Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Believing Your Own Bullshit"--The Sunday Collage

Ok, it's only Saturday. You got me. In an hour or so, the big Walleye tournament starts. This is an event where a bunch of grown men with expensive boats blast off at full throttle in an insane attempt to catch fish larger than the other "grown" men. I will be there watching and supporting these morons and secretly rooting for my cousin Ronnie and his buddy, Jake. Only in America can somebody waste 100 grand on a truck, trailer, and a boat in order to catch a fish slightly bigger than other fisherman and think all of this is normal.

Earlier this morning, I read a Huffpo article on Benghazi. Those are the assassinations at our Libyan embassy that the Obama administration tried to cover up and lie about, murders that have somehow become a political football. I began to think about all of those lies and why people find it necessary to lie in general. This insightful commentary is only something you can find at Frankenstein Government. Still the best value on the web.

Telling the truth and accepting responsibility for one's actions can be incredibly difficult. We lie for any number of reasons, mostly to conceal our flaws and avoid punishment. This is a problem that we all share. In America, we are actually taught a great deal of dishonesty and we practice it. We have gotten pretty good at it.

Most of us are raised with standard reward and punishment themes. In many instances we cannot obtain a prize or reward by telling the truth. Telling the whole truth about ourselves, including the bad stuff, means we will be judged harshly and negatively we think. So we run around telling half truths about ourselves- that half that gets us what we want. This is an accepted practice that is seen as "common sense" or "showing good judgement" by many people.

This inability to tell the truth is actually a symptom of fear but I will bypass that subject for now.

So lying is an incredibly fraudulent practice but we are very adept at it. So much so, that we often forget that we are lying in the first place. In fact, we begin to believe our own bullshit.

This telling "half truths" is how we live our lives. Lying I believe, is always a sign of immaturity and  of poor judgment. Liars are just immature people who are living unconsciously. They are not bad people. They simply haven't been truthful with themselves.

I always love to say, "For everything I know, there was a time when I did not know it."

I cannot fully describe the personal courage that it takes- to tell the world that you are an idiot. In the workplace, this truth telling will not advance your career much. But people who tell the truth have overcome an obstacle. They have learned that telling the truth is always the mature and right thing to do. Immature people see truth telling- as foolish. They hide and conceal their flaws and very often-  they are critical of others. They want to avoid any discussion that makes them look bad or fails to advance their agenda. So one good story here and I am ready for the wrap up.

Years ago, I hired a cop with a serious drinking problem. One night, his girlfriend was in the bar dancing with some other guy who did something inappropriate. Our officer had been there drinking the whole night. So he was drunk. That might have been bad enough had he not gone on the dance floor and kicked this other guy's ass. That too, might have been bad enough except that the police were called and go figure- this inappropriate and now beat up guy was arrested and put in jail. I came to work briefed and prepared to let the guy in jail go. I also had to come to terms with the fact that maybe I shouldn't have hired this cop. Beyond that- I absolutely refused to lie or cover this up. I took my lumps. And when the press asked me, "So let's get this straight. Your officer was off duty and drunk. He beat some guy up. Then he called the cops, and had the guy arrested (probably illegally) after he committed battery on the guy in jail. Does that just about sum this up?"

I immediately got a headache behind my right eye. I said, "Yes, that pretty much captures the flavor of the incident." After that, everything that should have happened- happened.

People who are incapable of telling the truth lack maturity. They compound one mistake with another and another. They lack courage as well. It takes courage to tell the world you are an idiot.

If you are going to lead the greatest country in the world, you probably should have some measure of truthfulness, honesty, and personal courage. If you don't have those things, some of us are going to notice. And so we do.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch the grown men act like kids.



Marcus said...

Another good blog entry, Brian, and all too true. Hell, I'm beginning to get the definite suspicion, at this late point in my life, and in conjunction with reading some of your previous musings, that most workplaces (especially government connected workplaces), and society in general, are comprised of duplicitous, two-faced weasels and that the further up the ladder a guy goes in terms of class, education and/or corporate structure, the worse it gets. That's not to say that everyone is a louse, because there really are a lot of good folk out there, but there are days when it sure seems that way (now, now I begin to appreciate how it is that cranky old men get that way; after a lifetime of getting dicked around, how can any thinking fellow be otherwise?). And you're right about it being a societal trait. So much bullshit being tossed around by so many jizzwads that they begin to believe the crap they're spinning and spouting (hey, if I lie like an SOB but I believe, in my own mind, that it's "the truth", then it's not a lie, is it?. Like the man, and I use the term "man" in its loosest possible sense, once said, "it depends on your definition of what the word 'is', is"). A real Charlie Foxtrot world we're living in, isn't it? Ugh (excuse me while I search around for a barf bag).

As far as our "leaders" are concerned, I'd rather follow the political advice of the guy who cuts my hair than follow the advice of those in DC (District of Criminals); and if Abe were around today, he'd likely tell Obanana and Mittens that "you can fuck some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fuck all of the people all of the time". True words. Even Socrates was on the ball when he said (I'm paraphrasing here) "true wisdom consists of knowing you're an ignorant idiot". That's me, baby. A certified, Grade A ignorant idiot.

Have a good time at the walleye tournament.

Always On Watch said...

Mark Twain on lying. Amusing and truthful. Heh.