Taking a Slight Detour from the Usual

I usually stay away from politics, especially when writing. It’s too polarizing. People have their opinions, most of them formed based on the 24-hour news cycle that perpetuates misinformation instead of checking facts and covers the most sensational stories. (Really, who cares if some guy sent pictures of his junk to someone else? It’s the smart phone version of a/s/l.)

I’ve been reading, and not just anything. I’ve been reading Al Franken’s book Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them. I know, a little dated, but this is where I get caught up in it all. The lies. These people that we chose to represent us, they’re good at lying. They’re good at looking us straight in the eye and saying one thing while snickering inside at the rubes who will believe anything. Because we do.

So, now we’re all jaded. How can we ever trust again? Until the next time it comes about. Then we’re just as outraged at the action and the lying cover up because somehow looking like you might be human is worse than just admitting you have a problem. Maybe it’s your marriage. Maybe it’s just not working. Been there. Done that. So have way too many Americans. (By the way, if we want to save the sanctity of marriage, maybe we should stop getting married for stupid reasons, like “I thought we had gone too far to get out of it.” It’s about wanting to be with someone for the rest of your lives, no matter what, not the short term gains of looking good or keeping “promises.”) Maybe it’s a drug problem. Yeah… Or gambling, or any one of a million other things that people do because they don’t think about what’s going to happen months or years down the road.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I got in trouble a lot as a child, more as a teenager. (I was feisty and idolized Mulder. Trust no one.) If we did something stupid, we got yelled at. If we lied about it and Mom found out… well, I didn’t really go out or do anything other than school and work, so I didn’t mind being grounded. Looking back, it was a very boring childhood, but a lot of that was my fault. I fought leaving my comfort zone. Got over that at some point…

Anyway, back to what I was saying. The punishment for lying was always worse than the punishment for doing the thing to begin with, so why do we let all these people get away with lying? Not just politicians. Our news outlets too. Why is it okay for the people who are supposed to be telling us what’s going on to lie? And when did it become okay to poll Twitter about a story? Or Facebook? Is it to fill slow news days? I think if it’s a slow news day, it just means you’re not looking hard enough. Something is always happening, and it might even be interesting. Or, maybe it’s too difficult to report on things that aren’t surrounded it controversy. How did they ever do it 20 years ago?

Before I get all sorts of nasty comments, it’s not my intention to upset, insult, or offend anyone. I just don’t get it. I don’t understand the attraction to big shiny baubles. I don’t understand when it became okay to lie. I’m pretty sure Mom would still hand my ass to me, or at least make her disappointed face. I don’t like that face. I don’t like thinking I’ve disappointed my parents. I might be in the minority there. I just feel like they did so much for me, the least I can do is make them proud.

This is why I usually stay away from politics… It makes no sense to me. Sure, I know what I stand for, but one can never tell what someone else stands for. Even if you ask, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a straight answer.

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