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Author Topic: Bullshit Artists  (Read 13763 times)

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wuliheron

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Bullshit Artists
« on: July 04, 2013, 03:41:56 PM »
Bullshit artists come in a wide variety with some being elevated to superstardom as actors, heading the marketing departments of major corporations, or founding new religions like Dudeism, while others prefer more personal and less socially acceptable bullshit artistry as grifters or whatever. I'd like to hear people's opinions on bullshitting and bullshit artists and how to abide by both. Feel free to fling the crap to the four winds and see where it lands. :)

roystonoboogie

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Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 12:12:51 PM »
You could do a lot worse that start with the standard academic text on the subject: On Bullshit, by Harry Frankfurt of the Philosophy Department of Princeton University.


I used to deal in a fair quantity of bullshit myself, back when I was in the music biz. Hell, you'd have to be some sort of freak *not* to bullshit your way around the music biz. Everybody's doing it.


But now that I have a proper job and a life with people I like, I understand the damage that bullshit does, the cumulative drag and attrition it causes. I kind-of despise what my former self used to do.


Anyway, all politicians are bullshit artists. Every single one of them. No politician will ever tell you the truth, because that will not get them elected, which would make them lousy politicians. Are the politicians to blame? Or is it the electorate who only vote for bullshitters who are to blame?


Likewise advertising execs. If you didn't keep buying the bullshit they advertise, they would be out of a job and there would be no more advertising bullshit. So why do we keep buying crap we don't need?


If bullshit is such a bad thing, why is there so much of it around?
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel; but I am, so that's how it comes out." ~ Bill Hicks
"One should not believe everything one reads on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln

wuliheron

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Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 03:30:03 PM »
You could do a lot worse that start with the standard academic text on the subject: On Bullshit, by Harry Frankfurt of the Philosophy Department of Princeton University.

Anyway, all politicians are bullshit artists. Every single one of them. No politician will ever tell you the truth, because that will not get them elected, which would make them lousy politicians. Are the politicians to blame? Or is it the electorate who only vote for bullshitters who are to blame?


Likewise advertising execs. If you didn't keep buying the bullshit they advertise, they would be out of a job and there would be no more advertising bullshit. So why do we keep buying crap we don't need?


If bullshit is such a bad thing, why is there so much of it around?

Great link!

My own thoughts are that bullshit is a more generic term that refers to anything false, misleading, exaggerated, pointless, meaningless, or worthless. You could say in order to find the truth buried beneath the mountains of bullshit we must be capable of wading through all the bullshit rapidly and automatically as well as consciously. For example, Groucho Marx portrayed a "zombie cockroach" bullshit artist. The lights were on, but nobody was home and he could spout bullshit all night long without ever actually saying a damned thing. Thus, the slimy and disgusting side of bullshit is ultimately revealed as being mindless and as mechanical as a chemical reaction or, you could say, what the ego does. Antonio Damasio is a Harvard neurologist who specializes in treating victims of brain trauma who have lost all ability to emote. These are people who can't decide whether to tie their shoes or get out of bed in the morning because, literally, nothing matters and they will empty their bank accounts for the first bullshit artist to come along, all the while knowing perfectly well the person is a bullshit artist, and just not giving a crap. Thus, being able to detect bullshit can become a bullshit activity in its own rite if we can't frame it within a meaningful personal context.

Evolutionary theory now suggests the point is to stay two steps ahead of the competition in being able to predict the punch lines emerging from the mountains of bullshit we observe all day long. A baby sticking everything in its mouth is attempting to determine how to figure out what is bullshit and to see if it can network or socialize with Barbie or Ken or the tea pot to gain even more insight into what all the bullshit might be. When the baby laughs it could be anything from a dust bunny to a burglar wearing a cartoon mask. As we learn to distinguish between content for different types of bullshit we learn to recognize the burglar as serious bullshit requiring immediate action. We also learn how to become bullshit artists ourselves and rely on our habits or ego to both detect and spout bullshit automatically to a great extent.

roystonoboogie

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Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 04:44:17 PM »
If you were say, a televangelist, a Republican, a timeshare salesman, bullshit would be a mainstream stock-in-trade of your life. You would relish a quality piece of bullshit, like the salesman's old chestnut of being such a good salesman you once sold a woman two ironing boards. It boosts your ego to bask in the glory of a story like that, even if the teller and the listener both know it's bullshit. It's a performance, and you applaud a performance, don't you? The bullshitter builds themselves up, the listeners show their appreciation for how great the bullshitter is.


'Normal' people put up with bullshit - it's just there, it is an irritant like dirt or taxation - maybe they even indulge in a little bullshit at the weekends, on the golf course, telling fishing stories. They all know it's bullshit, but it's like drinking too much when you're away on the road with the boys: you don't take it home with you. It's naughty, but you're allowed once in a while.


Dudes go with the flow. They don't massage their own egos, they take the downs with the ups, the gutters with the strikes. They are themselves throughout all of this, good or bad. And I think that is why bullshit is such anathema to Dudes: a bullshitter is not being themselves, they are not taking the rough with the smooth, they are attempting to appear to be something they are not. Dudes don't do that - they abide, they maintain their equilibrium, they are honest to their selves. Bullshit is very un-dude. But that's just, y'know, my opinion, man...
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel; but I am, so that's how it comes out." ~ Bill Hicks
"One should not believe everything one reads on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln

Masked Dude

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Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 06:51:02 PM »
Trust me, bullshit isn't just a Republican or Democrat thing. I've seen reporters from both sides tossing enough of their bullshit at us. Neither side has a monopoly or even a majority on bullshit. :)
* Carpe diem all over the damn place *
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wuliheron

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Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 12:19:06 AM »
We're all bullshit artists and the bullshit flies in every direction, but crap inevitably rolls downhill and it helps to have a sense of humor and be able to predict what bullshit is coming next. I have thought of starting an Agnostic Church of Ignorant Bullshit just to see if maybe God loves ignorant agnostics and wants to help them. Instead of confessing your sins you can confess your ignorant bullshit and the appropriately dressed clowns in the choir will sing praises to any ignorant God that might exist. Personally, I like the idea myself and believe you just need to get about 30 regular parishioners to be declared an official church or some such. Dudes would be welcome no doubt at any services and perhaps asked to confess their ignorance or listen to someone else's confession. I might go for something Christians could relate to such as:

   In the beginning God farted, which we now know as the "big bang", and the angels scattered in every direction. Lucifer, who was particularly close to God, was so traumatized he hid underground and refused to come out. God became bored and created the heavens and the earth out of the still lingering stench of the firmament. Then he became lonely and created Adam and Eve who immediately ran from the Garden of Eden to escape the smell. Ever since rumor has it there must be something inherently wrong with humanity for God to punish us so right from the start. However, the angels have returned for brief periods to inform everybody they're sorry and will be back to help clean up the mess as soon as the smell dies down. Meanwhile, the last they saw of God he was laughing his ass off and making a quick exit, but we can rest assured God will be back for more comedy as well and he humbly apologized on his way out saying sometimes it just feels good to let her rip. Our farts, the angels insist, are his reminder to us of his promise to return and to not judge each other too harshly for having a sense of humor.

The Blarney Stone of the Irish would be considered sacred and April Fools and Halloween high holy holidays.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 01:30:28 AM by wuliheron »

roystonoboogie

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Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2013, 08:09:59 AM »
I have thought of starting an Agnostic Church of Ignorant Bullshit just to see if maybe God loves ignorant agnostics and wants to help them. Instead of confessing your sins you can confess your ignorant bullshit and the appropriately dressed clowns in the choir will sing praises to any ignorant God that might exist. Personally, I like the idea myself and believe you just need to get about 30 regular parishioners to be declared an official church or some such.
Maybe if you haven't got enough people to start a religion, you could start an order, or a sect?


There used to be a bunch of guys kicking around the gay scene in Glasgow called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. You know that outfit that girls selling tequila shots used to wear? The bandoliers full of shot glasses and the two bottles of tequila in their holsters? These guys used to wear that over their nun's habits. And red high heels.


They'd go around blessing people who were obviously sinning just as hard as they could manage, giving them shots of tequila and getting their pictures taken; but they also did the whole listening, counselling, giving advice thing that a religious order is supposed to do. They were great - I miss those guys, but to be honest they don't have the legs for those heels any more.


Quote from: Masked Dude
Trust me, bullshit isn't just a Republican or Democrat thing. I've seen reporters from both sides tossing enough of their bullshit at us. Neither side has a monopoly or even a majority on bullshit.
My bad - I have no axe to grind with any political denomination. I'm not even an American. I think they're all (almost) full of bullshit, but I personally find the Republican bullshit slightly more obvious and laughable than the Democrat bullshit. The few good things that come out of the political process seem to attract the most bullshit, though. Medical marijuana? Single-sex marriage? Stem cell research? All good things in my book, but all major bullshit magnets.
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel; but I am, so that's how it comes out." ~ Bill Hicks
"One should not believe everything one reads on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln

wuliheron

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Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2013, 10:31:30 AM »
I have thought of starting an Agnostic Church of Ignorant Bullshit just to see if maybe God loves ignorant agnostics and wants to help them. Instead of confessing your sins you can confess your ignorant bullshit and the appropriately dressed clowns in the choir will sing praises to any ignorant God that might exist. Personally, I like the idea myself and believe you just need to get about 30 regular parishioners to be declared an official church or some such.
Maybe if you haven't got enough people to start a religion, you could start an order, or a sect?


There used to be a bunch of guys kicking around the gay scene in Glasgow called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. You know that outfit that girls selling tequila shots used to wear? The bandoliers full of shot glasses and the two bottles of tequila in their holsters? These guys used to wear that over their nun's habits. And red high heels.


They'd go around blessing people who were obviously sinning just as hard as they could manage, giving them shots of tequila and getting their pictures taken; but they also did the whole listening, counselling, giving advice thing that a religious order is supposed to do. They were great - I miss those guys, but to be honest they don't have the legs for those heels any more.

I'm not sure it is wise to tell the truth. Too many wannabe agnostic atheists who might insist on hardcore sarcastic and mocking bullshit which just isn't the foolish way of silly agnostic bullshit. However, I do see a lot of support for topless glitter bombings and other political silliness. In Italy one providence elected a XXX porn star for two terms and they threw flower petals wherever that sexy clown went. More countries than you might imagine have regular mock brawls and wrestling matches on their legislative floor. Pretty low brow stuff, but 90% of this game is half mental I figure and if Vaudeville can do it anyone can.

Masked Dude

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Re: Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2013, 04:48:33 PM »
My bad - I have no axe to grind with any political denomination. I'm not even an American.

Not a problem. I've been more than willing & happy to explain the bullshit from both of the two main idiot parties. :) Hell, even most of the third ones have enough for me to pick on!

And wuliheron, sounds like you've given that lots of thought! :))
* Carpe diem all over the damn place *
Abide like the Dude when you can
Yell like Walter when you must
Be like Donny when you are

Ordained 2012-Aug-25
Honorary PhD Pop Cultural Studies, Abidance Counseling, Skeptology
Highly Unofficial Discord: https://discord.gg/XMpfCSr

wuliheron

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Re: Re: Bullshit Artists
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 05:48:30 PM »

And wuliheron, sounds like you've given that lots of thought! :))

Not really. It's an example of extemporaneous anarchistic comedy. Hippy dippies like Arlo Guthrie, Wavy Gravy, etc. broke the mold in that department showing what it really means to free your mind. Dudes who make the Big Lebowski look conservative and mainstream.

 

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