There are limits to what people will believe. No really, there are, I promise. You can believe me because I’m a fiction writer, a story-teller, and I therefore tell lies all the time. I was a teacher for thirty-one years, so I not only tell kids how wonderful they are in order to get good behavior and real learning out of them, but I have been told some of the most convoluted, inside-out, purple-in-the-face hoo-haws that are ever told anywhere in human culture throughout human history, and told them by a child with a straight face, perfectly seriously, and with little red horns holding up their crooked golden halos. We are taught to misrepresent the truth from early childhood on.
“Do you have to go potty, sweetheart?”
“No, mommy, I jest like to dance.”
“Do you love me, Mortimer? Or do you just want to get me alone in a car after the prom?”
“Oh, I love you, Alicia. Really I do!”
“So are you in favor of taxing the oil companies at a fair and balanced rate, Senator, so we have more money to spend on Education and public works?”
“Why, I most certainly do, young voter. Ignore that man with the “I Love Exxon” button trying to bash me over the head with that Tea Party campaign sign. Let me kiss that darling little baby of yours.”
This post was inspired by all the lies told in the State of the Union speech last night by President O’Bama (He’s Irish and a conservative like Bill O’Reilly, isn’t he?) Now, I am well aware of the white lies the President buttered our bread with. The economy has actually improved, but not nearly as much as was claimed. And not nearly enough for someone like me, a white male retired educator with significant health problems living in a Red State under Republican-Nazi governor/emperors who want to privatize education and spend my pension money on tax breaks for billionaires. But those lies are nothing compared to the damn lies told by the Republican response lady, Ernst from Iowa. She laid out a plan for undoing everything that’s been done to improve my life by the government since 2008. The Affordable Care Act is to be repealed. Tax breaks for “job creators” are going to be re-instituted. We are going to heal the middle class by deregulating industry and predatory banks and by giving more benefits and goodies to the rich folks who will treat us better than those horrible Democratic liberals who want to turn us all into socialists. This is coming from the Iowa Senator who won her seat by promising your average pork-eating Iowan to use her “hog-castrating skills” to motivate Democrats in congress to see things her way. Iowans (of which I once was one of) know good fertilizer when they smell it. It makes you want to shout, “Hoo-Haw!” (Yes, it’s true, I once knew an old farm hand that, when he heard a ridiculously contorted lie, would shout “Hoo-Haw!” as a sort of derisive laughter to hear such a funny truth-twister.)
Lies are our way of life. We lie about what we think. We lie about what we feel. We lie about how we view the world. We lie about whether or not we tell lies. Could we live a life without ever lying? I hate to tell you this, but if I say, “yes”, then it might not be entirely truthful of me.