Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jon Lovett: "One of the Greatest Threats We Face, Simply Put, Is Bullshit"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speech writer Jon Lovett's commencement speech at Pitzer College last month blew me away. I couldn't agree more with this sentiment:

One of the greatest threats we face, simply put, is bullshit. We are drowning in it. We are drowning in partisan rhetoric that is just true enough not to be a lie; in industry-sponsored research, in social media's imitation of human connection, in legalese and corporate double-speak; it infects every facet of public life, corrupting our discourse, wrecking our trust in major institutions, lowering our standards for the truth and making it harder to achieve anything. And it wends its way into our private lives as well, changing even how we interact with each other, the way casual acquaintances will now say, "I love you," the way we describe whatever thing as the best thing ever, the way we are blurring the lines between friends and strangers, and we know that. There have been books written about the proliferation of malarkey, empty talk, baloney, claptrap, hot air, balderdash, bunk. One book was aptly named Your Call is Important to Us.

But the cynic in me wondered if any generation is up for this challenge:

But this is not only a challenge to society, it's a challenge we all face as individuals. Life tests our willingness in ways large and small, to tell the truth. And I believe that so much of your future and our collective future, depends on your doing so.

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