Sunday, July 31, 2016

How Denial Works Exactly




"Woody Allen's movie says reality is always a cheat,
a catastrophe --only ready-made fantasy
doesn't let you down..."

--New York Magazine,  3/11/85  (p. 97, Purple Rose of Cairo review)


       When we can admit just how immersed we all are in a lifestyle of lying to ourselves, we might just have a hope to really "know the Truth that sets us free."  But as a culture and as individuals, we are fatally ensconced by denial; so MARINATED IN IT by our preference to mistake imagination for reality, that we barely remember to care what truth is anymore.

    That's what the neighborhood Bible Study is for.  To invite a community of poser-believers (such as myself) to face off with LOGOS, the only source of truth that is True (and this Truth is a WHO, btw), and answer only one question: "Given this passage of scripture, WHERE have I lied to myself today?" Or, alternatively, "What am I consistently lying about to myself, and others, everyday?"

    Had the evangelicals of the last century practiced this one small feat of inconvenient "neighborhood organizing," there would be no Trump and there would be no Hillary. We would have ALL OF US seen right through their fabrications and accommodations to, and preferences for, falsehood.

    Oh, how the Old Deluder has won well the battle for preoccupied hearts and minds.

   Would that we take a look at this week's priorities and scribble onto our day planners:  "!Vacuum sofa; !buy printer paper; !make invitations; !pray for !truth! to encompass my neighborhood..."

and begin the work that is 100 years overdue.



Jeff Daniels in a better role:
clutching not at purple Egyptian roses; rather, tilting at Don Quixote's windmills (HBO's The Newsroom, 2012)


    The what and how of denial explains perfectly how SURREAL the past political season went down.  We prefer to let family members, friends, businesses and political candidates create downy soft webs of untruth because when we look the other way, then, by social convention, they won't disturb the similar webs we've grown accustomed to in our own little orbs.

Wow. It's Nazi Germany in a nutshell, when the churches adjacent to railroad tracks
 just SANG A LITTLE LOUDER every time the trains rolled by 
enroute for concentration camps
 and packed to overflowing with tormented political prisoners.
  When the last wailing train car had passed,
 the songs could stop and the usual business of denial based Lutheranism could resume.

    And like today, you couldn't point a finger at the Lutherans back then, or ever, because they were only fearing for their own SS threatened lives. Today we fear the political correctness police ("haters gonna hate") who may ruin our private selfie-driven personae's & sour our world of business prospects.

    Besides, who doesn't like a proven winner in High Office whose credentials at lying are so stellar that they only make us secretly envious?  Why, isn't that the definition of political success? To be as savvy as a serpent, crafty as a fox, and to lie with finesse on the world stage? Lying is what we all do all day anyway, so why hold our office holders to a higher standard than our own?

     Surprise:  

In the past 24 hours, I've thanked both Al Gore and Woody Allen. Because truth looks better dressed in political wigs and cinematic suspension of belief.  Besides, the oval office is just some TV show.  And Bill Clinton proved that with a little swag and a flirty wink, you can make people believe anything. And if he can get away with it, anybody can get away with anything.

    So let's hear it for the candidate who wins the next presidential election,
and be it known henceforth
that s/he shall be known
 always and forevermore as Denier In Chief

May we all sleep better at night for having witnessed 
the culmination of the TV age where reality is fake 
and everything once true
 is now a lie. 




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