Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sepsis In the Urine Stream

One of my favorite terms used regularly in a negative manner is 'mainstream'. One is often criticized by saying, "He is far outside the mainstream." We have been told nothing, but with great moral authority. But, on the other hand, it may say a lot... about the illogic of the speaker.

In my line of work, mainstream conjures up aspects of urine flow. In sampling urine for various testing procedures, one is required to obtain the 'clean' sample from the mid-mainstream to enable the testing procedures to be valid. I therefore generally assume that a speaker using the term is 'pissing on my leg and trying to tell me that it is raining'.

When 'mainstream' is used by a Liberal/Progressive/Leftist/Socialist/Communist family member it seems quite out of place. Those promoters and defenders of the avant-garde, the eccentric, and those otherwise pushing the envelope in changing traditional standards should actually celebrate anyone 'out of the mainstream'. Instead, it leaves the impression that they are constructing the facade of conservatism.

The critical use of this term also goes against the grain of one's upbringing. Who among us hasn't had a conversation similar to the following: "But, Mom, everybody is doing it!" "If everyone was jumping off a cliff, ..." So criticizing unmainstream-like behavior would be effective when used to garner young teenage sympathies, but as they mature and become their parents, it translates into 'everyone jumping off a cliff'. (Except, of course, to the avant-garde, the eccentric, and those despisers of American culture.)

So when Teddy Kennedy, et al., assert that President Bush is 'far outside of the mainstream', I assume they are saying that Bush isn't an eccentric urinater jumping off a cliff. It does, however, indicate that the speaker really has nothing rational to say and is pissing on himself and others as he stumbles around trying to find a cliff from which to jump.

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