Prodiorthosis (pro-di-or-tho’-sis): A statement intended to prepare one’s audience for something shocking or offensive. An extreme example of protherapeia.

I will begin what I have to say innocently enough, but I warn you, my words may drill holes in the bottom of your heart, provoke anger, and disgust you.

There is the “same” thing. There is the “different” thing. Same and different.  Different and same. Different times. Different places. Same intentions. Same effects.

Brussels. Paris. Haifa. Istanbul. Kabul. Iskandariya. And 100’s of other obscure and not-so-obscure places.

2014-2015: 17,041 wounded; 9,314 dead.

March 27, 2016. Easter Sunday. Lahore, Pakistan. 320 wounded; 72  dead–mostly woman and children.

Suicide bombers.

Different times. Different places. Same intentions. Same effects.

Nobody doubts that Lahore happened. Nobody doubts the intention and the effects.

But, there is a difference between not doubting that Lahore happened, and believing that Lahore happened, and I warn you, understanding the difference between “not doubting” and believing is where terror begins.

The truth produced by believing will not set you free.

It will terrify you.

It will drape dread in the background of your everyday life, like some sort of Satanic bunting celebrating your unexpected death: your slow bleed on the pavement, your eye torn from your innocent face, your ears ringing–the carillon of concussion colluding with shrapnel and your gaping socket, leaking out what’s left of your stupefied fate.

Why aren’t you terrified? Why aren’t you afraid?

Is it because you are strong and impervious and courageous and young and playing the odds and all the other reasons that keep you away from CNN and call to you seductively to go out, to act like everything’s NIMBY (and get mutilated with your buddies on a Saturday night)?

Well, there are Sirens and there are sirens. The Befores of not doubting, and the afters of believing.

Will you live the know the difference?

  • Post your own prodiorthosis on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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