Recently, the Supreme Dark Lord explained why the appellation "fake" is a two-megaton blast of nuclear rhetoric. Within 48 hours, I'd already seen the peanut gallery wielding the term "fake" in a hamfisted, Peebee-esque manner.
|Never change, Mass Effect. Never change.|
Remember, the most effective
rhetoric is founded in truth.
That's not me, that's from Vox's post.
The "fake" shot only hits home when the person you're wielding it against knows, deep down in the depths of their soul, that they are lying. The fake news casters hate the term because they know, deep down, that what they are peddling is lies. The fake Americans know, deep down, that the piece of paper they hold doesn't negate their third world views. Those who have fake marriages know, deep down, that what they have is a pale imitation of the real thing.
So when a fumble-brained dolt tries to claim that Catholics are fake Christians, it doesn't cause Catholics to recoil in anger and outrage. Lousy Pope or no, we know we're the real deal, so all that dig elicits is an eye-roll and a little bit of sympathy for the window licker who lithped it out.
It's worse than that, though. Words have power, and every time you use them, it saps them of a little bit of their power. Even if you use them erroneously, it adds a little familiarity and breeds a littleemore contempt.
For a classic example, look at how fast Pepe went from hilarious and effective to yesterday's news. Oh, you still see it around. It's still the face of the edgelords. (Is that 4chan, /pol/, I'm too old to have anything more than a vague notion of what stork delivers these dank memes.) But ever since the YouTube opportunists trotted out their little Kekistan schtick, complete with pre-loaded swag that you, yes you, can buy for the low, low price of...you get the idea. Ignore the fact that those dullards decided to force a meme, they decided to give the land of Pepe - the face of the big, beautiful wall, the face of the alt-Right - an Islamic state suffix. Talk about tin-eared.
Meme magic might be real, but it relies on the newness and freshness of the matter. It's like the f-bomb. When people who drop the f-bomb on a regular basis have to elevate their language, they have no where to go. They've already shot their wad on trivial matters, and now that they need to signal that things just got real...they've got nothing.
When a square like me drops that f-bomb, everyone gets real quiet. If you don't waste it, it's magic.
That's as true of the word 'fake' as it is the f-word that you can't say on television.