this, and I am articulating
how it is we were, as a people, manipulated. I'm sick
of being spun, and it hurts my country.

I don't want to be "fooled again".
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see.

The good news is that people are starting to catch on to this.

That is the first step towards combating the manipulation.

You're efforts to expose this are to be lauded!
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