Category Archives: telling lies

If I’m Being Honest…

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If I’m being honest, I am a liar.  And that is not really a paradox, because I don’t always lie.  In fact, I often lie in order to reveal a deeper truth.  (I know, I know… rationalizations are simply another kind of lie.)  I lie because I used to be a school teacher.  You know that teachers have to be liars because you can’t say to a parent, “Your kid is ugly and stupid, and I have documented proof.”  You especially can’t say that if it really is provable.  Instead, you have to tell the lie that any kid can learn and do and be anything they want if only they are willing to work hard enough.  And you have to tell that lie often enough that the kid, the parent, and even you, the teacher, believe it to the point that it becomes true.

And now that I am retired and not telling the school teacher’s lie any longer, I have become a novelist, and I have now made it my business to make up fiction stories and compile lies into book form.  And though the people or characters are based loosely on real people I have known, they are really only a narrative trick to make the reader think about and possibly accept as truth the themes my writing puts forward.

(Boy!  I sure am an ugly old hairy nut-job, ain’t I? = a lie in question form.)

But if I’m being honest today, there are a few things I need to say truthfully, straight out without irony or falsehood or exaggeration.  Let me offer these truths.

  • In this political environment where partisan politics divide us to the point of attempted assassinations with bombs, I do not hate the other side of the argument.  I don’t hate Republicans and conservatives.  Some of my old friends in Iowa and some of my good friends in Texas are conservative enough to have voted for Trump.  I do not reject them as my friends because of their politics.  They are good people and worthy in too many ways to list.  And though they may be sympathetic to someone who threatens me because I have looney liberal ideas, I don’t expect any of them to send me bombs in the mail.  That kind of division is the opposite of what we need.
  • I know what statistics say about kids and learning potential.  I have worked hard during my lifetime to create educational achievement in places where it is nearly impossible.  I believe in the value of every student, and some of the worst behavioral problems and some of the most difficult learning disabilities helped me really get to know some of my all-time favorite kids.
  • I will continue to tell lies for the sake of education and art and all the things that matter to me.  Lies can be used for good as much as the truth can be used for injury and evil.  But my lies will always be soap-bubble hoo-haws, easily popped and seen through for what they really are meant to accomplish, never big black cannonball lies meant to rip people apart and destroy the fortresses they live in.
  • If I’m being honest, even though I am a liar, you can believe in me.

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Filed under autobiography, commentary, education, goofy thoughts, humor, lying, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, teaching, telling lies

Mickey is 561 & 1/2 Years Old

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Notice the white beard?  No, it is not really made of yarn and paste.  It means Mickey is old.

I was born in November of 1456.  That year Vlad the Impaler (yes, the guy who inspired Dracula) killed the Prince of Wallachia  and took over his throne, ruling the part of Eastern Europe that includes Transylvania.

Halley’s Comet made an appearance that year, just as it did the year Mark Twain was born, and well before Donald Trump became President of the United States.  Before even the comet itself was named by the Astronomer Halley.  So if it was truly an omen of the end of the world, it came more than 500 years too early.  Maybe that’s why it has to keep coming back around

The Ottoman Empire tried to march into Albania and take it over, but the outnumbered forces of Skanderbeg defeated them at the Battle of Oronichea, proving that bullies don’t always win.

And codpieces were in fashion, proving that men lack any sort of fashion-sense whether it was back then or even now, more than 500 years later.

 

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But, of course, you knew all of that without me telling you.  It was an eventful year.

So Mickey is now 561 and 1/2 years old.  You’d think by that age he’d have learned not to tell lies or exaggerate things by 500.  No such luck.  But perhaps I can explain how this particular purple hoo-haw came to be.

You see it began in a classroom back when I was about 40 years of age.  That’s right, in 1496.  I was lecturing young Will Shakespeare about not putting his name on other people’s writing (which was doubly ironic, because the plagiaristic lad would not be born himself until 1564).

Young Will responded, “You are old, Schoolmaster Mickey. Shouldn’t you have retired already?”

“Just how old do you think I am?” I responded.

“I dunno, seventy or eighty maybe.”

I practically wet myself from shock.  I have long looked older than my actual years.  But I never let a chance for a good comeback with a slow burning sizzle added to it.

“Well, actually, I am 540 years old.  I have been considering retirement for quite some time.”

“Really?” He looked shocked.  So, either he really believed me, as thirteen-year-old English students readily will, or he was a much better actor than he was an original author of school essays.

And ever since that fateful day, I have always exaggerated my age to sound truly impressive.  I even went back in time and did the math, figuring out what my birthday had to have been to make what I said to the class sound true.

Now, be warned, this is a story full of lies.  But as with any work of fiction, it does bear significant relationships to the truth.  I will leave it to you to try to discern what those relationships are.

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All the Fake News Going Around is Fake (Believe Me)

The malignant mango we have inexplicably put in charge of our country is calling everything that hits the headlines “Fake News”.  But that is basically because if he says to his true believers that anything bad that is reported is not true, they will believe it and continue to support him even though it goes against everything they have stated they believe for the  course of their entire lifetime.  So our orangutan in chief is reporting that news is “Fake News”, and that report is “Fake News”.    So the “Fake News” about “Fake News” is provably FAKE.  Damn!

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Perhaps the Republican Overlords who now rule the Evil Empire get away with warping reality like that because we, as the news-consuming public are simply not paying attention.

Now, I can’t claim that I am hard to fool.  I believe, after all, that aliens have been visiting the Earth for millennia.  I believe that Area 51 is where the U.S.  back-engineered the crashed UFOs from Roswell, and I believe that Bob Lazar is a real human being.  I am almost like a Trumpkin in my devotion to such commonly debunked conspiracy theories.

But I can research my way out of cardboard boxes and confusing bubbles of misinformation.  I recently caught a whiff of alien uproar from a former student’s Facebook post about an article on DiscloseTV.com.  (click here for article)  It’s the kind of thing I want to know about if it turns out to be true.  I read there that a NASA spokeswoman, Trish Chamberson, had publicly admitted that the US government is in contact with at least four different alien species, and has been since the Truman administration.  This would, of course, confirm what I have feverishly believed for over half of my sixty year lifetime.

But I made the mistake of Googling Trish Chamberson.  Soap bubbles of Fake News pop easily.

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I think we should also be considering the question, “Is there intelligent life living here?” 

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Oopsie!

It turns out the conspiracy website had taken information from a site clearly marked satire and published it as fact.

 

Waterford Whispers is largely recognized as an Irish counterpart to The Onion among its primary reader base (in the UK and Ireland). However, previous items from the site have been confused for real news, including reports that the Pope commissioned J.K. Rowling to rewrite the Bible, the Muppet known as “Animal” had died, and that the Vatican decreed Jesus was not returning. Disclose.tv has passed on a decent share of fake news items, including claims a baby in the Philippines was born with Stigmata and Edward Snowden had been “reported dead by his girlfriend.”-quoted from Snopes.com

But it is also true that the pile of horse poop given to us to sift through on a daily basis by the rusty orange mouth-poop factory that dominates the nightly news is incredibly vast and mostly unsiftable.  So his tactic of saying real news is “Fake News” which is in itself “Fake News” is almost guaranteed to work.  It is FAKE after all.  Dang!
(And on a side note, the best proof we have that aliens really are visiting the Earth is now sitting in the White House.  Surely you didn’t think anything that orange and awful and full of horse poop was actually human in origin, did you?)

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The 1957 Pink and White Mercury of Imagination

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Yes, she was a real car.  My dad bought her in the 60’s as a used car.  But she was a hardtop, not a convertible.  She was the car he drove to work every day in Belmond.  We called it the “Pink and White Pumpkin”, my sisters and I, referring to the pumpkin in Cinderella which the fairy godmother changes into a coach.  But it would only later become the car of my dreams.

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You see, she was killed in the Belmond Tornado of 1966.  Her windows were all broken out and her frame was twisted.  So the pictures of her, though they look exactly like my memories of her, minus the rust spots, are not actual pictures of the car in question.  Our next door neighbor, Stan the Truck Man, was a mechanic always on the lookout for salvage parts.  He took her apart piece by piece while she sat in our driveway.  We continued to sit in her and play in her until all that was left was the bare frame.  My friend Werner told me for the first time about the facts of life and where babies really came from in the back seat while she was being gradually dismantled.  Of course, I was nine at the time and didn’t really believe him.  How could that grossness actually be true?

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But she still lives, that old dream car…  She is the reason that I objectify my imagination as a ship with pink sails.  My daydreams, my creative fantasies, and those long, lingering plays in the theater of my imagination as I am drifting off to sleep all start in the three-masted sailing ship with pink sails.  And that dream image was born from the Pink and White Pumpkin.  I have sailed in her to many an exotic place… even other planets.  And when I die, she will take me home again.

 

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Kit Marlowe, Secret Agent

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Christopher Marlowe is often sited as the real Shakespeare, a problematic assertion given that he would’ve been forced to write a number of plays after he was dead, giving new meaning to the term “ghost writer”.  But I would like to add to the assertion that “Marlowe is NOT Shakespeare!” that I also believe he did not die as they claim that he did.  Marlowe is a fascinating character of debauchery and misbehavior, intrigue and mystery, and undeniable genius.  As a writer, he was a maverick and risk-taker, having begun the ascendance of the theatrical play as one of the heights of Elizabethan literature with his play Tamburlaine the Great, about the historical figure who rose from shepherd boy to monarch.  This play, and its sequel, Tamburlaine the Great Part II, were among the very first English plays to be written in blank verse, meaning there is a very definite connection between the style of writing established by Marlowe and the later work of Shakespeare.  It is probable that for a few years, Kit Marlowe was a member of the Gray’s Inn group along with Sir Francis Bacon and several other suspicious literary luminaries like Sir Walter Raleigh and possibly Ben Jonson.  (I have to admit at this point that if I am wrong about the Stratford guy and he did write the plays, then he was a member of this group as well, because it was not closed to commoners, only to stupid people.  The Stratford guy was in no way stupid or a villain, no matter what you may believe about the authorship question.)  But here is where the link to Shakespeare’s plays and poetry both begins and ends.  Yes, Kit Marlowe was a capable enough author to have written such sublime plays.  He has all the individual skills to make up the whole.  But if you read his masterwork, The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, you will see that the voice, the unique literary style of the work is simply not by the same author.  Although Shakespeare revisits some of the same themes that Marlowe used in his plays, his manner of development, handling of character, style of humor, and underlying conviction in the existence of God are all different and opposed to Marlowe’s.  Marlowe is NOT Shakespeare.  Shakespeare’s works have more in common with Bacon’s than Marlowe’s.  And I have already said that, “Shakespeare is NOT Bacon… or eggs either.”  And if I said it, it must be so.  (Don’t throw eggs and tomatoes at your computer screen when you read this.  Just call me stupid and vain in the comments like everybody else does.)

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And an even more compelling reason to those of you who don’t obsess over reading Shakespeare and Marlowe and Ben Jonson is that, at the time Shakespeare’s plays were probably written, Kit Marlowe was busy either being stone cold dead, or, having faked his death, was busy being a secret agent for Queen Elizabeth.

 

And why would a goofball like me think that Christopher Marlowe cunningly faked his own death and went into his own thrilling quest to be like James Bond more than 300 years before Ian Fleming?  Well, because I know how to read and am not generally bright enough not to believe what others have written about him and his connections to world of spying in Elizabethan times.

These authors have brought out the fact that Marlowe’s frequent absences from college and later public obligations coincide with things like the mysterious tutor called “Morley” who tutored Arbella, niece of Mary Queen of Scots, and a potential successor to Queen Elizabeth, in 1589.  He was also arrested in the Netherlands for allegedly counterfeiting coins related to the activities of seditious Catholics.  He was brought back to England to be dealt with by Lord Treasurer Burghley, the closest adviser to Queen Elizabeth, and was then not so much punished as let off the hook and even rewarded monetarily.  Still think he was not a spy?  Well, his demise probably came about through his relationship with Lord Francis Walsingham and his friendship with Walsingham’s son.  You see, Walsingham was Elizabeth’s “M”, leader of her spies and intelligence units.  After Walsingham died, there was deep concern that no one was still able to protect Marlowe from possible consequences of being both a homosexual and an atheist.  (Being gay was obviously not as serious a sin as atheism for which torture and death penalties lay in wait.)  It was possible that rival spies and nefarious forces could kidnap Marlowe and get information out of him that the Queen needed to be kept secret.

So, when Lord Burghley tortured Marlowe’s friend and sometime roommate, Thomas Kyd, into naming Marlowe a heretic and sending men out with a warrant to arrest Marlowe, Kit’s other friend, Thomas Walsingham probably warned Marlowe.  The bar fight that supposedly ended Marlowe’s life was witnessed by two friends of his, Nicholas Skeres and Robert Poley, both provably con men and professional liars.  The knife that stabbed him in the forehead above his right eye was wielded by Ingram Fizer, another of Marlowe’s disreputable friends, allegedly over an unpaid debt.  Fizer, of course, though he freely admitted killing Marlowe, was acquitted of the murder.  And the coroner’s report is suspect.  Rules of investigation were not followed, and the body was never independently identified by someone other than the three friends at the scene of the crime.  And the body was hastily buried before anyone else could get a close look at it.

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I am not only telling you that I believe Christopher “Kit” Marlowe was NOT Shakespeare… or eggs either (though that joke doesn’t really work here), but I believe he didn’t die the way it has been reported to us by history.  And why do I believe these things?  Because I think the story of Christopher Marlowe is a really great story, and it exists as a story whether it is historically true or not.

 

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Filed under angry rant, artists I admire, conspiracy theory, goofy thoughts, humor, poetry, satire, telling lies, William Shakespeare

Lie la Lie

I suppose it is ironic that on Thanksgiving Day I am posting about lies.  After all, I really am thankful for the lies in some very specific ways.  Paul Simon’s song is the reason for the odd title and underscores the feeling I am trying to explain;

Yes, I am grateful that most of what the orange-faced man has said on the campaign trail has turned out to be lies.  I thank the Lord that the great ball of cantaloupe-colored mouth-flatulence has indicated he might not actually pull out of the Paris Accords on climate change.  That little item being a lie may save our entire planet and all life on Earth.  I thank the Lord that the orangutan president has had second thoughts about prosecuting Hillary Clinton for crimes she didn’t actually commit.

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I thank the Lord that the goal of repealing Obamacare is just a lie.  My diabetes is grateful too.  King Donald, seen in the photo above pitching snake oil and bananas to an innocent member of the American public, has strongly indicated he will keep all the good parts of Obamacare… and will basically just change the name to Trumpacare.  Of course, he will be preserving high premiums and profits for the insurance industry as well.

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I have a strong suspicion the wall is just a lie as well.  In fact, the nature of President Cinnamon Hitler is such that if he is trying to keep alien secrets about Area 51 with the same talent for keeping secrets he displayed on the bus video and in his formation of a cabinet in his administrative transition, we may soon know the complete truth about Roswell.

But I’m sure you realize by now that all this is in the manner of lies and jests.  In reality I am Paul Simon’s boxer;

Yes, I am beaten down by life.  I have been lied to.  I have been tricked.  And if I only could, I would give that monkey such a punch!  But we are all the boxer, all scarred.  And we all together vastly outnumber the monkey’s minions.  I may not live to see it, but it will always be a possibility, for as long as the fighter still remains.  And I am thankful for that.

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A Conspiracy of Doody-Heads

Dumb Luck

I enjoy talking about, reading about, promoting, and debunking conspiracy theories of all sorts.  It reaches a point that any time the topic comes up… Elvis faking his own death, the Roswell crash, lizard-men from the center of the hollow Earth… you know, all that good stuff… my kids roll their eyes and attempt to change the subject before I can get on a roll.  Okay, I get that.  Other people like to see history as a static, unchangeable thing set in stone.  It makes them comfortable to believe the same things others believe about what is ultimately true.  It makes them uncomfortable to think about how what they know might not be grounded in fact, especially if it is not grounded in fact because someone they have always trusted intentionally misrepresented or altered the facts.

I have always laughed about Elvis being sighted eating chili in a Wendy’s somewhere in Michigan.  It is a joke that people are ever swayed by the spurious journalism of National Enquirer and such trashy fluff.  And yet, there are questions out there that haven’t been fully resolved.  People are right to wonder and demand investigation, even into silly things.  There are anomalies that real investigative journalists have uncovered surrounding Elvis’ apparent demise.  For instance, why does the autopsy DNA not match the tissue sample from the liver biopsy performed on Elvis in 1975?  Why does all the evidence put forward by researchers only indicate that his 1977 death was faked, and nothing debunkers uncover actually disproves that?  This controversy has entertainment value, and people will constantly make jokes about it and continue to clamor for more proof.  Myself, as a conspiracy aficionado,  I believe there is good reason to believe he did fake his death, and may still be alive.  However, I also think that if he was driven to such extremes that he had to fake his own death, we should give him the peace he seeks and leave him alone.  Jokes about Elvis’ love children with space aliens are much funnier when you don’t have to worry that Elvis will overhear and be offended.

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Alien lizard men from the center of the Earth are another matter.  Have you never heard that the Queen of England, the Clintons, and other important world leaders are actually shape-shifting reptoid aliens intent on taking over planet Earth to feed on its human population?  If you haven’t, it is not because David Icke hasn’t been working hard to promote the idea and introduce it to you.  This former soccer player and broadcaster makes a mint on his conspiracy-theory lectures and programs.  He is very much the same kind of huckster and con man that once sold snake-oil cure-alls across this country.  I have found this particular conspiracy theory easy to debunk.  It does have entertainment value and makes for some very interesting humor.  But it also puts lot of money in the pockets of people who are intentionally misleading others into thinking this absurdist science fiction is somehow based on facts.  And it makes people distrust world leaders for all the wrong reasons.  We should vote Ted Cruz out of office for his despicable policies, not because he is a lizard man from the center of the Earth.

So, why do I associate myself at all with conspiracy theories?  Well, why do some comedians like Stephen Colbert whose politics are obviously liberal associate themselves with conservative politicians and focus so much on that side of the political debate?  It is a source of great humor, and it actually adds meaningfully to the over-all debate.  Conspiracies do exist.  We have been lied to about important things like the death of JFK, the events of 9-11, and possibly, the Roswell crash.  The truth matters to me.  It matters almost as much as the ability to make fun Elvis sightings and lizard people like Texas Senator Ted Cruz (pictured above in his natural form).

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