Doctor, You’re Cutting Too Deep. You’re Scratching the Table.

One of the temptations that comes to people who learn how to see and identify “deep structures” in a narrative — adeptly twirling chiasms they have found, or anticipataory foreshadowing motifs, or whatnot — is that they sometimes lose their ability to read what is right there on the page. They know that the Mississippi River is a metaphor for life, but don’t know that Huck Finn was a boy.

The same principle is operative in reading the narrative of political events. We lose the ability to see what everyone should be able to see. We have been told the deep meaning of the story so often that we superimpose it on the footage we see on the evening news, and do not notice that what we think we see is 180 degrees out from what we are actually seeing.

For example, who is against street violence, conservatives or liberals? Who wants peaceful and orderly protest? The standard narrative, as expressed by the fearful Nancy Pelosi, is that talk radio had better reel in the rhetoric or the country is going to go up in a mushroom cloud. But the tea party protests are peaceful and orderly, and they pick up their own litter after themselves. The hard left protesters at, you name the international event, but currently at Copenhagen, are heaving bricks, turning over cars, destroying property, and getting arrested.

This is not the tu quoque fallacy — you know, when a Republican congressman is caught with his pants down and the shills for the Republicans on the various talking heads shows point out which Democratic congressmen were caught in the same posish. “You do it too” is not exactly a political creed to live by.

This is something else entirely. This is photo negative realism (Is. 5:20). This is glaring and manifest hypocrisy, brought to you and made possible by grants from Deep Structure Narrative, Inc.


The same principle is operative in reading the narrative of political events. We lose the ability to see what everyone should be able to see. We have been told the deep meaning of the story so often that we superimpose it on the footage we see on the evening news, and do not notice that what we think we see is 180 degrees out from what we are actually seeing.

For example, who is against street violence, conservatives or liberals? Who wants peaceful and orderly protest? The standard narrative, as expressed by the fearful Nancy Pelosi, is that talk radio had better reel in the rhetoric or the country is going to go up in a mushroom cloud. But the tea party protests are peaceful and orderly, and they pick up their own litter after themselves. The hard left protesters at, you name the international event, but currently at Copenhagen, are heaving bricks, turning over cars, destroying property, and getting arrested.

This is not the tu quoque fallacy — you know, when a Republican congressman is caught with his pants down and the shills for the Republicans on the various talking heads shows point out which Democratic congressmen were caught in the same posish. “You do it too” is not exactly a political creed to live by.

This is something else entirely. This is photo negative realism (Is. 5:20). This is glaring and manifest hypocrisy, brought to you and made possible by grants from Deep Structure Narrative, Inc.

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