Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lying

I want to say something about lying. It seems to be happening more frequently.

People are getting up in front of cameras and opening their mouths and what is coming out is so blatantly a lie that you'd expect everyone to audibly gasp. But it doesn't happen. No one calls them on their lie. No one questions their lie. Lies. Flat out, clear cut, lies.

My problem is that EVERYONE lies a little. For a long time I tried really hard to either tell the truth or shut up. But little things happen: the boss is in but doesn't want to talk to someone "sorry, not available". I am pretty good at avoiding big lies...one of the reasons people tend to ask me for my opinion is they trust what comes out, even if they don't like what they hear.

We expect politicians to lie. It is part of the job description. Still, John Edwards talks about two Americas while building a 28,000 sq ft mansion; Al Gore talks about global warming while flying in private jets; the war on drugs is apparently now the war on those fighting drugs; "we support the troops"; Sandy Berger forgot about the documents in his underwear; Libby was covering for Cheney; Joe Wilson was set up;

Don't get me started on American Idol or the Oscars...

We are well down a spiraling slide of dishonesty...and I can't see anyway to stop it.

2 comments:

Jeff Harrell said...

Sure, you say you don't see any way to stop it. But I don't know if you're being entirely honest.

All (incredibly lame, flu-provoked) kidding aside, it's become very difficult for me to tell the difference between dishonesty and disingenuousness, particularly when someone is speaking for an audience. I hear someone say the most outrageous, absurd things, and I honestly don't know if the speaker believes those things or is just saying them to get attention. It seems like the world we live in is so polarized that even the most negative statement will be applauded by somebody, frequently a lot of somebodies.

It's horrifying. Persuasion and reason have no meaning any more. You can't convince anybody of anything. Because we all just assume nobody is speaking in good faith.

Why? Is the mob not sufficiently entertained by civility and honesty?

tracy said...

I think, part of the problem is that we know that "anything we say can and will be used against us".

I don't like Howard Dean, but did that 'scream' at the end of his Iowa speech deserve to end his political ambition? Hillary Clinton's drawl over the weekend was no big deal...why are people (on the right) making it so? Bush has been slammed for his use (or abuse as some call it) of the english language.

Let me tell you, I aint' got no good english myself.

So, I agree with you...sorta. We are so polarized that no one wants to say something that will result in someone jumping down their throat. Unless you are someone like Ann Coulter who enjoys the publicity of throwing verbal bombs.

Maybe it goes back to my post a while ago about politeness.
We appear to be reaching a point where we can not talk civil to each other and therefore we can't speak honestly either.

How do you stop it? I do agree there are too many people out there rubbing their hands together in gleeful anticipation of the next time someone says or does something they can jump on.