Flat White

Socrates, the poets and the deplorables

10 September 2018

6:42 PM

10 September 2018

6:42 PM

Everyone who has ever read or even started to read Plato’s Republic, the philosophical text by that dead white male who only had one name, will know that the poets receive quite a thorough thrashing. Socrates actually bans them from his political solution to his best regime, the regime that is in accordance with human nature. The reason why they are banned is because they tell lies and they mislead people with false opinions about the true nature of the important human things.

The poets write about things like temperance, justice love, piety and courage but because of their art, they are able to make their opinions so attractive that they work to educate people to hold similar false opinions. To be fair, Socrates does re-admit the poets in the final book of the Republic, but under such stringent conditions that only Shakespeare and his ilk would qualify.

We actually live in a society that is almost totally dominated by poets and their poetry even if we don’t always recognise the genre. These days we would probably say they are part of the entertainment industry; but whether they are talking heads on the tele or strumming guitars or writing love stories, they are still exercising the poet’s art.

The most attractive and widespread poetry these days must be music. At the very top of the tree are the most popular musicians like The Beatles or Rolling Stones but there are thousands of pop poets out there, strumming their rock’n’roll in pubs for a 100 bucks a night each. It’s not that their poetry is totally unattractive. It’s not; but why is it attractive at all? It’s attractive because it appeals to the lowest elements of man, the one we share with all animals. Almost every post World WarII Western child has been brought up on a diet of rock’n’roll or some bizarre variant. Watch the little ones dance to their music. That shows what it appeals to. Why then would anyone be interested in a rock star’s opinion about anything political? Bruce Springsteen who holds himself out for the ‘workin man’ described the President who has raised more jobs for working people in two years than the last five presidents, as a moron.

And then there are the movies, chick-flicks that purport to teach men and women what love is; action movies that justify unmitigated violence and killing. The list does go on, but it is all just another way of conveying opinions about their topics to the watcher or listener. Movie stars have an art, but they have nothing to say unless someone has written it for them.


Why then would anyone would take the least bit of notice of their opinions about political matters, especially when they can only express them in the meanest and most explicit vulgarity. There was Robert DeNiro’s obscene comment which was supposed to pass as rational and Kathy Griffin’s obscene gesture holding up the President’s severed head and her tirade of abuse at the President’s wife, so abusive and violent that it bespoke a mental illness. Then there is the actor Jim Carey’s bizarre artworks with which he attacks the democratically elected President.

But the comment that gave the greatest insight into the LWLW (left-wing lunatic women’s) syndrome was that of the septuagenarian Cher, the pop star who recently expressed her opinion about the man seeking confirmation as the next Justice of the American Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I would usually repeat it in full but it is an almost unintelligible combination of uppercase words run together with metaphorical emojis thrown in. Breitbart’s translation of part of it said: “Our Lives Will Never Be the Same If ‘F-cking Train Wreck’ Kavanaugh Confirmed.”

We know what she was smoking when she wrote it, but unlike the alleged rapist, Bill Clinton, she forgot to exhale.

Now, personally, I haven’t taken much notice of Cher since she mounted the 16-inch cannon of the USS Missouri as if she was having sex with it while the ship’s crew cheered, as you would expect 500 sailors who have met girls like that in Asian ports would cheer. If she was hoping it would go off an through the song, If I could turn back time, she would have been disappointed. The US Navy had decommissioned the battleship but was still disappointed in the sexual nature of the video.

Cher’s irrational, ignorant tweet had only one purpose, to abuse a man chosen to guard that nation’s Constitution from the highest Court in that land. So, read her tweet and you will have to agree that she is truly an LWLW.

We live in an age when celebrities rule (OK?) as if they are educators. And the newspapers, the television news bulletins, the internet platforms like Facebook or Twitter convey their vacuous, ill-considered, abusive, vulgar, opinions that have been expressed with such anger that they contain only the barest sign of rationality simply because as celebrities people will pay to see or hear them.

I think I much prefer your and the other deplorable voices.

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