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Beginning to See the LightSex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll$
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Ellen Willis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816680788

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816680788.001.0001

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Glossary for the Eighties

Glossary for the Eighties

(p.145) Glossary for the Eighties
Beginning to See the Light

Ellen Willis

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents the author’s reflections about how militant critics of society have fallen on hard times as the seventies draw to a close. Many have realized that radical is no longer chic; where once crowds of people hung on their every word, now the same words are almost certain to elicit an uncomfortable silence, a tactful change of subject, or an outright sneer. But most radicals have not yet caught on that “the same words” are actually at the root of their problem. In keeping with a general tendency to cling to the manners and mores of their beloved sixties, they have failed to master the subtleties of contemporary discourse. She sets out a basic vocabulary: dogma, bias, ideology, ideological fanatic, party line, independent thinker, Stalinist, humorless, supersensitive, shrill, paranoid, Zionist, crank, oppression, survivor, decadent, and narcissist.

Keywords:   militant critics, radicals, contemporary discourse, vocabulary

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