Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gratification For Sale

So I saw that Glen Beck has a new book out. Unsurprisingly, the point appears to be telling conservatives both how smart they are, and how stupid liberals are. And then a thought came to me:

Beware of people selling flattery.
Flattery is a pernicious enough force as it is, even when people are giving it away for free. We like to think that we're above people simply telling us what we want to hear, all the while thinking that the tactic survives solely on the gullibility of others. But all belief, all perception of truth, is based on a willingness to believe. (Despite what we might think, it's actually not possible to make someone believe something that they don't wish to.) And while we may be unwilling to believe that someone offering free compliments is on the up-and-up, it becomes trickier when we've paid for the privilege of being told how wonderful, bright and wise we are.

1 comment:

artandsoul said...

My husband and I have an ongoing, mostly-tongue-in-cheek, debate about how we could make a ton of money if we simply sat down and wrote the books that people "want" to buy -- you know, the one where you write all the things they want to hear?

It could be filled with tall, handsome American heroes who defeat the crooked, dark foreigners and sing so beautifully at Church on Sunday and volunteer at the Fire Department and then swim in the clean clear water.....

Or the one where the President really does "come to Jesus" and the whole country slowly recovers and heals because we have all "recovered" our Christian roots and seen the light and now we live out our days actually doing all those things from sermon on the mount, and that same tall, handsome American with the washboard abs and his blonde wife....

Yeah. Blech. But I think some people can actually sit down and write it without throwing up.