Translation of the cartoon:
I bring you good news!
You have just been designated as a “vulnerable person with no housing alternative”.
Newspeak, cartoon of 24/01/2021 on CTXT
We are living in a new and glorious era of gilipollesque etymological twisting. A few days ago I was listening to a so-called political talk show in the background. They said several times the phrase “vulnerable consumers”, they didn’t say much about what kind of people exactly deserved that status, but it sounded nice because it seemed to be a declaration of intent, the protection of the weakest.
At no point did they rebrand those who abused their vulnerability as “despicable people who cheat people”, or anything like that. We would almost certainly find that ridiculous.
Something similar happens to me with the “energy poverty“and with the whole range of subcategories of poverty that have been invented to break down general penury into micro-bloblemillas as if by isolating them they were already under control, in the process of being solved or were new evils.
Resignifying the obvious
The creation of flowery names for things for which we have very precise words never ceases to strike me as a postmodern evil. I think it’s even cruel, and I’m still not quite clear exactly why. Nor do I really like the acceptance that this lengthening of subterfuges is gaining. Its advocates claim that it gives “visibility” to the problems in question.
Now it is going to turn out that poverty is something that came out of the blue. It came out of nowhere and appeared the day before yesterday between lightning bolts in a square in Murcia like a Terminator excreted from the sky. Now humanity must know about it. To do so, it must be given a cool name. It must have political and commercial appeal.
One of the latest additions that is gaining ground is the horny “vulnerable person with no housing alternative”. This time they have managed to postmodernise the term “poor” to the max, with all the coupons to be a homeless person, and lengthen it to five words. Soon these renomenclatures will be enough for a five-season series.
Vulnerability, now without breakdown, is aggravated by not having a place to drop dead, i.e. the fucking housing alternative. Or the other way around. As if both are not related to that vicious loop of misery.
I don’t know if it’s sadder that there are still people who lack the basics to live or that there are so many pamphiles looking for long and cool names. All to make it look as if this shitty system that drives them out has nothing to do with the equation