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.
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.
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 …)
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 …
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!”