LIAR, LIAR, RANTS ON FIRE

One of my readers, who is obviously a glutton for punishment, recently expressed disappointment that I haven’t posted more of my poems lately. At the risk of triggering that old axiom BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, I thank her for having inspired me to address the deficiency thusly:

DECEIT DON’T STAND

As the twig is bent,
so grows the tree.
As the die is cast,
so shall it be.

If these be true,
why is it wise:
The Donald gets a pass
when he tells those lies?

Of course, I should also thank the President, without whose daily rants my inspiration for this poem would doubtless lie dormant. And now for a word from the truly wise about lies:

Carlyle said, “A lie cannot live”; it shows he did not know how to tell them. –Mark Twain

A man comes to believe in the end the lies he tells about himself to himself. –George Bernard Shaw

I admire liars, but surely not liars so clumsy they cannot fool even themselves. –H. L. Mencken

Pretending that you believe a lie is also a lie. –Arthur Schnitzler

If at first you’re not believed, lie, lie again. –Evan Esar

Not sure why the video is black. Maybe because the lies it laments aren’t white ones. But the sound is clear, and the voice shines through the darkness.

 

 

 

Advertisements

LIAR, LIAR, RANTS ON FIRE

All sin is a kind of lying.
— St. Augustine

Would that some of those ranters who have been casting “liar” charges all over the political landscape lately pause to consider the real meaning of the word. My dictionary defines “liar” simply as someone who tells a lie, which is in turn defined as a false statement purposefully put forward as truth. The key word here is “purposefully.” When either left or right wing purists put forward false statements as truth, do they do it purposefully, or do they believe that their “lies” are the truth?

I see idealogues as true believers who truly believe what they’ve been led to believe. If so, the average “amateur” true believers aren’t liars when they say what they say (as opposed to “professional” true believers who not only believe, but have no qualms about, shall we charitably say, stretching the truth for their cause).

If we reflect on the literal meaning of “liar”, we may be more careful about putting that label on those who say things we find obnoxious. Chances are they not only believe those things, but they have been pathetically misled by their “professional” soulmates.

As journalist and writer Walter Lippman pointed out over 80 years ago (and which is still true today), public opinion is easily manipulated and “the mass of the reading public is not interested in learning….the results of accurate investigation.” Thus, once an ideologue is manipulated by half truths and untruths, (s)he is usually manipulated for good (or should I say, for bad).

Have a good (or should I say, bad) day.