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The Department of Demonization

Apparently the university has turned down my proposal to float a new Department of Demonization. This in spite of the generally acknowledged need for trained demonizers. Nobody can deny that the demonizing capabilities of our students are woefully below par. Most of them couldn’t demonize Hitler at a Passover Seder. Sometimes I wonder where their heads are at. What can their parents be thinking? Where are the demonizers of tomorrow going to come form?

And this when such exciting work is being done in the field. Philosophically there has been a breakthrough in researches into the age-old question, “Can you demonize the demonizer?” Just think of what latching onto the affirmative would mean if Hitler came back from the grave. Most researchers have for some time pooh-poohed the whole meta-demonic realm of which this question is the lynch pin. But that was because at that time the practical side weighed heavily in the scales. Now the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction. Theory is restored to its rightful place in the pantheon. Theoretical demonizers are seeing their names creep into the Who’s Who. Some say fashion tipped towards theory when Gaddafi got a bayonet up his ass. This took demonization in a new direction, opening up new possibilities. Or maybe it was something else. One thing for sure: something jiggled the culture-custard we call “our values.”

For those who claim that demonization is merely bullshit raised to the nth power I say ha! Demonization is an art. A good demonizer can demonize anyone. A good demonizer can demonize a daffodil! And the profession is wide open. Demonizers are sorely needed at all levels from the White House on down.

But to be honest all is not peaches and cream in the demonizing community. I don’t think it is only me who gets the feeling that the old-school methods are no longer kosher. I mean is Putin really demonized? I don’t think so. The so called MSM, the main stream media, when it comes to demonization, are peddling their asses off to beat the f-ing band, but, I don’t know, is it enough? Somehow I don’t get the feeling on the street that Putin is properly demonized. Do you? Something is just off. Where’s the Sturm und Drang? Where is that fervor to go toe to toe with the Ruskies? Putin’s demonization is only a blip on the horizon. If you put Putin on the Mount Rushmore of demons would he come up to the toenails of Hitler or Stalin? We all should have read the tea leaves when Obama pulled the plug on the Osama bin Laden shindig because of dwindling ticket sales. That’s all, folks. Old school demonization just ain’t moving the needle the way it used to.

New methods of demonization are clearly needed, and I am happy to say, are already in the pipeline. False flags and false false-flags, I think it is clear, have had their day. Overuse has rendered them banal. Nowadays people just don’t give a rat’s ass if their neighbors are blown all to shit just as long as the pieces don’t fall on them. Terrorism is no longer socially unacceptable. It no longer distinguishes friend from foe. In the classic flip-flop you would have to make Attila the Hun look like Mary Poppins to demonize him these days. More than likely he would get a Hollywood contract and remake himself as Attila the Ham with a stand-up schtick. What is more, to demonize Attila while being environmentally friendly would require jumping through some pretty formidable ideological hoops.

But I am not here to toot my high horse. These are all problems that research, imagination, hard work, and good government can solve. That, in any case, is the overwhelming weight of scientific opinion. Something on the order of ten to the ninth pounds (108 kilos) of scientists opine that new demonization methods can and will be a question not of if but of when. Only a tiny shit-load of scientists believe that every fucking thing is already demonized and can’t be demonized further.

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Michael Doliner studied with Hannah Arendt at the University of Chicago and has taught at Valparaiso University and Ithaca College.

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