There’s a word for it, actually several. ‘Lie,’ ‘phony,’ ‘hypocritical’ come immediately to mind.
Sept 13, 2008 — Reno, NV
Early this morning, C-SPAN was running a video of the Family Research Council’s (FMR) gathering that featured born-again actor Stephen Baldwin as its marquee speaker. Baldwin was on a Christian soldier march, battling the evil of liberalism generally, and liberals and Hollywood in particular.
Last evening, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS was highlighting the rancid hate-talk that is the standard bill of faire of conservative radio.
And I absolutely adore Al Pacino’s Shakespearianesque soliloquy toward the end of Devil’s Advocate.
I’ll tie them into a bundle momentarily; all in the phony “victim-hood” bale.
Merriam-Webster defines “lie” as: 1.) an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with the intent to deceive; 2.) to create a false or misleading impression.
That same source defines “phony” this way: 1.) not genuine or real; 2.) intended to mislead or deceive; 3.) intended to defraud.
As to “lie,” American law does not reference it directly in either criminal or civil tort law. There it’s “perjury” on the criminal side; knowingly making a false statement under oath or to a law enforcement or legislative body. This effort doesn’t go there. On the civil side it’s “misrepresentation,” and must be intentionally made (or what a prudent person would know, given due diligence) for the purpose of advantage over the party(ies) to which the misrepresentation is directed.
Doesn’t matter, I prefer “lie,” because colloquially everyone understands what it means, with or without a dictionary definition. Concerning “phony,” the definition needs no elaboration.
At the FMR assembly, Baldwin paced the stage excoriating liberals and Hollywood as veritably the embodiment of evil, to which the assembly shook in zealous approval. This is bogus, it’s 100% contemptibly phony on at least two counts. The first is the presupposition that those — and their families, especially the children — whom Evil targets are victims. Think of this fact: No industries ever devised so closely follow the free market model as the television and movie and recording industries. There exists no political imperative to bail them out and, unlike finance or auto or oil or defense, they get a paltry pittance for whatever work they do for the government. A lot of capital is invested in every project. And when a project bombs on the market of consumer acceptance, a stern lesson is delivered to the producers. On the other hand, when a project succeeds, it only succeeds because the market — we, as in you and me — wants it. There is no victim here; just an awful lot of folks clamoring for something.
But the Christian faith (The Muslim one as well, however I’m tragically too uninformed to posit on that realm.) is very complex and highly nuanced. It is at once a confection of the preposterous, the heinous, the inherently contradictory, and the sublimely glorious.
Preposterous? Two counts there. The first is the entire Genesis tale of Creation. Forget the “big bang.” Astrophysicists can argue the details of that all they care to. What we know today as incontrovertible, however, is that 1:2 – 30 is wholly without the first element of fact. The book was written for a nomadic folk who were without the instruments we take for granted. It satisfied their needs for an explanation, and they moved on with their lives. In early Europe it was thought that vermin and pestilence sprang from dirty rags. The invention of the microscope sent those propositions into science’s dustbin. And we leave them there without any thought or feeling of remorse. Nevertheless, many today yet cling to ideas about Creation that predate by a few thousand years the spontaneous generation theories we have casually discarded.
For the “heinous” allegation: I recommend doubters trek through the OT recounting of accepted or encouraged fratricide, infanticide, genocide, rape and pillaging, incest and slavery, none of which, however, pertain to my current argument concerning the accepted donning of the “oh poor me” victimhood mantle. “It wasn’t me. It was the evil that surrounds me that I just could not resist.” Thus I'll leave the heinous attachment for another time.
Disclosure: I’ve pulled a lot of stuff in my life that I’m not proud of. But for each and every trespass, all of which drew from some form of temptation, I had an alternate choice. I was no victim. I was as I am, responsible. As with everything produced by Hollywood, I have full power to turn off the television, to switch to a different channel, to not purchase the movie tickets or the CD . . .