People want to believe the Big Lie. The haircut that looks great on someone else is what he or she wants for himself or herself. What’s missing in their lives, they believe, is what someone else has, “just right over there.” People will believe this lie right up to the point where they are hunted down like animals and shot in the street, with or without their children in tow.
At first blush, the simple truth can be painful as hell to hear. “No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus,” is not a truth anyone wants to tell an innocent child whose only crime has been to wholeheartedly believe everything told them by the figures of authority in their world. But where is the actual harm in informing adults that, as a result of their mistaken beliefs about themselves, they are cutting their hair too long, too short, or improperly, to compliment their appearance? This seems like a trivial matter, indeed.
But multiply that seemingly trivial disappointment delivered to a few thousand human beings simultaneously and the consequences are no longer as trivial. Some people will walk away and pretend the whole matter does not exist for them, but a charismatic few will organize and pursue the “bringer of the dawn” until they have found a way to defeat or humiliate him or her. Depending on a variety of factors, they will indulge this instinct for revenge before they bother examining the information communicated for scattered signs of the simple truth.
My dog seems to defy this template of behavior and spends an inordinate amount of time sniffing and contemplating the lives of other dogs based on the information left behind in the droppings of other dogs. I tolerated this bit of disgusting, pedestrian and mundane canid behavior for years until I became sensitized to the ways and means of communicating information from one entity to another. Now that I have seen what passes for communication between human beings, particularly in the recent spate of “healthcare townhalls,” I am less likely to judge my pooch poorly for his preoccupation with simple, if disgusting, truth.
There can be no deceit or dishonesty in the world of simple truth inhabited by dogs. Perhaps that is why they seem so contented and happy most of the time…the concept of dishonesty and deceit does not come easily to dogs because they are sensually flooded with indisputable matters of fact from the day they are born. Not so with my fellow humans. Most of us are taught almost from the day we are born to challenge the information provided by our senses and compare and contrast this information with the reality of our dependence on our elders as the givers and sustainers of our very lives. And if our parents and caregivers always told us the truth of the matter, rather than what they’d rather we believe, this simple system of rearing children into adulthood would result in human beings who could always separate the true from the false in their interactions with other human beings.
But, as Doctor Gregory House is always fond of saying, “people lie.” They lie to passersby and they lie to their own children, sometimes without any perceptible provocation, generally without even realizing it. Certainly to everyone’s detriment.
In such a world, the truth must feel like a toxic substance, an acid that we throw on one another as a means of winning an argument or of confusing an issue, even though it is because of the very existence of some kind of truth that any of us is alive and breathing at all. Truth is the soil from which every single form of life grows, and yet we give it less import than a dog gives the droppings of another dog.
So dogs have ascended the evolutionary ladder in my book, just as a result of their inability to lie to one another. What has passed for “truth-telling” from the fake “grass roots” organizers at all of these healthcare town halls this past week has been less meaningful than dogshit.
What does have some meaning in the midst of all the chimpanzee arm-waving has been our continued willingness to believe that “the Big Lie” tells no lies. Meaning that as I continue to believe in the relevance of appearances, that appearances will never deceive me. So I am free to Astroturf any issue as a leader of others, convincing my subordinates that “to win means everything,” yet even as I win, I will eventually lose. Most importantly, I will lose my freedom to choose because I have used a lie to defend something that required no defense in the first place.
Eventually the Big Lie is a house of cards that must fall, but the supposed brilliance of the capitalist system is that the house always falls on the poor and middle classes. But this is true only if the poor and middle classes do not see the fall coming. As soon as the poor and middle classes see class warfare for what it is – an attack on their freedom – they will respond in kind.
The first realization will be that we have always had “death panels.” Currently, those who sit on our “death panels” occupy the hallowed halls of corporate America and are compensated handsomely for coming up with excuses to let us die early and often. No such compensation or incentive could ever exist in a free and democratic society that elects its leadership “early and often.” The attack on the poor and middle classes is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day, as are the lies required to sustain such an internecine attack.
Truth has no enemies…but it does have a lot of detractors. Identify them, early and often, and do not stop until your fellows gather around you in droves.