Deep Veeps

(9:47) Things are getting a little less scripted and a little more interesting now… The moderator said the word “Halliburton!” Yay (have a drink)… WOW! She just nailed Cheney on gay marriage referred to his lesbian daughter (not in so many words, of course)… Edwards is extra-outing her now, even though he stops way short of supporting marriage… Edwards did a good Lakoff-framing thing when he said “we don’t just value wealth like they do, we value work”…

(10:26) Uh, I think Edwards just fucked up seriously. Instead of answering the question of what makes him different than the other VP candiate, he spent the time rebutting Cheney. This should have been a softball! Here’s what I would say: “The similarity is we have both been successful financially. The difference is that I did it by helping people fight abusive corporations, he did it by profiting off one of those corporations.”

(10:33) I wonder how much we’ll hear in the press of how much Cheney muffled his mic or how you could hear Edwards tearing his paper so loud. Or how the moderator lost her place for a moment and almost gave Edwards an extra rebuttal. Oops!

I heart George Lakoff

I’m mostly writing this post to remind myself of all the good stuff I need to read. I hope you find it helpful as well. George Lakoff is a linguist on the faculty at UC-Berkeley and a founder of the Rockridge Institute. In this Simple Tutorial, he explains the power of framing. He demonstrates how our choice of words frames the debate, and how “Conservatives Know about Framing.”

This was the article that got me started, about how conservatives dominate with their mad framing skillz. For example:

Language always comes with what is called “framing.” Every word is defined relative to a conceptual framework. If you have something like “revolt,” that implies a population that is being ruled unfairly, or assumes it is being ruled unfairly, and that they are throwing off their rulers, which would be considered a good thing. That’s a frame.

If you then add the word “voter” in front of “revolt,” you get a metaphorical meaning saying that the voters are the oppressed people, the governor is the oppressive ruler, that they have ousted him and this is a good thing and all things are good now. All of that comes up when you see a headline like “voter revolt” something that most people read and never notice. But these things can be affected by reporters and very often, by the campaign people themselves.

In this one he breaks it down about the so-called “war on terror.”

And then when you’re done with that, here’s the whole
George Lakoff archive on AlterNet. When I finish that, I have to start reading his books.