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

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!"

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2 Replies to “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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