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@ Mouthwash

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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12/16/2012 2:09:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I am creating another thread on this topic for lolz but this is also a legitimate question.

What is a "smoke and mirror" tactic? I skimmed your debate and you bold it after your arguments saying "This is a smoke and mirror tactic."

What does that mean?
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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12/16/2012 2:12:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Inb4 Mouthwash responds to this thread with another thread.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
RationalMadman
Posts: 354
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12/16/2012 2:21:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Meaning

Trickery or deception, often in a political context.

Origin

This expression alludes to the performances of stage conjurers who use actual smoke and mirrors to deceive the audience. The figurative use that is now more common refers to the obscuring or embellishing of the truth that is employed by spin doctors and the like in order to deceive the general public. This later usage comes from the writings of the American journalist Jimmy Breslin. In his Notes from Impeachment Summer, 1975, Breslin twice refers to smoke and mirrors being used in the US political scene:

"All political power is primarily an illusion... Mirrors and blue smoke, beautiful blue smoke rolling over the surface of highly polished mirrors... If somebody tells you how to look, there can be seen in the smoke great, magnificent shapes, castles and kingdoms, and maybe they can be yours."

"The ability to create the illusion of power, to use mirrors and blue smoke, is one found in unusual people."

While Breslin didn't use 'smoke and mirrors' verbatim others quickly followed his lead. The first example of the figurative phrase in print that I can find comes from The Lowell Sun June, 1975:

"Jimmy Breslin alluded to with images, of blue smoke and mirrors in his recently published book on an impeachment summer."
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

We didn't fight our way to the top of the food chain to be f***ng vegetarians.
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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12/17/2012 12:13:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 2:09:41 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
I am creating another thread on this topic for lolz but this is also a legitimate question.

What is a "smoke and mirror" tactic? I skimmed your debate and you bold it after your arguments saying "This is a smoke and mirror tactic."

What does that mean?

Basically going off on an entirely random/unexpected direction (often strawmanning) to create obfuscation.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)