Sycophants


As Charles Pierce notes, this looks like something out of an autocracy. All praise to the Great Leader!

Something is stirring deep within me…oh, excuse me, it’s just nausea.

Comments

  1. says

    I literally didn’t last 10 seconds into Pence’s drivel before I had to close the window. I need a shower.

  2. cartomancer says

    Really PZ? If I wanted elderly white men circle-jerk porn there are plenty of places I could have gone. Therapy being the one that springs most obviously to mind.

    Still, interesting word, “sycophant”. It’s Greek, of course, and emerged into political language during the great Democratic experiment of the fifth century in Athens. Literally it means something like “exposer of figs”, and nobody is quite sure how it got from that to a term for someone out to subvert the democratic process for personal gain. Some think it’s an allusion to showing your genitals in public, since “fig” was also a slang term for the crotch furniture.

    In Athens, of course, the sycophant tended to butter up juries of ordinary citizens, or crowds at the voting assembly, rather than the powerful oligarchs Athens didn’t really have. The typical sycophant made his living extorting money from others in nuisance lawsuits – preferably those from Athens’s colonies and protectorates who were in a far weaker position in Athens’s courts than full native citizens. It is quite telling that in a nominally democratic state like the US the sycophants are buttering up anyone but the ordinary people.

  3. blf says

    the absence of 20-foot tall portraits.

    There are plenty there. However, in a permanent kowtow, your eyes can’t see up enough to glimpse them. And anyways, not looking intensely at the floor / shoe / arse under your nose means you’re not doing a job good of licking it clean.

  4. robro says

    cartomancer — I’ve never heard that sycophant is used for “someone out to subvert the democratic process for personal gain” but rather as “a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.” In every day speak, it’s a “kiss ass” or “suck up” or “Yes man.”

  5. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    On a serious note, Il Douchebag references getting rid of MS-13; I wonder if he’s aware of the vicious circle we created with such actions*. MS-13 was created in LA by Salvadoran refugees (as a way to protect themselves against other gangs) and spread across the country. When some of the leaders of the group were deported to El Salvador, they (naturally) started recruiting members there, which played a big role in fomenting the violence there. Which, in turn has led many Salvadorans to emigrate to the US, where the younger ones are still vulnerable to the gangs. Meanwhile, we deport more of the leaders, and round and round it goes….

    *Rhetorical question. I know he isn’t aware.

  6. blf says

    I like typing in puke.

    OOOOOooooohhhhhhh—kaaaayyyyyyy… (plugs up USB ports and backs away slowly)

  7. cartomancer says

    robro, #9

    Yes, that’s the usual meaning of the word today. In its original context it was a much broader term – pretty much a catch-all term of accusation for anyone who was trying to manipulate the workings of power for their own advantage. It gets thrown around in Athenian courtroom speeches all the time.

    That we now understand it solely to mean someone sucking up to authority figures is very telling. That’s our primary point of reference for subverting the political process now.

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just been watching shows (SportsNight, West Wing, written by Aaron Sorkin). On the subject of advisers, if you are smart, surround yourself with intelligent people. If you are intelligent, surround yourself with people who disagree with you.
    Thank you Trump for showing us with prima facie evidence, your lack of any intelligence…

  9. robro says

    cartomancer — Thanks, and interesting.

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge — My everyday life.

  10. Rich Woods says

    @Bruce #14:

    I think Garbo is more famous for saying, “I want to be a lawn.”

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My recall of the time, that this was one of the first times SCOTUS seemed to recognize the Fourteen Amendment as it applied to marriage, a subject which had been considered a state responsibility. Ultimately the reasoning lead to the reasoning in Oberfell V. Hodges, that the State cannot discriminate based on who loves who. And in MHO, that is meant by the fourteenth, which is solidly at odds with the theocrats and their fictional/mythical babble….

  12. lotharloo says

    Oh no, some of them only said “Good morning Mr President” without actually offering any praise. UNACCEPTABLE!!!! SOMEONE DARED TO STOP CLAPPING FIRST?

  13. KG says

    I’m having trouble choosing: Great Leader or Dear Leader? – John Harshman@3

    “Dear” as in over-expensive or extortionate?

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