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Rants on rhetoric

Monday, May 28th, 2012

A friend introduced me to a woman last night as a “bright young fellah,” and I countered with “Excuse me … I prefer the term strapping young lad.” The woman grimaced and painful awkwardness ensued. She obviously didn’t get my joke and felt that I had said something  stuck up and conceited. So I wrote her an extremely recondite explanation of my joke. Here it is …



The grimace had no moral foundation as I am not conceitedly praising my physical appearance. To the contrary, I am implicitly exposing and scoffing at a widespread phenomenon known as human vanity.

Often when people are openly narcissistic, they are secretly humble. True narcissists do not confess their narcissism because they are afraid it might distort their precious image. As a liar will never tell you he is lying, otherwise he would be telling the truth. And we all know that liars do not tell the truth, don’t we now. The hypocrite cannot tell you he is committing hypocrisy because, to be a hypocrite, is to say one thing and do another; when the hypocrite commits hypocrisy, and says he is committing hypocrisy, he is doing precisely that which he says, and is therefore not a hypocrite. Because to say you are a hypocrite is to say you do not do what you say; and to not do what you say, and say you are not doing what you say, is to do precisely that which you say. Ergo a hypocrite cannot tell you he is a hypocrite just as the liar cannot tell you he is lying, as the narcissist cannot tell you he is a narcissist. The hypocrite lies when he calls himself a hypocrite, and the narcissist speaks hypocritically when he calls himself a narcissist. Now there is a type of liar that acts narcissistically but talks like a hypocrite, and a lying narcissist that is really just a hypocrite. But those entirely different rhetorical animals we won’t tackle just now.

The inverse of “overt narcissism” is self-deprecation which is also an ironical rhetorical device. The speaker mocks and pokes fun of himself, but his true intention is to mock and poke fun of everyone. Anything found in the individual can be found in the collective and anything found in the collective can be found in the individual. Because … a person is a member of a people and a people is really just a bunch of persons. To put it even further in laymen’s terms, people are inherently the same. Thus to make fun of one person is to make fun of them all. The tone is ironical because you appear to make fun of yourself, but you’re really making fun of everyone.

I hope you enjoyed the lesson in rhetoric. Have a nice day.


One Response to “Rants on rhetoric”

  1. N3gr0 says:

    TL;DR lulz

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