Languages, Escape Velocity and Bigly Lies

Learning a second or 3rd or 4th language is like escaping the gravity of your native land. You probe about in another way of being, of thinking, of observing. Better still — if you’ve the inclination — learn another tongue via a second or third language. Meet the stranger in a place foreign to each.

I am so grateful for my Palestinian student who decided to learn German via English, without recourse to his native Arabic. He inspired me to do the same — learn Arabic by way of German. “arabisch lernen”


German from the baby steps to fluency. The magic of YouTube brings me teachers who speak their mother’s Arabic in a German-speaking land. I studied in Germany for a year and a half. The other international students joined me to prepare for lessons conducted in German. Japanese medical students already knew anatomical terms, because their forefathers carried it back to Japan — including decades as fellow Axis members. Gray’s Anatomy with German body parts

Some lessons I’ve learned

Iranian students taught me about Savak and their Shah many years before the Revolution of 1979. Krupp established large industrial site in that Persian land. An industrial giant since the 16th Century. A family tradition, Blut und Eisen.

Propaganda relies upon endlessly repeated mistranslations, designed to obfuscate. Weaponized language to serve hidden agendas, to move geopolitical stakes through sabotage, bigotry, racism, straw men, false flags, pacification, liquidation; in other words, chicanery of any convenient kind. Whatever works. No questions asked.

Walls visible and invisible. Sow the seeds of discontent to ignite anger. Divide and conquer. British imperialists deliberately provoked Sunni and Shia rivalries by locating them within an arbitrary borderline. Think of it as double solitary confinement. A technique that works wonders: encourage each to fight the other over differences deep as the empire gathers spoils of conquest, to the victor go the value subtracted.

History remembered is myth created by the most talented liars. Every American recites the same short soundbites: flag-shaded collective memories. Memorized lies to mask disquieting truth. 1,000 memorized lies. Cherrypick and pass on. Manufacture your destiny as something somehow manifest by a deity for your outrageous fortune. Cloying spoilings.

Kresta and Spencer find a convenient fool

Conduct experiments on war fodder soldiers and increase your “intelligence.” Handbooks written by Chinese military master torturers were translated verbatim and reapplied in Guantanamo — word by evil word.

Accuse Cuba of human rights violations while torturing prisoners on Cuban soil. Announce bounties — turn in someone you hate, an enemy or a randomly selected person, a stranger. Get paid for lying about an innocent neighbor. Extraordinary rendition is spuriously twisted language designed by twisted authority to mask torture by proxy. Look the other way. Justify everything. Celebrate the patriotic art of bigly deals. Endless war for endless profit. Drop MOABS and cut a purchase order for replacement MOABS.

This morning I read a piece from Mark Chmiel’s blog — Mistake. Dark serendipity in the same tone and key. Thank you, Mark.


Thanks for reading.

Author: Bill Ziegler

I am a former resident of Delhi Township. These are memories of my life and times in that community during the 1950s and 1960s. A time capsule.

7 thoughts on “Languages, Escape Velocity and Bigly Lies”

    1. Hallo Labrador, Thank you for the kind comment. Mistranslating scriptural texts is a much favored technique for those who would cast aspersions on an entire faith on the basis of repeated thunderous mistranslations.
      I am very happy to encounter your blog. As a fellow friend of the perceived “difficult” languages, Chinese beckons ever, and for the very reasons you discuss on your blog. I look forward to reading it regularly. Here is a book I purchased recently, one intended for the rankest beginner (me). I’ve also obtained some intriguing Chinese primers at discard sales (one of my favorite hobbies). May your wall-climbing meet with great success 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well done, Bill. One thing though. The bottom link ‘Mistake’ goes nowhere. But, when I copy and paste the link location, I get this: http://Conventional wisdom is the stuff of enormously large lies. Meat is conventional wisdom taught to countless generations of toddlers who become addicted to textured blood substances for a lifetime of service to the wealth management of animal lives slaughtered continuously for the dignity of culture, celebrations as well as daily cravings. If it’s been done for thousands of years it must be a grand truth and holy sacrament indeed. Pass the butchering art down and dirty-down over many centuries. Hot dog! Meat is life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interestingly enough, the buffer contained the first part of my next post. I got a little wordy with the language part and decided to save the thoughts for a separate post — so consider it a preview, or, as my green-italicized detractors might suggest: *never* post such vegan fare 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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