just liberalate yourself (attempts to do it to others usually fail)

Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

I AM WORKING ON TWO PROJECTS: on Rather Rare Records I am com­piling a discog­raphy that tarted out as a small, simple things that will will up in ex­cess of a hun­dred pages when com­pleted! (If it’s ever ac­tu­ally com­plete: I need to lib­er­alate my­self from the need to know it all.) In fact, this morn­ing’s cup of coffee—currently a blend of Trader Joe’s Dark French Roast and Café Bustelo—moved me in the di­rec­tion of breaking the one BIG ar­ticle into sev­eral smaller ones.

Here on Neal Umphred Dot Com, I have been ex­per­i­menting with sev­eral pre­mium plu­gins (meaning I am paying for them) from a sub­scrip­tion to WP­MUDev. I have had to rely on the sup­port team to make some of them work. Be­cause of these is­sues, I have ig­nored this site.

So, to keep the pot boiling, I am coining a word: lib­er­alate.

Liberalate Lovecraft


To lib­erate means “to free someone or some­thing from being con­trolled by an­other person, group, etc.; to give freedom or more freedom to someone.” (Merriam-Webster)

In­di­vid­uals can be lib­er­ated through a wide va­riety of ex­pe­ri­ences. These in­clude but are not lim­ited to reading, learning, sex, and mys­tical, re­li­gious, and psy­che­delic experiences.

Most acts of lib­er­a­tion in­volving large groups (usu­ally op­pressed mi­nori­ties) come from without the group. That is, one group in the ma­jority res­cues the mi­nority from an­other group in the majority.

The black slaves in Southern plan­ta­tions were lib­er­ated by Pres­i­dent Lincoln’s Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion and the Civil War that was fought be­tween two armies from the white ma­jority. Losing the war forced the Southern states to live under its rule.

Liberalate Emancipation Proclamation

This is a re­pro­duc­tion of the Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion of 1863. It can be found at the Na­tional Un­der­ground Rail­road Freedom Center in Cincin­nati, Ohio.


The non-political de­f­i­n­i­tion of lib­eral is “not bound by au­thor­i­tar­i­anism, or­tho­doxy, or tra­di­tional forms.” (Merriam-Webster)

To lib­er­alize some­thing means, “to make some­thing more lib­eral.” (Merriam-Webster)

People who have been lib­er­ated are usually—but not necessarily—liberalized by a com­bi­na­tion of having lived under the pain and suf­fering (and hor­rors) of re­pres­sion or op­pres­sion and then being freed from them.

It is common for lib­er­ated people who have been lib­er­al­ized to want to share the ex­pe­ri­ence with others who re­main oppressed.

De­spite the fact that such Amer­ican mi­nori­ties as Irish, Ital­ians, blacks, gays, and Jews have been lib­er­ated (even if some are not en­tirely equal) in modern times, not every in­di­vidual member of those groups has been liberalized.

(Hah! Far from it . . .)

Liberalate House700


To lib­er­alate means “to in­ten­tion­ally seek to lib­er­alize someone—usually but al­ways from so­cial or re­li­gious or­tho­doxy, or from rightwingnut po­lit­ical misinformation—through the process of lib­er­ating them—often by bom­barding them with facts and ra­tional discourse.”

We usu­ally try to lib­er­alate someone—usually a loved one among our family and friends—from ei­ther so­cial or re­li­gious or­tho­doxy, or from the ef­fects of po­lit­ical mis­in­for­ma­tion. Since truly lib­eral po­si­tions in pol­i­tics re­quire no lib­er­alating, we nor­mally try the facts and ra­tional dis­course tech­nique with rightwinged friends.

Alas, lib­er­alating rarely works.

But it can and does.

At least incrementally.

It has for me, twice. Each time it was with a Chris­tian who leaned Rep*blican be­cause they be­lieved that they rep­re­sented better their in­ter­ests than Democrats.

One in­volved pro­gres­sive taxation—of which he was to­tally misled by rightwing talk-radio—and the other in­volved . . . the Big Bang Theory!

Alas, few of us have enough time in one life to work piece­meal on lib­er­alating someone.

They kinda have to want it at least a wee bit . . .


Liberalate Riboud1200

FEA­TURED IMAGE: This iconic photo by Marc Ri­boud is one of the most fa­mous im­ages of what was no doubt a failed at­tempt at lib­er­alating a fellow Amer­ican during the height of the anti-Vietnam War protests of the ’60s.

Why do I doubt that it worked?

Anyway, this was the image that I planned to use as my header—until I found the one of Dr. Gre­gory House. As played by Hugh Laurie, House is one of the fun­niest char­ac­ters in tele­vi­sion his­tory and one of my heroes.

Plus he gets Lisa Edel­stein as both his com­bative and dom­i­neering boss and po­ten­tial love interest.


Lisa Edel­stein played Dr. Lisa Cuddy on House, M.D. After star­ring in the se­ries for seven years, she missed the fi­nale! This is not a spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the show: in an in­ter­view, Edel­stein ob­served in her role as Lisa Cuddy that when someone does what House did, “You should do what I did and get the f*ck out of town!”


2 thoughts on “just liberalate yourself (attempts to do it to others usually fail)”

  1. (If it’s ever ac­tu­ally com­plete: I need to lib­er­alate my­self from the need to know it all.)...

    Now that is a worthy goal, to which I my­self have long as­pired al­beit with lim­ited success!


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