Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

25 April 2011

The Audacity of Hopefulness

Sorry I've been away for a little while.

The other day I was getting dressed,
and I looked down at the books that were
 holding my bedroom door open,
and this one was on top:

That's right,
it's been holding my door open,
for nearly a year.
And as I saw it there, I felt a pang
of grief and regret,
because I really do believe that Barack Obama is both 
hopeful and audacious,
underneath it all,

and then I wrote the following post:

I want to live in the country where
Barack Obama is president, and nobody
criticizes him for not fixing
in two years
the mess made by all the presidents we've had
for thirty years
(give or take a decade or two)

I want to live in a place where people
are only held accountable for what 
they themselves have done, 
no more, no less,
and where
they are not judged for what they haven't done,
when they haven't finished the job

I want to live in a land
of reason and clarity
and truth,
not to mention a good sense of humour,
a place where, if someone lies,
their nose turns red,
or their hair falls out,
and everyone immediately knows
they are a liar.
Sometimes I think:
the worst offense that somone can commit
in civil society 
is to lie.

I saw a movie a couple years ago, with Ricky Gervaise in it;
it was called The Invention of Lying.
The friend who was with me really didn't like it;
as many of the critics seem
to have not liked it; but
I did like it.

It treated the whole issue of lying
like a parable, and the end conclusion
appeared to be a few things:
a) people are gullible
b) you can tell people anything, and they'll 
believe you.

Of course, it also begins in a world
where all people are truthful; 
indeed, at the beginning of the film,
no one can even conceive of someone who lies.

And in this world of comical honesty,
a character discovers the power of 
falsehood.  If you live in a world
where people are honest, and you lie, well,
they'll believe you.

The liar in the movie becomes
famous and walthy, espeically when he
and tells here there's a heaven,
when he really has no clue
what comes after this life.

The film really celebrates
the concept of 
"what you don't know won't
hurt you,"  and that's just fine
and dandy, as long as it's something simple
like the tooth fairy.

The film is correct
on many points:
people are fundamentally
gullible and truthful,
so you can indeed lie to them
and gain power of them
to varying degrees.

And for awhile, in the world of lies,
all is fine, while the lie
maintains the impression of a perfect world,
that is,
until the lie is revealed to be a lie.

And then he or she or those
who have been lied to
is shattered,
and may even start lying, too,
and society itself becomes a maze
of mirrors and poses where
pretense is the only way to survive.

And the only way to see the truth,
is by distorting it.

I'm sorry, but I"m here to declare,
we've reached 
- and bypassed -
our critical limit of lying.

Only the truth can set us free now.

The biggest lie
you can tell
is the lie you tell
to your inner self,
and the lies you tell
to the ones who love you,
and whom you love,
Start by telling the truth to them.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I agree with what you say, except I suspect society has NOT yet "reached - and bypassed - our critical limit of lying." I think the true depths of gullibility and stupidity have not yet been plumbed.

Makropoulos said...

Wow, that's downright scary. I didn't think you were more pessimistic than me!