A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland
Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.
The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.
There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.
False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.
55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.
Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…
The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.
Earth has had a recent fly past by the mysterious alien probe, 1991 VG. And it’s coming back. We’re screwed. Maybe.
Horace De Vere Cole was the major protagonist and originator of the Dreadnought Hoax. Who was he? What was the Hoax?
Dueling scars, or schmiss, were highly sought after in late nineteenth century Germany.
Double speak – ignorance is strength.
In truth, language is thought. Restrict one to suppress the other.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s hero, Winston Smith, worked as a clerk in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth. Truth, it soon becomes apparent, means untruth. The ministry is in charge of rewriting language, subverting and inverting its very meaning.
Controlling the means of expression is the means of controlling the populace, restricting their freedom, and finally controlling thought itself.
Primo Levi addressed the issue of a proscriptive and contrived use of language as a means of creating a purposeful miscomprehension. He describes using language to confuse people while upholding the pretense of offering information.
Levi described this linguistic form as, “an ancient repressive artifice, known to all churches, the typical vice of our political class, the foundation of all colonial empires.”
He described how powerful institutions use their language to do others down, to suppress dissent. Their language is too advanced and makes those ill-equipped to fully grasp it feel inferior. They cannot express their true needs.
In The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg describes another illuminating episode where language is a means of control. After the Normans took England, the language of the aristocracy was French. Suddenly words began to be used, and would filter down to the land’s vernacular, to describe things that were unobtainable for the commoners. These were words of luxury items, foods in particular, words of money, words of class and culture. They are words of law and repression.
Passport, fruit, fur, art, melody, arrest, bail, crime, debt are among the words imported by the new ruling class. The english tended the calves which produced the veal for their lords. Language gave the feudal system descriptive form.
Gobbledygook, Don Watson, Atlantic Books, 2003
The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg, Hodder & Stoughton, 2003
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, Penguin, 1972 edition
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