Archive for August 19th, 2008

August 19, 2008

Plausible deniability

I am not fond of coined expressions as they are often nonsense and simply euphemisms for some nefarious activity. Think only of “collateral damage” that unfortunate substitute for hurting innocent civilians or damaging their infrastructure and the danger of such glib expressions becomes all too obvious. Militaries use the expression to soft sell needless death to the public since there is nothing like dehumanizing casualties to make the whole thing more palatable. Surgical strikes, enemy combatants, smart bombs, rationalizing of the workforce  all make me cringe. For some reason I cannot explain, though, plausible deniability rolls off my tongue and brings a smile to my face. 

Of course, plausible deniability is the stock in trade of politicians, military personnel, spies and any number of other professions. For many spouses it is the way of escaping a good tongue lashing or even divorce. I think I like the expression because it succinctly captures an aspect of normal life. To some extent we all try and cover our tracks ( which ultimately is what it means) or at least separate ourself from responsibility sufficiently to taint the chain of evidence. I am generally either too honest or too unconcerned to avoid responsibility but looking back in my life I can see that paying more attention to PD might have saved me quite a few anxious moments.

I have no internet at home this evening or cable to I will happily wend my way home from work to bury myself in a good book while being washed over by the passionate sounds of YoYo Ma on his cello. I shall regard it as a form of network deprivation ( you saw the expression here first folks) . Other than that not much else to report from the elysian shores of T&T, the homicide count stands at about 340 for the year, the PM is now talking about jetting about ( no doubt in a private jet)  to recruit new members to his “All Welcome at the Trough” Club of misguided Caribbean leaders and dengue fever is the disease du jour.