Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Truth or Consequences

Sometimes someone you did love says or does something so horrible that you can't really forgive it. You know it will go away if only you can forget it, but then it keeps coming up, like that patch of rotten skin which the razor brings back alive each day. Perhaps you worry it too much. Perhaps you'll need to grow a beard. If only there were some public excuse to do so.

Hide your face behind a mask and be who you really are. Thing is, I don't really think that there is such a thing as character in the essentialized sense that we ascribe it. Character is as character acts. It's subject to reform.

We all look for the convenient truths, like when cops gather around one of their own and say that yeah, that black dude died where someone else wouldn't have. Something about sickle cell yadda yadda

Right, like only supervisors can be trusted to police their own work, and that's why workers must come back to the office, you know, now that COVID-19 is in remission. Now that we don't have to wear masks. We want to be sure that you're working as hardly as we do who get the big bucks.

But we do know who lies and who tells the truth, don't we? The climate deniers the COVID deniers the election was stolen nitwits, the flat earthers, the believers that God actually speaks to them by way of the written word . . . these people must all know the truth. They just choose to deny it. 

So if someone's not wearing a mask you just assume that they haven't been vaccinated, right? I mean, who wouldn't get vaccinated if they had the chance, unless they were in denial about reality? Who would choose to signal their idiocy by not wearing a mask. Who wants to be quizzed about getting the vaccine by someone who probably hasn't and probably has ulterior motives?

So now we have to bear the consequences for someone else's convenient truthings. How can someone represent a constituency which has been Gerrymandered into no coherent gathering place. How can someone make a public appearance in a media world shattered into a bajillion interest-focused channels streams whatever? How can someone lie that they've been vaccinated in the face of someone they might infect.

The mask is not about protecting you. It's about protecting your neighbors, even when they don't think they need to be protected and don't want to be protected. It's symbolically important. It says you care. And no, Joe, you really don't want to be in the business of pandering. That role's been taken.

It's like there's some invisible polling that goes on and only the big stuff that catches the most eyeballs ever makes it to the once-upon-a-time level of Walter Cronkite. As it ever was. I mean that's how the Bible got written in the first place and ended up as the convincing voice of God. I have it on good authority that Walter Cronkite was actually a good guy.

At some point you're just worshipping a naked emperor/god/elected official and it's downright embarrassing. I mean, how, really, did we ever believe that Bill Gates was basically a nice guy? With that house those yachts and so many private jets? Where's the nice in that?

Of course this is our moment of truth on the planet. Nearby UB hangs a banner on a dormitory, boasting "having an impact on the world, but not on the planet." Something like that. I rode past it by bicycle, so I can't confirm it by way of Google Earth, probably. Anyhow, it would be as temporary as a link from this blog. So you'll just have to take my word for it. 

Point being that the distinction made between the world and the earth - the planet - is the same one made between the mind and the brain. They aren't the same thing somehow, even though they really are, right?

Nope. The brain doesn't lie. The brain is wild, just as the planet is and always will be. The brain hands up narratives ready cooked based on nothing more than habit according to what has made sense - survival value - in the past. It correlates and passes along what's a tiger and what's not, without a single thought because that would take too long and you'd already be eaten. The planet tells us truth as well.

Your mind is the liar liar pants on fire. You choose to lie and we choose to see you fully clothed when you're butt (is it buck?) naked right there in front of us. 

I watched Truth or Consequences, but I have no real memory of any episodes. I think it started at the inception of TV. We had to sneak TV in my house. We had to sneak Cokes. Both of them caused rot, one to the body, one to the mind. Fine distinction, that.

I was on Taiwan before there were cars there. In China before there was indoor plumbing. The world - I mean the earth - has really changed fast, and we think there won't be a reckoning for that? Our brains haven't changed a bit, and so why do we have to change our minds? Well, OK, our brains have changed a tiny bit, but not enough to account for massive fraud.

We all know the disappointment between what was advertised and what was delivered. They still try to pull that shit in Internet ads, but here in the real world the goods just keep getting better and better. And we don't really suffer that massive life threatening "oops!" when we make a near fatal error in judgement or in navigation so much as we used to.

I mean, apart from the rampant and unregulated juvenile libertarian capitalism that's wrecking the planet in a world of perpetual acquisitiveness, things are getting better, right? On my bicycle yesterday, I passed the literal convoy of Amazon trucks leaving the "local" warehouse. The warehouse to where they predictively move things for ever faster delivery. At least it wasn't a military convoy. 

The bald-faced lies have been framed so starkly precisely because we do now know the difference between what's true and what are the consequences.

I have on my wall an original pulp fiction poster depicting Chairman Mao. On it, he's holding a calligraphy brush and declaiming his first "big character poster." "Blow Up the Headquarters" is wtat he writes. The start of the Cultural Revolution.

Is Trump our Chairman Mao? Didn't he attempt to turn us against our own government? For China, the net result is that they have become more Chinese. Confucius has been rehabilitated, at least in comic-book form. Was the Cultural Revolution in any sense actually necessary? I have it on high authority that Chairman Mao was not always such a nice guy. Probably more of a tyrant and womanizer than Bill Gates could ever dream to be. But he still gets credited, and rightly so, with a positive transformation for China. 

Trump is dead. Long live Trump?

Come on people, where's the truth in that narrative? I guess it's all about how we play it out. Do we become more or less American? Truth or Consequences. 

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