Lie To Me! Fabrications, Fables, Fairy Tales And Fibs

“He gives speeches, but they put him back in bed where he wrote his satire.”
– Brian Wilson, (He Gives Speeches)

 

I think it was in kindergarten when I remember being told the story of little George “I cannot tell a lie” Washington and the cherry tree he confessed to his father he had chopped down. Through this vignette, my classmates and I were admonished to always tell the truth. The only problem was that often told tale … is a lie, a fabricated fable of fibbing fiction. It was actually created by biographer, Mason Locke Weems, as an anecdote laudable to Washington’s character and as an “exemplary to his countrymen”. Nevertheless, this fractured fairy tale is almost as hallowed as the national anthem.

When I was 2 years old, the US Congress passed the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Resolution’ granting President Johnson the wanton power to take military action as he saw fit in Southeast Asia, ostensibly to combat the spread of communist aggression. The passage of the resolution, enabling Johnson to launch America full-tilt into the Vietnam war, was predicated on a fabricated set of events suggesting that American naval vessels had come under unprovoked attack by the North Vietnamese.

When I first heard the above tale, I remember being skeptical. I’m not sure why my ‘bullshit detector’ went off that day. Perhaps it was the result of a burgeoning character flaw or a latent psychic ability to perceive the teacher’s own insincerity in her own overly dramatic rendition of the fable. Some might say that my lack of gullibility at that tender age speaks volumes of my character or my perception of ethics. And, indeed early on I began to question my moral constitution. In retrospect, I was ‘loony’ to do so.

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It’s Me! Really! (and other notions of authenticity)

Hang on to your ego
Hang on, but I know that you’re gonna lose the fight

– Brain Wilson
I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone ‘needs help’. Of course, this last statement can be taken in a number ways. Be that as it may, my focus in this post … the point I’d like to make … the crux of the issue is that there are many people out there, and bloggers in particular, that are desperately trying very hard to be themselves, but just can’t fake it.
That’s right, I said ‘fake it’. It seems a running topic on several blogs I’ve come across is ‘authenticity’ and its definition or application, assuming there is such a thing. I imagine this is a big issue because so much of our society’s feeble mindedness stems from the media ‘selling’ us almost everything. As a consequence, consumers, assuming there really is such a thing anymore, have become naturally distrustful in an effort to mask thier gullability and penchant for ‘rubber necking’.

Tomatoes, Weiners, and Horses: Three Lessons

Over and over, the crow cries, uncover the cornfield.
Cabinessense: Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks

 

Here are three lessons to be learned from stories in real life and the news.

Lesson #1: Rotten Tomatoes
I live in a big city, on a main street that leads to the ‘centre’ of town. There are currently 3 supermarkets within an eighth of a mile radius from my apartment. Yesterday, I went into the closest one, the one in which I usually prefer NOT to go to. It’s small, the cashiers don’t smile, and the store’s inventory is more suited for senior citizens. Well yesterday, only because it’s across the street from me, I popped in quickly because we were out of milk. When I was checking out, one of the usually sour-puss cashiers offered me a package of cherry tomatoes … for free!

I was impressed, to say the least. I said thanks and left. When I got home, I mentioned to my ‘significant other’ the amazing circumstance that had transpired. Now she likes cherry tomatoes and so I wanted to show her this wonderful bounty that had fallen to me. She also was surprised I had got them for free. I joked, “yeah, they’re probably from Spain or Germany and teeming with that new strain of E. Coli”. I laughed. She laughed. Then I looked at the label; it read “product of Spain”.

Lesson to be learned: Never look a gift horse in the mouth, unless it has Mad Cow Disease, or has brought you produce from Germany or Spain.

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A Birther In The Rye (and other nonconformist ideations)


Light the lamp and fire mellow,
Cabin essence timely hello,
Welcomes the time for a change.
– Cabinessence (Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks)

Uncle Sam used to tempt to us to ‘be all that you can be’, assuming we enlisted in the Army. I’m sure that many a good soldier not only answered this challenge, but met this call to action. Lots of others, however, paid it as much mind as they did the Tidy Bowl man (read: Ty-D-Bol) hustling his product from the blue waters of his commode based rowboat. Nevertheless, a bit of logic would suggest that sometimes you have to separate the message from the messenger.

Why do only a fraction of us actually challenge ourselves to be all that we can be? A better question yet might be why we even aspire to be more than we are. Why aren’t we just content to embrace mediocrity? Why must we be egged on to face and overcome adversity, just to fall back on resting on our laurels?

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A Mess of Ideas Defying Expectations

Hung velvet overtaken me
Dim chandelier awaken me
To a song dissolved in the dawn
The music hall a costly bow
The music all is lost for now
To a muted trumpeter swan
Columnated ruins domino
– Surf’s Up (Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks)I have an idea, but it begs the following questions:

  • Why is it easier to make a mess of some things than to just sort them out in the first place?
  • Why is it harder to achieve greatness than mediocrity?
  • Why is it easier to say ‘no’ than ‘yes’?
  • Why is it easier to go nowhere and do nothing than to set out on an adventure?
  • Why do so many adventures we set out on come up short?
  • Why do things implode with less intensity than they explode?

These are the types of questions equally raised by the hopeful and the hopeless; the dreamers and the depressed. They are part and parcel of the same enigmatic shaded overtones of our existence, and fail to answer what we are supposed to do with it.

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