You are probably already thinking, “What in the heck does Mickey mean when he says unvarnished truth?” And then also thinking, “For that matter, what the heck is Varnished Truth?” Which is a really good question.
Varnished truth could be like those decoupage projects from the early 70s that my two sisters did for 4-H projects to show at the county fair where you take a quote from somebody like Cardinal Richelieu or Senator Joseph McCarthy or Donald Trump or even Adolph Hitler and decorate it up fancy, glue it to a wooden plaque, and then varnish the bejeebers out of it. Of course, none of those would be true no matter how much varnish was sloshed over it… those names were chosen entirely for their comedic value.
Or you could decoupage the fake work of art I started this post with. I merely used a coloring-book app to fill in the colors by number, so it is not actually art by me. And layering varnish and polish over it would merely make the faux something seem more like real art. That’s Varnished Truth.
But the unvarnished truth often seems negative. It bursts bubbles. Like this unvarnished truth.
My new granddaughter is only pretend. She’s made of plastic. I have no actual grandchildren.
In point of fact, my whole life of late is pretend. I have been trying to negotiate with a small publishing company for two months to try to get my best books promoted at a book fair in New Orleans even though I couldn’t possibly be there in person due to health and wealth concerns. And, like all schemes from publishers nowadays, it is a little bit scammy with the amount of money they want me to pay for including my books and saying nice things about them to people who probably won’t want to buy them anyway. I am probably only a pretend author. And I spend my time mostly in my sick bed, talking to plastic dolls as if they were real children, even during a part of my Christmas holiday.
There are a number of things I want to say as unvarnished truths, but they are as hard to hear as they are to say.
There are rules in this world I live in that I refuse to follow;
- Poor people, people of color, people of non-Christian religions, and anybody who is not both white and rich don’t count in this country. They exist only to serve and work for low wages to make the owners and investors wealthy. If they are unhappy with wages that don’t provide a minimal living, lack of healthcare, lack of decent education, or anything else they probably have a god-given right to, then it is their own fault. I learned this truth from George Carlin. And unfortunately, it is not only unvarnished… but true.
- Fear and hatred are what are promoted by conservative media. They make their money that way. Health and happiness are not dollar magnets. So, if you are even a little bit happy, but not rich, you are probably what The Donald means by calling you “a loser.”
- Corporations control everything in this country and most of the world. I control nothing. And if the corporations choose making high short-term profits over keeping the planet alive by battling climate change, I can’t do anything about it… except die when the time comes.
- People who don’t believe in wearing clothes all the time are bad people, and Reverand Joel Osteen and Brother Jerry Falwell Junior won’t approve.
None of those are rules to live by. Only to suffer and die by.
And I choose to refuse.
I learned as a teacher of many years in public schools that there is something valuable and loveable in every child, no matter what color, religion, reading level, personality quirk, or general ickiness factor they happen to possess. And every adult was once a child just like that too. Sure, some of them grow up to be MAGA Republicans, but even Donald Trump deserves a second chance… after serving at least the two life sentences he so richly deserves. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet too… and I just need a little more time to think about Jeff Bezos. Irresistible evil probably does fly to space in a rocket shaped like a penis.
I can be a nudist if I want to. I can talk to my granddaughter who is made of plastic, and she doesn’t argue with me when I talk to her like the rest of the people do. And if badness is meant to overwhelm everything in the end, well, the point is to live your best life while you are alive. I know I will… even if it is only a form of pretending.