So today I learnt a new acronym

PRATT: Point Refuted A Thousand Times.

PRATT sums up nearly everything about certain people and ideologies, on and off the internet, that most annoys me.

Unfortunately, merely recognising that someone is repeating a widely-acknowledged PRATT doesn’t necessarily give you the tools to convince them that it is indeed a PRATT, or to persuade them that certain people they greatly admire are using PRATTs knowingly and cynically in order to deceive and manipulate them.

I’ve spent way too many years online rebutting and debunking PRATTs, sometimes patiently, but often sarcastically (because sometimes that is the only way to ward off utter despair). I’m not sure that the sarcasm has done anything useful other than prevent my own implosion. Maybe I have mildly entertained some people who already agreed with me.

So is there a place for mockery at all? Perhaps in combination with more patient approaches as part of a Good-Cop/Bad-Cop strategy? A way to broaden or shift an Overton window?

It would be nice to think so, but I really don’t know. Which is why I’m about to post a picture of actor Chris Pratt having troubles with a raccoon during a promotional photoshoot for Guardians Of The Galaxy (via Pratt’s Instagram account). Did I mention I have a headcold and am even less than usually focussed? Bleagh.

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, Politics


4 replies

  1. Such a useful acronym. I always wondered whether the origin of calling someone a prat was from the verb to prate, or if it has some other derivation.

  2. Yeah I don’t know that it ever made any difference, but I appreciated it!

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