For the last few days I’ve avoided it, couldn’t focus on it as it just didn’t feel, I don’t know, writable I guess? Or, not coherent enough to in any way make sense, cause, I am still wrestling with it, and pushed it off to the side, sitting on the stoop instead on my days off watching the sunshine dapple the shade of my woodland garden, basking in the lush beauty, the cool shade, the butterflies and bees, spiders and the trees.
Lately I’ve distracted myself with the light, like how the river sparkles, how many different shades of green there are, of the change of colour at certain times, how the sun dancing through my little garden, cleansing myself, taking a time-out, enjoying the space I’ve created here with my own two hands, of the dirt under my fingernails, absorbing it all for the lovely distraction of it.
Every time I looked at my phone, checked twitter (oops), another crisis, con, calamity, conceit, cascade of chaos added to the ghoulish goulash of gobbledygook that man down yonder leaves in his wake wherever he may go. A tweet from the twit and a twisting of the truth and liberal media pounces like a cat on a mouse, whilst the right wing conservative in righteous indignation bellows at the slights, jabs and bashing of their noble commander and chiefs greatness being so maligned by that pack of angry deranged Democrats.
Oh, look at that pretty light though, and I snap the stupid phone shut, return again to my temenos.
And so it was with dismay I heard similar words from the younger siblings mouth that sort of shocked me, and turned me inward the last few days, I guess at contemplation of the… I don’t know… revelation that my own sister doesn’t get it. Her? I mean, WTF? Seriously, last few days…what the frock is this?
Why? Why do I dislike Trump so much and why am I so absorbed with all this chaos and confusion taking place down yonder in the land of my birth…she asked me this?
She also wanted to know if I hated our father who voted for the man, did I think he was stupid? Did I think he was racist?
These were her questions. Drunken questions asked much too late in the festivities of the evening to answer with any facts, as my booze addled mind was not at the time equipped to handle more than the equivalent of WTF.
Dad had been there barely maybe 2 weeks and all ready she was… I don’t know… drinkin’ the koolaid, as Grandma said if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.
So I’ve walked around the last few days in that fog, asking myself how do I answer that? I know the answers, but why are those my answers? Why not just write poetry and post pics of pretty scenery, read historical fiction and watch crime dramas and be done with it? Forget about this madman down yonder, don’t get so wrapped up, don’t concern yourself, all that, all week, actually, since dad left to go back down yonder home, this has popped its head up, even in the midst of my meditations on my stoop, my seeking the solitude of nothingness, invading my tranquility, once again.
I returned home from that last visit kind of stunned, and sit, sat, blankly, whenever I could the last few days, trying to cleanse my mind of it, see if I could walk away from it, get some perspective.
So I went out looking for some other inspiration, looking for new things, new topics, ideas, anything, and found Fandango, subscribed to their email list, and so this arrived this morning, a question;
Comedian Stephen Colbert coined the word “truthiness” a dozen or so years ago. Truthiness, Colbert explains, is the quality of seeming to be true based upon one’s intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic or factual evidence. It’s similar to when Comedian Bill Maher says, “I don’t know it for a fact; I just know it’s true.” These describe a situation when someone feels, believes, or wishes that something is true even when it is not supported by the facts.
American novelist William Faulkner said, “Facts and truth really don’t have much to do with each other.”
So, to today’s question:
With everything that’s going on these days about what truth is and what facts are, do you believe truth and facts are synonymous, or do you concur with Faulkner that they have nothing to do with each other? And most important, does it even matter anymore?Fandango’s Provocative Question #30
Yea, blawdy hale!
So I looked up Faulkner, who is an author I’ve never read and honestly don’t know a lot about, to see his works and bio on Goodreads, for perspective I suppose, to see exactly maybe what context I should read that – you know, at face value or with some history attached – and found this quote that sums up part of the answer to that very question my sister and Fandango, asked;
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”William Faulkner
So, lets see, what were the facts this week?
Americans’ celebrate their Independence day, this week and so we all watch as refugees young and old are crammed into jail cells, fed cold burritos and bologna sandwiches day after day, sleeping on concrete and told to drink from the toilet, and the fact the administration week before last went to court to deny children soap and toothbrushes, and day by day more and more FACTS stream up and out to the world of the conditions of those camps where they’re being held.
As all that is transpiring, as if he’s in some other universe, Trump’s diverting money from the Parks to pay for some military parade, and folks who live around the capital watch the rare sight of tanks rolling through the streets, and this president cozies up to dictators, the truth is that maybe one can perhaps understand why many citizens may just be a little rattled?
The guy “jokes” about his ‘people’ not allowing him to leave office, even after he’s served his full two allotted terms, as if anyone but his loyalists would actually think that is funny…haha. Is it a fact? Truth? Well… I don’t really want to even go there.
And, if we’re talking truth, or according to my sister, the democrats are all crazy and other tidbits of “truthiness” my father has fed her, and yea, I’m a bit caught up in facts, and the truth of how on earth we got here?
Where do I start? Well, I told her that she is just plain wrong about the democrats, informed her that she needs to watch out for all those newbie congress peeps that were sworn in during the Democratic sweep in 2018. Told her specifically about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and her crossing party lines, and not being afraid to speak the truth, like that those places they are housing those immigrants on their southern border do indeed look and feel EXACTLY like concentration camps (truthiness?), that any student of history knows they in fact predate world war two. That some have a problem with this word is actually more telling, and that so many in the right wing propaganda machine attack @AOC on such a regular basis is rather telling as well – is the truth that they fear her?
And, by the same token, do I fear Trump? Damn right I do. Fear his absolute ignorance, his scary campaign rallies, fear is love affair with tyrants, fear his ignoring laws and justice as if he is some kind of monarch, a wannabe tyrant himself.
Fear that his leadership is going to sink the whole world economy into a deep and long-lasting depression, and that his policies are stripping many rights and freedoms, dismantling regulations meant to protect Americans in favour of corporation and profit margins. I fear his gut instincts will lead his country into a war that no one wants, and that could spark some serious repercussions. Fear that he seems to exhibit virtually no loyalty to the country he is supposed to lead, preferring the words of long time foes over his own intelligence community.
Fear that so many on the right just don’t know the HALF of it, and that that ignorance, their ignorance for instance of the facts contained in the Mueller Report, well that it is a weakness that republicans and Trump are counting on.
Because, fact is, that report clearly and unequivocally states that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 Election.
But, that the truth is that no one knows how successful that interference was, don’t know how deep inside the system it went, and fear that no one is looking into it. And, maybe no one is looking because they don’t really want to know the answer?
Oh, but the fact is that that failure of the system doesn’t give me any confidence, and the truth is that very well could breakdown the very foundation of democracy in the United States, as a foreign power fiddles with everyone’s minds and no one is doing anything about it.
Are facts and truth the same? Sometimes they are, sometimes they are subtle in their difference, sometimes stark, but I do know that BS by any other name smells just as bad.
So, do I hate my dad because he voted for Trump? No. Do I think he’s stupid? No, he’s a smart guy, he is humble, and he is hardworking, but this propaganda machine at play is bigger than all of us, smarter than the best of us, and no one any longer is totally immune from its pull of lies and manipulation.
But for the other question, is he racist? Well, I’ll have to come back to that another time, because, well, because the truth is, the fact is, I don’t know.