The boundaries of political commentary

First, an explanation about how the Trivial Dominoes thread works in Thread Games. A poster reads the last post, finds a single isolated reference term in the post, and then builds a new piece of trivia, using any chosen word in any context. For example, if one post uses uses “oil well”, the follow-up might use “well-wishers”.

Here’s an actual recent example:

The follow-up plays on the word “French”, in a compleely different context:

Within the scope of this thread, there is no way in hell that the second post about an alcoholic beverage is a “political commentary” on the French language in Canada or the competency of the translators.

OK. So along comes this sequence:

Followed by:

Followed by:

So, I used a 5-word post to make a dry lexical interpretation of a dictionary word, and that somehow becomes a political commentary?

What if the previous post had been “Mussolini’s fascists deposed King Zog of Albania for his progressive-conservative policies”, and I responded with “Progressive Conservative is an oxymoron.” By what standard would I have been Mod-noted warning me not to make political commentary? When in fact the previous post smacked of political interpretation, and all I had done was to take words out of it and divorce it from any political implications.

The mod was completely right. Your post was a political commentary by any possible interpretation and it was out of place in the thread.

“Progressive Conservative is an oxymoron” is not a piece of trivia. It’s a political commentary. “Trivia” is (are?) factually correct statements. Your statement was an opinion, and a political one at that. Good moderation.

Is a piece of trivia a trivium?


PS - not a close call. The moderation was appropriate.

On the other hand, I think “Mussolini’s fascists deposed King Zog of Albania for his progressive-conservative policies” would have been a wonderful piece of trivia to match up with the Canada progressive-conservative post.

Hmm…it looks to me like linguistic commentary. Progressive means moving things forward; conservative means keeping things the way they are.

Checking definitions on Google:

Those two terms are pretty near opposites, and so the comment about “progressive conservative” seems accurate to me, not so much political commentary.

FWIW, I can see how “progressive-conservative” can be used non-oxymoronically. From a conservative’s point of view, actions like removing trade restrictions and lowering taxes would be considered progressive, in the sense of furthering economic progress. So stating that “progressive-conservative is an oxymoron” is not necessarily true, and is inappropriate in a trivia thread.

How jtur88 doesn’t see his comment as political is completely beyond me. I guess it’s true, none so blind as those who will not see.

The moderation was spot on.

I’m seeing as more about being cautious about implementing change but being in favor of that change.

Example: Should the minimum wage be raised from 8/hr to 15/hr all at once or phase it in over 3-5 years?

Even if true linguistically, it’s not trivia, it’s just a statement. So it’s not a stretch to think there was some political commentary attached to it.

Here’s some trivia: the word “trivia” can be used as both singular and plural.

Don’t you mean “here’s a trivia”? :slight_smile:


How is saying that two political terms are incompatible something other than political commentary?

Linguistic and political are not mutually exclusive in this context. But since there is no rule against linguistic commentary, it wasn’t worth mentioning.

That’s closer to the reality of the actual former Progressive Conservative Party of Canada whose name was intended to invoke the inclusiveness and centrism of constructive progressivism combined with traditional values. Its original name in fact was the “Liberal-Conservative Party” and until it merged with more hard-right factions and became just the “Conservative Party”, its ideology was described as “liberal conservatism”. There’s no contradiction. Many of us are, for example, socially liberal and fiscally conservative. For another example, the final stage in the evolution of single-payer health care in Canada, the Canada Health Act, obviously a very progressive initiative, was passed unanimously with the support of the Progressive Conservatives who continued to support its principles after they came to power. The name “Progressive Conservative” continues to be used for many provincial conservative parties, for instance the one in Ontario.

The comment in question was a political jab that was silly and out of place and the moderation was appropriate.

My guess is that the OP saw them as such generic textbook political terms that invoking them does not carry any more weight on specific policies than “jumbo shrimp,” at least to an American audience whose experience with the actual political party is quite attenuated.

Yes, I too agree that it clearly appeared to be political commentary and as such the moderation was appropriate. I’ll note that you haven’t even attempted to give any other explanation.

No other explanation except that it’s a “dry lexical interpretation of a dictionary word”–in other words, his commentary was exactly what I suggested it was, in his mind.

I don’t really have a dog in this fight, and noting him because it’s too easily interpreted as political commentary despite his intent is certainly reasonable; but it doesn’t read to me like he’s staking out any sort of political ground or making any value judgment about anyone, just riffing on two words that have opposing definitions.

In Canada, it is clearly political commentary. I used to hear it quite regularly from supporters of the New Democratic Party, and it was meant as a political slur, not as a interesting lexicological discussion.

Nonsense. The previous post, which the OP quoted, referred to Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party. So the OP knew that the term was being in the real world. To then say that it shouldn’t exist is a political opinion.

Isn’t the point of the game supposed to be the non sequitur status of each post, connected only tangentially to the one before?

At any rate, if that’s something that the New Democratic Party says a lot, that does put it more firmly in the “political commentary” realm, even if unintentional.