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Postmodern Academic Verbiage: "Interrogate"
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“I vill interrogate Colonel Hogan!”

As I mentioned in my new Taki’s Magazine column, “Hogwash 101,” postmodern academic theorists love the verb “interrogate,” even though it has a distinctly secret police aura that I always associate with Gestapo officer Major Wolfgang Hochstetter in Hogan’s Heroes.

For example, from The Guardian:

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler showed me the transformative power of the word queer

by Natalie Hanman

… In the book, the American academic, who died of breast cancer in 2009 aged 58, deploys erudite and playful readings of texts by Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Marcel Proust to interrogate assumptions about the stability of sexual identity and how language works to define a homo/heterosexual binary.

Okay, but doesn’t the notion of interrogating the delicate and extremely civilized trio of Wilde, James, and Proust bring to mind images of breaking a butterfly on the wheel?

Why is the use of this ugly verb an affectation of postmodern academics today?

Is it a tribute to the part-time Nazi Heidegger, who had so much influence upon Sartre and later French intellectuals? Or do they just like the idea of dressing up in shiny black leather uniforms and interrogating helpless dissidents?

 
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  1. Colonel Hogan

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  2. Clyde says:

    Using words “interrogate” and “intervene” is how these slackademic scamsters try to make their post modern fluff pieces sound serious and active. Not lazy. To add gravitas to the affair. It’s tricky, like baking a cake that will deflate in the oven without enough ingredient X.

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  3. Altai says:

    Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

    No comment.

    But seriously, the thing that annoys me most about radical feminists is how impotent they are. It feels like contemporary feminism is just therapy. It’s ceased to even really be an ideology. (There are no reasonable demands left for women to make) People fight for ideologies, people get mad. And some feminists do, but even more just write 5000 word essays that could just as well be condensed to ‘Ugh! You know?!’.

    The pink hat march against Trump was the most pathetic thing I’d ever seen, they couldn’t even hide the fact that they weren’t really mad.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kylie
    "But seriously, the thing that annoys me most about radical feminists is how impotent they are."

    I think that's what annoys them most, too.
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  4. backup says:

    Is it a tribute to the part-time Nazi Heidegger, who had so much influence upon Sartre and later French intellectuals? Or do they just like the idea of dressing up in shiny black leather uniforms and interrogating helpless dissidents?

    Rhetorical question. They absolutely love dressing in black. Mind you, I think we all should make an effort to keep referring to them as identity gestapo.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sid
    Right now, antifas dress in ugly, dirty black clothes and they cover their faces, so they look like a cross between ISIS and emos.

    ISIS takes the ninja look and has made it as menacing as all hell, but nothing has the combination of class, authority, and pure evil that an SS uniform does.

    I think the antifas who attack people on the streets will keep the ISIS look, but the SJWs who assail people on campus would look more menacing if they wore crisp, black uniforms with dashes of red white, with a black leather trench coat hanging over their shoulders.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist

    They absolutely love dressing in black.

     

    Black is very slimming.
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  5. El Dato says:

    Well, in french there is the expression

    “s’interroger sur (some subject)”

    which means to “reflect on” (some subject). So it may have to do with bad porting from french telephone-sized, clothbound philosophy texts.

    Indeed the active form

    “interroger (someone)”

    has the exact meaning of “(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I could see that, in the same manner "essay," which in its root simply means the same thing as "assay," or "try." I could be wrong, but I'm thinking Frenchy Montaigne started the trend with his searching, idiosyncratic writings, eventually leading to the tired, stuffy literary convention that uninterested high school students learn to write by rote.
    , @Bill P

    Indeed the active form

    “interroger (someone)”

    has the exact meaning of “(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries”.
     
    I'd love to see a feminist deconstruct the term "inter[-]roger" in an academic text.
    , @Hugh
    Not so long ago academics would have searched for a term in either Latin, Greek, French or German to define their concept. They seem to have found that too demanding and are now torturing the English language instead.

    Nonetheless you may well be right about interrogate: possible some academic saw it used in a French text; liked it and decided to use the English version in his own writings.
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  6. tyrone says:

    They…(no homo) dream of interrogating people (bad whites) in reeducation camps some day…soon.they will call it the great unpacking.Mao will be so jealous.

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    • LOL: Almost Missouri
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  7. JohnnyD says:

    O’Brian tutoring/breaking Winston in 1984 is another image that comes to mind. But unlike today’s academics/SJWs, O’Brian actually explains how the world works.

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  8. Barnard says:

    OT: Since it was brought up here about a month ago, the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission is shutting down all alcohol sales in Whiteclay. My condolences in advance to the people of Rushville, Nebraska and Oelrichs, South Dakota who will now get to deal with the drunk drivers coming to their towns from Pine Ridge.

    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/liquor-commission-denies-licenses-to-whiteclay-beer-stores/article_12dd60db-4aaf-5bb4-88c1-6dec6a951427.html

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  9. Help please, what does…”playful readings” even mean?

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    I don't know, but "playful" is another marker word of pseudo-scholarship.
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  10. Sid says:
    @backup

    Is it a tribute to the part-time Nazi Heidegger, who had so much influence upon Sartre and later French intellectuals? Or do they just like the idea of dressing up in shiny black leather uniforms and interrogating helpless dissidents?
     
    Rhetorical question. They absolutely love dressing in black. Mind you, I think we all should make an effort to keep referring to them as identity gestapo.

    Right now, antifas dress in ugly, dirty black clothes and they cover their faces, so they look like a cross between ISIS and emos.

    ISIS takes the ninja look and has made it as menacing as all hell, but nothing has the combination of class, authority, and pure evil that an SS uniform does.

    I think the antifas who attack people on the streets will keep the ISIS look, but the SJWs who assail people on campus would look more menacing if they wore crisp, black uniforms with dashes of red white, with a black leather trench coat hanging over their shoulders.

    Read More
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  11. Why is the use of this ugly verb an affectation of postmodern academics today?

    Maybe they’re subconsciously reacting against the old “those who can’t do, teach” idea. Like Oscar Wilde (strange coincidence) placing the critic on the same level as the artist he critiques.

    “A novelist just writes whatever he can’t help writing. But we academics interrogate the novel and find out what it means!”

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  12. Achilles says:

    Or do they just like the idea of dressing up in shiny black leather uniforms and interrogating helpless dissidents?

    That’s actually not far off. The notion is that the subject of their inquiry will give up its secrets under their literary “interrogation” like an enemy soldier or spy gives up his secrets under interrogation.

    Remember, they are “deconstructing” texts and ideas in order to reveal the underlying power relationships that are expressed in the text or idea because, of course, nothing simply means what it says.

    It’s at least bordering on mysticism or gnosticism, in that an ordinary person can’t know what a text means until a “knower” identifies the secret knowledge within it and reveals it to the ordinary person.

    If waterboarding hadn’t at one point become a cause du jour for them, perhaps they would write of “waterboarding” texts and ideas.

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  13. Bill P says:

    But seriously, the thing that annoys me most about radical feminists is how impotent they are. It feels like contemporary feminism is just therapy. It’s ceased to even really be an ideology. (There are no reasonable demands left for women to make) People fight for ideologies, people get mad. And some feminists do, but even more just write 5000 word essays that could just as well be condensed to ‘Ugh! You know?!’.

    Feminist writing is one of the most horribly brutal assaults on the English language that ever came out of academia. It makes legalese sound like fine poetry in comparison.

    I suspect that a lot of the rage comes from the fact that feminists tend to have an inability to think objectively, hence their constant attacks on objectivity. I don’t think it’s just willful solipsism; it’s a real mental disability (in an academic setting at least). Universities were founded on the masculine ideal of objective thought, so feminists have a permanent outsider status no matter how many jobs they get at universities. Therefore, they can only “deconstruct” (i.e. destroy) the foundations of Western scholarship. Hence the belligerent language and failure to contribute anything meaningful at all.

    I really don’t think we’ll be able to restore our standards without re-segregating universities by sex. Maybe somebody can leverage the campus rape hysteria for just that purpose, although I’m not hopeful.

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  14. inertial says:

    If you look closely you’ll notice that these people tend to apply the verb interrogate to things they are not happy about. For example, woman quotes in this post threatens to interrogate “assumptions about the stability of sexual identity.” You may expect that by the end of this book the assumptions will cry out in pain and admit that sexual identity is not stable at all, just stop hurting me.

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  15. If you can get your hands on the Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, you’ll find a lot more along these precise lines, you don’t want to re-invent the wheel, so to speak ….

    As somebody or another is fond of saying, “Inside every leftie is a totalitarian screaming to get out”

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  16. Ray P says:

    For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks like the modern left, Ernst Roehm and his SA leather boys apart (and Adolf had them killed). The Nazis suppressed vice and advocated traditional sex-roles and motherhood in order to strengthen the Reich. The modern left owes more to Wilhelm Reich than the Third one.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Nazis appealed to all sorts of fringe types. For example, Hitler's designated successor Hess was a prominent Ouija Board cultist.

    Many early Nazis weren't too different from the English Socialists whom Orwell complained about, just a right of center mirror image:

    "In addition to this there is the horrible — the really disquieting — prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist, and feminist in England."

    , @Almost Missouri

    "For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks"
     
    Well...

    http://www.thepinkswastika.com/
    , @Reg Cæsar

    For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks like the modern left…
     
    Well, there is that memorable scene in Triumph of the Will where two swarthy officers drool over a young blond recruit.

    After the war, the influential Tom of Finland based his iconic art on them because "they had the sexiest uniforms". Much of the gay '70s looked like Tom's Nazis in their civvies.
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  17. guest says:
    @El Dato
    Well, in french there is the expression

    "s'interroger sur (some subject)"
     
    which means to "reflect on" (some subject). So it may have to do with bad porting from french telephone-sized, clothbound philosophy texts.

    Indeed the active form

    "interroger (someone)"
     
    has the exact meaning of "(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries".

    I could see that, in the same manner “essay,” which in its root simply means the same thing as “assay,” or “try.” I could be wrong, but I’m thinking Frenchy Montaigne started the trend with his searching, idiosyncratic writings, eventually leading to the tired, stuffy literary convention that uninterested high school students learn to write by rote.

    Read More
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  18. guest says:

    I’m incurious about academese, probably because I’m at odds with a majority of academics. Also because they’re slaves to fashion, and let’s say their relationship to Truth is “complicated.” But if you want my guess, based on sporadic wrestling with their unreadable books over a number of years, I’d say it’s a bet-hedging word.

    If you’re merely questioning, who can criticize your conclusions? Your whole book/article/whatever can be nothing but conclusions, but if you call it an interrogation you can say, “Hey, I just ask questions. I’ll leave the absolute truth to my omniscient enemies.”

    This could be off-base, as others have noted they apply it to things they’re coming after. In which case it’s another form of “deconstruction.” I don’t know about that.

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  19. @Ray P
    For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks like the modern left, Ernst Roehm and his SA leather boys apart (and Adolf had them killed). The Nazis suppressed vice and advocated traditional sex-roles and motherhood in order to strengthen the Reich. The modern left owes more to Wilhelm Reich than the Third one.

    The Nazis appealed to all sorts of fringe types. For example, Hitler’s designated successor Hess was a prominent Ouija Board cultist.

    Many early Nazis weren’t too different from the English Socialists whom Orwell complained about, just a right of center mirror image:

    “In addition to this there is the horrible — the really disquieting — prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words “Socialism” and “Communism” draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, “Nature Cure” quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.”

    Read More
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  20. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    ‘negotiate’ used to be big.

    But why ‘negotiate’ when you can ‘interrogate’?

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  21. Bill P says:
    @El Dato
    Well, in french there is the expression

    "s'interroger sur (some subject)"
     
    which means to "reflect on" (some subject). So it may have to do with bad porting from french telephone-sized, clothbound philosophy texts.

    Indeed the active form

    "interroger (someone)"
     
    has the exact meaning of "(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries".

    Indeed the active form

    “interroger (someone)”

    has the exact meaning of “(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries”.

    I’d love to see a feminist deconstruct the term “inter[-]roger” in an academic text.

    Read More
    • LOL: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Alden
    It's textual rape. Off with your head!
    , @Cortes
    But rogar = to request or pray in Spanish so the verb interrogate probably originally had no negative connotations.

    Creepier by far (I have personal experience with a female HR executive in mind) is the expression "we need to have a conversation about this."

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  22. Scott X says:

    For at least the past 20 years academics have used the word “deconstruct” as the best way to signal their learning and virtue.

    “…erudite and playful readings of texts by Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Marcel Proust to deconstruct assumptions about the stability of sexual identity and how language works to define a homo/heterosexual binary.”

    Interrogate? Just another annoying buzzword used by academics and intellectuals.

    p.s. Really, really super intelligent people read texts, not books.

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  23. Alden says:

    The latest insanity is to own a mistake rather than take responsibility for a mistake or admit a mistake.

    Another word is to curate something usually a building or room. It means to furnish, decorate and keep clean. But it can be applied to anything such a a freshly detailed car or a well groomed horse or dog. A tidy closet is carefully curated.
    I try to avoid all academese and newspeak.

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    • Replies: @guest
    When I hear "curate" I think of church functionaries. Part of the meaning of spiritual guide is carried forward in the new sense of curating, as in shuffling throw pillows from couch to couch. Because they want an aura of spirituality swirling around their work in order to compensate for the utter lack of meaning in their lives.

    But that runs afoul of their materialism, as exemplified by the switch from black souls to black bodies Steve is carrying on about lately.

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  24. Alden says:
    @Bill P

    Indeed the active form

    “interroger (someone)”

    has the exact meaning of “(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries”.
     
    I'd love to see a feminist deconstruct the term "inter[-]roger" in an academic text.

    It’s textual rape. Off with your head!

    Read More
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  25. I didn’t know the book, the American academic, died of breast cancer in 2009 aged 58. The author must have been a fan of e e cummings.

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  26. Cortes says:

    Even simpler constructions can be made sinister. Like “is it safe?”…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TPQ7KMCrPLE

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  27. So the Sedgwicks not only bred crazy, they married crazy as well?

    The very name calls to mind a live-action Zippy the Pinhead.

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  28. Cortes says:
    @Bill P

    Indeed the active form

    “interroger (someone)”

    has the exact meaning of “(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries”.
     
    I'd love to see a feminist deconstruct the term "inter[-]roger" in an academic text.

    But rogar = to request or pray in Spanish so the verb interrogate probably originally had no negative connotations.

    Creepier by far (I have personal experience with a female HR executive in mind) is the expression “we need to have a conversation about this.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @David
    Rogare is Latin too. There are a few other words based on that verb that also have negative connotations: arrogant, abrogate and derogate. Plus, prerogative and supererogatory are kind of uppity. Being asked for stuff is a pain.
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  29. @backup

    Is it a tribute to the part-time Nazi Heidegger, who had so much influence upon Sartre and later French intellectuals? Or do they just like the idea of dressing up in shiny black leather uniforms and interrogating helpless dissidents?
     
    Rhetorical question. They absolutely love dressing in black. Mind you, I think we all should make an effort to keep referring to them as identity gestapo.

    They absolutely love dressing in black.

    Black is very slimming.

    Read More
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  30. vinteuil says:

    Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was the poseur to end all poseurs – and, as you can imagine, that’s up against some pretty stiff competition.

    But she was good enough for Berkeley.

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  31. Hugh says:
    @El Dato
    Well, in french there is the expression

    "s'interroger sur (some subject)"
     
    which means to "reflect on" (some subject). So it may have to do with bad porting from french telephone-sized, clothbound philosophy texts.

    Indeed the active form

    "interroger (someone)"
     
    has the exact meaning of "(someone) is helping the raincoat guys with their enquiries".

    Not so long ago academics would have searched for a term in either Latin, Greek, French or German to define their concept. They seem to have found that too demanding and are now torturing the English language instead.

    Nonetheless you may well be right about interrogate: possible some academic saw it used in a French text; liked it and decided to use the English version in his own writings.

    Read More
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  32. @Buffalo Joe
    Help please, what does..."playful readings" even mean?

    I don’t know, but “playful” is another marker word of pseudo-scholarship.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    They're desperate to convince eachother they're having fun. Like how they used to go on and on about "frisson," as if "texts" were giving them orgasms, or something.

    Makes me want to read actual perverts, like de Sade. But only for a second. It passes.

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  33. Alden says:

    Another silliness is to use “informed by” as a substitute for influenced by.

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  34. guest says:
    @Alden
    The latest insanity is to own a mistake rather than take responsibility for a mistake or admit a mistake.

    Another word is to curate something usually a building or room. It means to furnish, decorate and keep clean. But it can be applied to anything such a a freshly detailed car or a well groomed horse or dog. A tidy closet is carefully curated.
    I try to avoid all academese and newspeak.

    When I hear “curate” I think of church functionaries. Part of the meaning of spiritual guide is carried forward in the new sense of curating, as in shuffling throw pillows from couch to couch. Because they want an aura of spirituality swirling around their work in order to compensate for the utter lack of meaning in their lives.

    But that runs afoul of their materialism, as exemplified by the switch from black souls to black bodies Steve is carrying on about lately.

    Read More
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  35. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    I work at a big data company. We recently changed our sales pitch to emphasize that our product allows users to “interrogate” their data, because “analyzing” it simply didn’t get the point across.

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  36. guest says:
    @Almost Missouri
    I don't know, but "playful" is another marker word of pseudo-scholarship.

    They’re desperate to convince eachother they’re having fun. Like how they used to go on and on about “frisson,” as if “texts” were giving them orgasms, or something.

    Makes me want to read actual perverts, like de Sade. But only for a second. It passes.

    Read More
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  37. Mr. Anon says:

    Ve know you haf relatives living in Berkeley.

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  38. Kylie says:
    @Altai

    Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
     
    No comment.

    But seriously, the thing that annoys me most about radical feminists is how impotent they are. It feels like contemporary feminism is just therapy. It's ceased to even really be an ideology. (There are no reasonable demands left for women to make) People fight for ideologies, people get mad. And some feminists do, but even more just write 5000 word essays that could just as well be condensed to 'Ugh! You know?!'.

    The pink hat march against Trump was the most pathetic thing I'd ever seen, they couldn't even hide the fact that they weren't really mad.

    “But seriously, the thing that annoys me most about radical feminists is how impotent they are.”

    I think that’s what annoys them most, too.

    Read More
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  39. Kylie says:

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  40. Why is the use of this ugly verb an affectation of postmodern academics today?

    Is it a tribute to the part-time Nazi Heidegger, who had so much influence upon Sartre and later French intellectuals? Or do they just like the idea of dressing up in shiny black leather uniforms and interrogating helpless dissidents?

    Academics prefer dressing up in dull brown NKVD uniforms and persecuting smart kids with Ukrainian surnames.

    Read More
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  41. NickG says:

    Why is the use of this ugly verb an affectation of postmodern academics today?

    It’s a loaded buzz word. SJWs/ Postmodernists etcetera have their own jargon, verbal ticks and affectations. Pretty much like MBA types with their unpacking, thinking outside the box, rightsizing and moneterized synergies.

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  42. @Ray P
    For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks like the modern left, Ernst Roehm and his SA leather boys apart (and Adolf had them killed). The Nazis suppressed vice and advocated traditional sex-roles and motherhood in order to strengthen the Reich. The modern left owes more to Wilhelm Reich than the Third one.

    “For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks”

    Well…

    http://www.thepinkswastika.com/

    Read More
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  43. Patriot says:

    Another useless, arrogant, self-aggrandizing term used by academic leftists is “revisit history”.

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  44. I once knew a German woman named Hochstetter, and now that I think of it, she was rather interrogative, perhaps inquisitive by nature.

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    • Replies: @Olorin
    And we all can agree upon how horrible it is to be inquisitive by nature.

    Start that, and before you know it you're asking questions about, say, received or inflicted wisdom. Could result in all sorts of things. Like science.

    Or rejection of Mediterranean, Near Eastern, African, or Arabic religious/social beliefs.

    Or, worser horrors, the conclusion that one is actually a very different creature, by genomic nature, than, say, Mediterranean/Near Eastern/African/Arab incomers.

    Maybe even entitled to exist and claim territory, mates, and resources. Tsk.

    We now return you to the MSNBC/CNN/Democracy Now!/SPLC unending afternoon drama, "Everyone Is Hitler, Especially All Germans And White People In General."

    Sidebar:

    Didn't escape notice at our dinner table that yesterday was the birthday of the libs' and also cons' most sturdily worshipped and constantly re-created Evil God, the Great Satan himself.

    We killed a couple bottles of wine riffing on that and how to turn April 20 into a unified national SJW holiday involving

    1) weed,
    2) saving the earth through consumerism, and
    3) Hitler.

    (Best we managed: National Emerald City Day, where everybody is required to buy and consume organic fair trade artisan weed in order to forget The Most Evil Man Who Ever Lived.)

    Then we bickered over Wrigley Park's anniversary opening day, but I knew it was Shakespeare's birthday/Green Man day.

    It's Fenway that shares a birthday with Adolf.

    Damn you, baseball! You even have a swastika implicit in your base paths! Damn you, Pythagoras! Damn you all to hell!
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  45. I remember watching Hogan’s Heroes as a kid. Even then I knew it was kinda stupid, but it was funny. Can you imagine such a show today? Funny Nazis! No women or homos!

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  46. David says:
    @Cortes
    But rogar = to request or pray in Spanish so the verb interrogate probably originally had no negative connotations.

    Creepier by far (I have personal experience with a female HR executive in mind) is the expression "we need to have a conversation about this."

    Rogare is Latin too. There are a few other words based on that verb that also have negative connotations: arrogant, abrogate and derogate. Plus, prerogative and supererogatory are kind of uppity. Being asked for stuff is a pain.

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  47. @Ray P
    For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks like the modern left, Ernst Roehm and his SA leather boys apart (and Adolf had them killed). The Nazis suppressed vice and advocated traditional sex-roles and motherhood in order to strengthen the Reich. The modern left owes more to Wilhelm Reich than the Third one.

    For the most part, the Nazis were not sexual deviants or freaks like the modern left…

    Well, there is that memorable scene in Triumph of the Will where two swarthy officers drool over a young blond recruit.

    After the war, the influential Tom of Finland based his iconic art on them because “they had the sexiest uniforms”. Much of the gay ’70s looked like Tom’s Nazis in their civvies.

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  48. Olorin says:
    @The Alarmist
    I once knew a German woman named Hochstetter, and now that I think of it, she was rather interrogative, perhaps inquisitive by nature.

    And we all can agree upon how horrible it is to be inquisitive by nature.

    Start that, and before you know it you’re asking questions about, say, received or inflicted wisdom. Could result in all sorts of things. Like science.

    Or rejection of Mediterranean, Near Eastern, African, or Arabic religious/social beliefs.

    Or, worser horrors, the conclusion that one is actually a very different creature, by genomic nature, than, say, Mediterranean/Near Eastern/African/Arab incomers.

    Maybe even entitled to exist and claim territory, mates, and resources. Tsk.

    We now return you to the MSNBC/CNN/Democracy Now!/SPLC unending afternoon drama, “Everyone Is Hitler, Especially All Germans And White People In General.”

    Sidebar:

    Didn’t escape notice at our dinner table that yesterday was the birthday of the libs’ and also cons’ most sturdily worshipped and constantly re-created Evil God, the Great Satan himself.

    We killed a couple bottles of wine riffing on that and how to turn April 20 into a unified national SJW holiday involving

    1) weed,
    2) saving the earth through consumerism, and
    3) Hitler.

    (Best we managed: National Emerald City Day, where everybody is required to buy and consume organic fair trade artisan weed in order to forget The Most Evil Man Who Ever Lived.)

    Then we bickered over Wrigley Park’s anniversary opening day, but I knew it was Shakespeare’s birthday/Green Man day.

    It’s Fenway that shares a birthday with Adolf.

    Damn you, baseball! You even have a swastika implicit in your base paths! Damn you, Pythagoras! Damn you all to hell!

    Read More
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  49. Olorin says:

    But seriously.

    This idea of “interrogating” is extremely well burrowed into the neural tissue of academe by now. For instance:

    http://guides.library.harvard.edu/sixreadinghabits

    You’ll note that all these Reading Habits To Develop At Harvard scarcely touch upon knowing or seeking or learning any actual facts about the people and cultures and eras that the texts come out of.

    Instead the “reading strategy” clues in the more politically canny students on how they are supposed to react to anything and everything they read.

    They are callow youths who know nothing about everything…and getting schooled like this never will. But this “strategy” supplies their first hits of academic reward for posing as In The Know.

    Remember, outcomes and knowledge don’t matter; only Praxis does. It’s like going at the restoration of a Goddard block-front desk with a belt sander and hammer drill. You destroy the desk, but that matters less because your Interrogatory Praxis had Theory and Method.

    This is how a crucifix in urine is art but a Koran in the toilet is Islamophobic hate crime and incitement to terrorism.

    “Interrogation” in reading is astrology for texts. Perhaps more accurately haruspicy. It was starting to come in, in the 1980s, in Ivy League reading/English programs. The impetus was French postmodernism, not “part-time Nazi Heidegger” (tsk, host).

    My point regarding curating Room 101/interrogation earlier in the week is that this form of power is no less absolute for being so cheaply accessed and exercised by dolts. Plus it’s been franchised for profits since the era of Reaganomics/Greenspanismo. Franchises sell mass commodities to the masses. So one cannot expect the ideas to make any sense. The important thing is to find the right number of buyers to stay commercially viable.

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