U.S. Society Faces Critical Credibility Erosion According to “Ultimate Severance” Novelist

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Author of new satiric business novel “Ultimate Severance” and spin lexicographer warns spin is an intellectual bubonic plague that must be fought with facts, exposure and ridicule to prevent the spinspeak virus from rotting rational thought.

The author of the new novel “Ultimate Severance” accuses an “amoral Spindoc Industry of spreading an intellectual bubonic plague that erodes credibility throughout American society.”

James Baar, whose new satiric novel depicts a world awash with spinspeak, said that the increasing corruption of language with spin eventually opens to question all statements of fact. He said a national awakening employing facts, exposure of language pollution and ridicule is urgently needed to preserve rational thought and recommended three essential spin detection tools.

In a statement issued in connection with the approaching anniversary of his "Spinspeak Letter" on the http://www.spinspeak.com weblog, Baar said:

“Scientific Method that created the great technological triumphs of Western civilization is being undercut by slick spindocs who redescribe the world every morning with repeatedly redefined words and phrases. Nothing is black, white red or blue. Instead, the world looks like a particularly bad paint-spatter show at the Museum of Modern Art. The most obvious truth is sullied.

“What I tried to do in "Ultimate Severance" is show what the world is like when everyone makes everything up as he goes along. Any piece of baloney – 100 proof flim-flam -- is OK because now you say it is really filet mignon; or, vice versa: just pour Elixir de Snake Oil on genuine filet mignon and you convince everyone it’s baloney or old chicken. Either way, humbuggery is clearly on the march.”

Baar’s three essential spin-detection tools used by him last year to develop "Spinspeak II: The Dictionary of Language Pollution" are:

  •     Vet all neo-meanings given to words and phrases in the context of the user’s special interests.
  •     Vet all neo-labels, titles and nouns and noun phrases in apposition for factual content (if any).
  •     Flag for vetting all neo-usages of words and phrases.

Baar points out that spin -- deliberate language corruption -- is everywhere: a surly illiterate who can barely answer a phone is magically transmogrified by calling her a “customer relations specialist”; a school system, failing because pupils don’t learn anything, becomes “much improved” by “equalizing” test standards; C-student presidential candidates become “intellectual giants” and “total morons.”

Or, on the other hand, Baar cites the common Washington political gambit for derailing a solid nomination by saying that you have “questions” about the nominee. After enough people say that, the same people begin saying the nominee is “damaged goods.” And after awhile if the nominee hasn’t gone home, the same people say “we can do better in a bi-partisan way.”

“Bubonic plague used to race through a community leaving most of the residents dead,” Baar said. “The spinspeak virus -- an intellectual bubonic plague -- races through our society eroding credibility with effects more like a neutron bomb: the residents are left alive but brain dead.

“Unfortunately, spin is so potent that it’s hooked users hunger continually for more and stronger spin and are bemused with the typical addict’s delusion that it won’t destroy their minds along with those of their victims. Moreover, a multi-billion dollar amoral Spindoc Industry has grown up to support the commercial demand and feed it. And much of the media, society’s so-called watchdogs, are already traumatized by spinspeak and spread it rather than expose it.”

“The solution, as often is the case when fighting forces of darkness, is intense sunlight. Facts, exposure, ridicule are the weapons of choice -- particularly ridicule. The devil hates to be laughed at.”

Jim Baar
Visit the Spinspeak Letter Website http://www.spinspeak.com
Voice: 401-331-2653
Fax: 508-861-0226
For review copy: books(at)omegacom(dot)com


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James Baar
Omegacom, Inc
(401) 331-2653
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