Once upon a time, that’s how fairy tales begin, isn’t it? Don’t we all want to believe? Our personal relationships and our family relationships are all based on telling the truth, aren’t they? I had a cousin with emotional troubles who was incapable of telling the truth. If she was twenty minutes late she couldn’t just say, "Sorry, I overslept." Instead she would break into a story about a train wreck or an orphanage on fire until eventually she had to be hospitalized.
Bit by bit, the bricks that built her reality were replaced by bricks of her own making. She lived in a fantasy world where secret agents were out to kill her because of the secrets that she knew about the government. Her parents were doubles sent by the government to extract the information from her. It was hard for me to understand because during my times with her she seemed very normal. Outgoing, funny and fun to be with, and it made me ponder how this condition could so overtake her.
I turned on the TV last night and saw a commercial for General Motors. "We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary and giving all of our customers employee pricing!" Wait a minute. GM is suffering from slow sales due to too many gas hog models and a slow economy. It might be their 100th anniversary but that has nothing to do with the sale. I understand puffing the goods but this is puffing the puffing.
Nutrisystem is extending their sale because of overwhelming demand! How does that work? You extend a sale when it doesn’t work, not when it does! Vince from Shamwow tells me to, "act now because he can’t do this all day," but the commercial has been running for months. A daffy looking woman is telling me a device that she purchased to keep cockroaches out of her house makes her happy! Not satisfied or confident or reassured, but happy. Bob's smiling, he’s happy because his penis is enlarged. Now he can hit golf balls farther and straighter; he can make business deals all because his penis is larger. Plus his wife doesn’t yell at him for not taking the garbage out anymore. See all the advantages of having a big penis!
A woman sent in her scrap gold in the secure mailer and got her check in one day! I would like someone to explain that. It doesn’t matter that it’s a lie because the lie is the truth; we are so bombarded by lies that finding the truth is like that needle in the haystack. Last night John McCain told a national audience he wanted to keep the campaign on issues, less than 24 hours after the lipstick on a pig flap. Twenty-four hours after saying Obama wanted to teach sex ed to kindergartners, he has the gumption to tell the audience, with a straight face, "I want to talk about the issues."
I could turn off the TV but the newspapers are full of the same type of stories. Russian peace-keeping troops trying to rebuild the Soviet Union after being fired on by Georgian troops. Economy improving, 9% of employers will add workers in the next 90 days! Doesn’t that mean that 91% of employers won’t be adding any workers? City opening new 150-bed homeless shelter, fails to mention closing the 250-bed homeless shelter. Corporation offers to take over public hospital once taxpayers pay off all outstanding debts!
What would be the point in turning on the radio? Talk radio? Need I even mention it? Commercial radio has become a wasteland, music for the masses with the theme of make sure that your art doesn’t say anything. Your future depends on your ability to shut the hell up or at least talk about your purity ring. It reaches the point of surreal, teen idols that promise not to have sex, kind of like a Dairy Queen that promises not to serve ice cream. Teen girls screaming because they are enthralled by the song, "I Don’t Want To Go To School." Yet no mention of the lies conflicting with each other. What’s next, teen boys watching Hannah Montana because they admire her mind? Does she promote abstinence?
Sarah Palin promotes abstinence in the home; it’s when they get out that you have trouble with them. Abstinence teaches that condoms are likely to fail and that millions of years of human nature can be easily overcome by teenagers with a pledge and a purity ring. You know Sarah Palin has described herself as a soccer mom in lipstick and tough as a pit bull. I haven’t seen the pit but I’ve sure heard the bull, every day another lie or prevarication until I’m starting to doubt that Sarah Palin is even her real name and that Alaska really even exists. Another Madison Avenue ad campaign straight from central casting, to sell floor covering or a laundry detergent to make my clothes smell like a summer day or John McCain smell like a reformer.
The other day, buried behind the important stories of the day such as lipstick on a pig or fire fighters give cat mouth-to-mouth respiration, "President Bush has secretly authorized the use of US Special Forces against targets inside the border areas of Pakistan. The first publicly acknowledged operation took place on September 3 when helicopter-borne soldiers landed at a village in South Waziristan, attacked three compounds and slaughtered at least 20 people."
During the Vietnam War Nixon approved operations in Cambodia and Laos and caught hell in Congress. Yet today? Mouth to mouth respiration on a cat, huh? I didn’t know that they could do that. No comments or complaints that the President of the United States has taken it upon himself to commence hostilities against another Muslim country. Has the administration in its waning days even lost the pretense of lying to us?
"An unnamed senior US official told the newspaper: 'The situation in the tribal areas is not tolerable. We have to be more assertive. Orders have been issued.' The presidential decision is the culmination of a lengthy debate at the top levels of the Bush administration, during which bitter criticisms were made of the Pakistani government and military for failing to crack down on militant groups in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)."
Well, I guess it's ok then, as long as you talked about it first.
The New York Times noted: "It is unclear precisely what legal authorities the United States has invoked to conduct even limited ground operations in a friendly country." In fact, military attacks on the territory of any nation—allied or not—constitute an act of war. While a US official claimed that Islamabad had "privately assented to the general concept of limited ground operations," the Pakistani government has publicly opposed any intrusion by US troops and issued a formal protest over the September 3 operation.
Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges! No, they said it was all right, privately that is, don’t want to upset the locals, you understand. After all, why would they object to us lobbing a few missiles and dropping a few bombs on their citizens? Funny, the Times also forgot to mention or to check how the citizens of the United States might feel about a new head-hunting campaign. You don’t mind, America, do you? They talked amongst themselves first and got private assurances, so is a new war ok with you?
Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan's military chief, on Wednesday denounced the apparent US raids, saying unilateral actions risked undermining their co-operation. He warned that "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country will be defended at all cost. No external force is allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan." But they discussed it amongst themselves first and they didn’t ask the American people, so why should they ask you, Kayani?
I don’t think my cousin was crazy after all, she was just mis-catagorized. She wasn’t a paranoid schizophrenic, she was a White House press secretary without credentials. And even if she was crazy she was no crazier than most of the American public who’ll swallow anything, hook, line and sinker. Sane is crazy and crazy is sane