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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/23/19

The sad truth: It's all B.S.

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Harry Frankfurt ... he knows B.S. when he hears it.
Harry Frankfurt ... he knows B.S. when he hears it.
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By Bob Gaydos

There have been times, like now, when I saw little point in writing about what the pretend president is saying or doing because millions of Americans don't seem to care. At those times, I often wondered how the scribes who get paid to inform the world of the latest news and even moreso, those who get paid to have opinions about it find the energy to cover Trump day after day. It has to be depressing, I thought to myself. I'm depressed and I don't have to write about it. Does a paycheck work as an antidepressant?

Maureen Dowd finally answered my question. I admit to not being a religious, or even semi-religious, reader of Dowd's column in The New York Times up to now. That's changed since I read her May 25 column that carried the headline, "Crazy Is As Crazy Does." Yes, it was about Trump.

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She begins by describing her waking thoughts as another morning arrives. About the talents of an actress and an actor she admires and their TV shows. About a book she has apparently just read or is reading. And then, abruptly, reality sets in: "Once I'm completely awake, a gravitational pull takes hold and I am once more bedeviled by our preposterous president.

"I flip on the TV and gird for the endless stream of vitriol coming from the White House, bracing for another day of overflowing, overlapping, overwrought news stories about Trump. I'm sapped before I arise. "

"My head hurts , puzzling over whether Trump is just a big blowhard " or a sinister genius ""

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Me too, I sighed. Glad to know I'm not alone.

I'm also not alone in my belief in synchronicity. Serendipity, if you prefer.

Coincidence? I'm with Carl Jung on that. The Swiss psychologist who gave us the word defined synchronicity as "a meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved."

As in, what are the chances that, being shamed into participating in a decluttering exercise at home, I would "stumble upon" a slim book I'd never heard of that instantly uncluttered my mind on how to explain what in the world was going on in Donald Trump's mind.

It's "Bullshit."

Literally.

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Some explanation is necessary.

The house decluttering was precipitated by a prevailing notion that I had collected too much stuff (an occupational hazard, I believe) and some of it had to go, but we would find a safe resting place for the stuff that was worth keeping. One of the safe places was a lovely, old cabinet in which other stuff was resting. Old tapes, photos and books. Among the books was the aforementioned slim volume.

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Bob Gaydos is a veteran of 40-plus years in daily newspapers. He began as police reporter with The (Binghamton, N.Y.) Sun-Bulletin, eventually covering government and politics as well as serving as city editor, features editor, sports editor and (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments


molly cruz

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But, "How are things, really?" I maintain that as a species we haven't a clue, and yet we function, as does the clueless Earthworm, and are equally indispensable, despite our mixed reviews. We are reaching for the sky, the only truth behind the intricate facade that is the Bible. And we'll get there, almost in spite of ourselves. But I believe that Nature operates on a need-to-know basis, and She takes no prisoners. If you can find a job here, hop on and welcome to you; if not, you're gone before sunrise. And for me our job is slowly coming into focus. So, in this basically ignorant state, we're all liars, keeping our head above water in a variety of ways. The motives, even, behind misrepresentation, are obscure and like any shrink will tell you, buried in your subconscious. Nothing comes from nowhere, and only nothing is perfect. Life is a complete mystery, seemingly born to the Universe to a virgin, as it were. Can our Father be this decisive, rule-driven perfection that is expressed in the rules of Physics? Life gives the proverbial finger to every one of those rules, disclaiming its origins in the process. Life swims upstream when the free ride down is obvious; coils when the straight line is clearly the shortest route. But we trust it. Pull back the curtain, lift Nature's skirt; and there, wobbly knees and all, the truth! None of us has not participated in the lie that we know, or will ever know, what we're doing, and "how things are,really". But I swear to you, we're here to save the planet. That's all you know on Earth, and all you need to know.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 4:07:50 PM

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Reply to molly cruz:   New Content

Red text on a pink background adds no value. Why are you making your comments so difficult to read?

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 10:22:02 PM

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molly cruz

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Reply to Peter Franzen:   New Content

shucks.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 11:32:25 PM

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David Pear

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We don't have enough bullshaters at OEN or there would be more than two comments.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 23, 2019 at 9:16:35 PM

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Brenda Schouten-Beckett

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Thanks for this article. I am mystified that nobody has commented about the purpose of the bullshitting being done by Orange Mussolini. In the video presentation, Prof.Frankfurt (minute 2:20) says the bullshitter often has "some other purpose" in bullshitting that a liar may not have. Is it not abundantly clear that the function that our current "president" has is to distract the world from the heinous crimes of our military? Here in the Netherlands, when I am trying to talk to people about Venezuela, or Iran or Julian Assange, the response I often get is: "Wow did you hear about what Trump just said?" or "Did you hear about that hooker who says she peed on him?"

People seem to gravitate to things that titillate their imaginations and refuse to think about the things we need to be thinking about. It's certainly more fun to be entertained than to become outraged because then you have to think about what you can do about it or what your responsibility is.


Maybe our species does deserve the extinction that is looming in the not very distant future.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 12:27:02 PM

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Janet Supriano

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

I agree with every word except your last sentence. We and our fellow Life beings don't deserve extinction. We deserve liberation from the forces that keep us unaware of our own power...our real essence. And thus, the joy of life on Earth.

I have no answers, except to seek within rather than without, engage our Free Won't, keep teaching and remain on the high road. These efforts offer no guarantee, but a little hope is always nice. :)




Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 3:23:40 PM

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Brenda Schouten-Beckett

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Reply to Janet Supriano:   New Content

Thank you so much for your words, my dear sister. Sorry I was feeling discouraged because of recent desperate attempts to reason with people in my circle of acquaintance. This isn't a new problem and I am sure most others have the same experience. It takes good people like you to keep the rest of us from giving up.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 7:17:15 PM

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Bob Gaydos

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

Thank you both for your comments.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 8:55:36 PM

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Reply to Brenda Schouten-Beckett:   New Content

Oh, Brenda, no apologies. I experience exactly what you do, more often than I like. And yes! mostly within my circle of family and friends. I no longer fight it or try to make a point. (just try not to let my gritted teeth show through...hah!)

My weary soul just might resemble a roasted prune by now if it weren't for my fellow travelers on OEN. :)

Submitted on Monday, Jun 24, 2019 at 11:11:23 PM

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David Watts

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Thank you posting this "liar" vs "bullshitter" article. I had not thought of it in those terms but in essence I have felt the same thing. After a while, I started saying to myself "he just says stuff" or "he just makes stuff up." And, he does it often which keeps everyone off guard; everyone who is trying to deal with his last stuff gets hit with new stuff.

Whatever stuff he makes up, even if not true, will keep his supporters happy. Trump and his supporters don't care much if it is true or not, most of it doesn't matter much anyway. If people say what Trump said is not true, it can be responded to with, "so what." Those who like Trump, like the confident and cocky way he just says stuff in an 'in your face' kind of way. It is like the Trump crowd thinks it is funny and says "take that!" to all the un-Trumpers. "Deal with it!" they say, "Trump is President and Hillary is not!" "We won and You lost. Ha!"

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 27, 2019 at 10:18:23 PM

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Bob Gaydos

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

Yup.

Submitted on Friday, Jun 28, 2019 at 12:54:00 AM

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