A phrase I enjoy: "with all due respect"
Why I enjoy it: it is completely meaningless
Example: "With all due respect, I must disagree with your practice of smashing women's faces with hammers just for fun."
How much respect is due to a person who perpetrates such an act of brutality? Very, very little. Therefore, this is a phrase which here means "with very, very little respect."
There are other situations in which I feel very little respect is due. Not a whole hell of a lot of situations, but a few. For example, I feel no respect is due a person's "belief" that my rights are less than his because of my orientation. God is not a surrogate behind whom you can hide your bigotry. God may be many things to many people, but that interpretation is not one I will deign to respect.
(For those of you fortunate enough to participate in the listserv that engendered this post, you may notice that this topic is tangential to that one. I don't intend to be replying directly to a certain alumnus of a certain University. These are just the musings that came out of that other discussion.)
With all due respect, your racist bullshit is unacceptable. With all due respect, your flagrant disregard for the thoughts and feelings of others is disgusting. With all due respect, if your head were any further up your ass you'd be knocking on your own larynx.
The best part of "with all due respect" is that, as long as you're careful about the rest of the sentence, you can use it to say things to people's faces that could otherwise result in fisticuffs. I don't like fisticuffs, but I do like honesty.
Speaking of honesty, here's some: I am so fucking sick and tired of hearing from every single "conservative" who ever graduated from Brown University about how downtrodden they all were and how their voices were never heard. Perhaps if they tried saying things other than "you're not listening to me!", people would listen. Conservative voices are NOT underrepresented in this nation. Grow the fuck up.
Which brings me to my next point: "conservative" and "liberal" are becoming less and less useful. I'm a conservative: I don't want the government telling me whom I can and whom I can't marry. I'm a liberal: I do want the government telling CEOs that they can't just walk away with $700 billion of taxpayer money. I'm a moderate: I believe in acceding to opposing demands in order to achieve some kind of consensus. I'm a radical and a reactionary too (okay I can't think of a reactionary position I hold, but I'm sure there's something). I'm happy to be labeled radical, but I'm not happy to have my positions on any given issue assumed because of that label. I know this 'labels' discussion is old hat, but it's what I've got in my head right now.
I don't actually think there's much of that assumption going on around me. As I noted a few posts back, I'm in a happy place. I'm just in a bad mood from reading Carl fucking Dahlhaus. Not to mention being reminded of how geographically far away I am from some people I miss terribly and how ideologically far away I am from others I don't miss at all.
Sigh. Come on, History. Do your teleological thing and just fucking progress. I'm tired of this moment.