Saturday, January 22, 2022

Update. Words or terms that I wish I would have created or coined: Virtue signaling.

by Rod Williams, Jan. 22, 2022 update - I can't believe for so long I overlooked "virtue signaling." Perhaps because the term is so well known, it did not dawn on me to call attention to it but it deserves a place on this list. 

Below is a list of words or terms that I wish I would have created or coined.  Some of them you may be familiar with and others may be new.  These are terms I find useful to describe some situation or development that is currently prevalent in society.  When I come across a new one, I will add it to the list. 

Virtue Signaling: The public expression of opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or social conscience or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue. It is a way to stick out one's chest and say, "Look at me. I'm woke and progressive and hate all the right things and am oh so tolerant." Virtue signaling does not have to be verbal.  It can also be expressed by politically correct welcome doormats or the tee-shirt one wears or the causes one publicly supports or other means. It often involves costless denigration of America but stops short of actually being virtuous if it comes at a cost.

Luxury beliefs: Ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class. An example is well-off college students, activists and journalists and other woke progressives who live in safe neighborhoods who urge defunding the police.

Nutpicking: The practice of amplifying the voices of fringe figures and holding them out as representative of your political opponents.

Fake Hate: A hoax or prank, playing on America’s preoccupation with racism to show a member of a racial minority is a victim of a hate crime. These now happen so often they hardly raise an eyebrow and need a special term to describe them.  One can now reasonably question if any incident of hate graffiti is real or fake. An example of "Fake Hate," as related in a Spectator article. "In 2017, racist messages at the US Air Force Academy turned out to be the work of a black cadet. It also happened in South Carolina, when a black individual taped a ‘No blacks allowed’ sign outside a university building." Sometimes it is not graffiti but alleged assaults as in the cases of Jussie Smollett and Tawana Brawley

Compliance Baby: A vehicle created to reduce fees, fines, or taxes, or to qualify for a tax incentive or to meet regulatory requirements or a company's pledge that a certain percentage of their fleet would consist of green vehicles.  These vehicles qualify while doing very little or nothing to reduce emissions.  The $663,623 Ferrari SP90 V-8 with dual turbochargers is such a vehicle. In all-electric mode, it only has a 15.5-mile range.  Almost no one is going to plug it up overnight to get such a small benefit. These new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are essentially "compliance babies." 

Wishcycling: This is what people do when they throw something they think should be recyclable into the recyclable bin, such as a plastic frozen food tray when our recycling policy for plastic only accepts bottles and jars. The item has the universal plastic recycle symbol or says "recyclable," on it so even though it is technically possible to recycle the item, our system does not recycle it.  I guess people think that by putting it in the recycle bin, they will somehow force Metro to recycle it.  Or, maybe they have developed such an aversion to tossing something that is technically recyclable into the garbage container then putting it in the recycle bin causes them moral anguish so they put it in the recycle bin out of an irrational compulsion and to avoid pain. (Sorce link)

Crybully: A crybully is someone who tries to manipulate others into silence by displaying their anguish when someone disagrees with them.  This is how it might work. If you say to an environmentalist crybully that maybe fracking to produce natural gas so we can replace coal-fired power plants with cleaner natural gas-fired power plants is a good idea, the crybully does not engage you in a discussion and tell you why you are wrong. The crybully gets emotional and tells you how hurt they are that you want to destroy the earth.  This tactic can be used to shut up those who disagree with a progressive about healthcare, gun control, racial justice, or almost any topic. The crybully's sensitivity, fragility, and righteous certainty is used to make those with opposing views, keep those views to themselves.  I have seen it in action.

Greenwashing:  Greenwashing is taking public relations credit for a policy that is supposedly "green," when in fact the policy was simply an effort to improve productivity or profit or was simply complying with some mandate.  An example of "greenwashing" was Mayor Cooper touting his environmental record for simply adopting an updated mandatory building code to replace an obsolete building code. 

Rainbow-washing: Pandering to the LGBTQIA+ community by going out of your way to show your support for the community and also, usually, to make a buck.  An example is Burger King wrapping its Whopper in rainbow-colored foil. 

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