Ricky Gervais produced a film back in 2008 called “The Invention of Lying”. I highly recommend it. It’s a tale about a world where no one is able to tell a lie; where trust was the way of life. Imagine it if you will. When one dude figures out he has the ability to bend the truth, all hell breaks loose, as you can imagine. Of course everyone believes his lies, because, well, why wouldn’t they in a world where everyone is hardwired to trust, where there is no such thing as a lie. But as a consequence of his invention trust took a beating. It was a new reality, the idea of mistrust. It was the price to pay for lying, no matter the gain. A sobering lesson for us all.
Fast forward to 2018. A bit of an alternative reality check, if you will…
Once upon a time there was a world where truth did not exist. In fact everyone lied. No one could tell the truth. The bigger the whopper, the better. Of course no one believed anyone. The level of mistrust pitted parents against children, friend against friend, foe against…well, as you might expect everyone was a potential foe in a world without truth. People got along not because they trusted each other, but by gravitating to the lies that felt good, because those lies got them what they wanted. Lying was a means to an end.
Then one day a strange fellow uttered an incredibly powerful word…”but”. After shaking off the gasps and stares of those around him, he stepped up on a soap box and found the courage to go with it. One truth led to another and another. No one could stop him. “But that doesn’t sound right…” “But they said this only three days ago…and now they’re saying this! Look, I have video.” “But that’s not what the facts show…I have proof.” The crowd grew deadly silent, everyone staring at him, wide eyed, mouths agape. And then it happened. The crowd burst into uproarious laughter. “Good one dude!” “You really had us going!” “Proof? Facts?! They are unprovable. Everyone knows that!” “You don’t even sound credible!” “Truth? What is truth?” A group of crooners broke out in a stirring rendition of “La…la…la…” Of course no one believed him. Why would they? How could they? Mistrust grew even more. And anger…not at being duped, but at the mere suggestion that truth could possibly exist. It was unthinkable. Clusters of lie lovers organized into tribes around they’re favorite reality. It felt good there…safe. They built walls to keep truth from invading their tiny minds, which grew smaller by the day. And trust never returned. Because as everyone knows, once trust is lost, it’s over.
You expected a happy ending? I wish I could have given you that. I really do.
I’m often preaching to the choir in this place so it goes without saying, if you are a seeker of truth like me, keep seeking and speaking it. Even if no one believes you, because why would they? Why should they when their lies feel so good? At the very least, at the end of the day, you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror without wincing, and you’ll be able to sleep at night. Truth has its perks too. It preserves one’s soul. Peace my friends…peace.
Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 21 October 2018
do you think me strange?
sweet dreams begotten fade to mist at dawn forgotten
cool breeze, crickets peeping…the night is set for sleeping,
Everyone believed it.
a thought for a penny, no more, gets what you pay for
polyglots who bang out
crumbs are not enough to sate the starving, doomed by fate
shorter days, growing shadows, a time for letting go
a cool nip frosts the aged leaves cleaving to the trees
dreams of cool cats fiddling
a thousand wishes fill
us…hot breath, wild eyes,
they will never see
when lies become a means to an end nobody wins
A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.