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Moment of Truth: Don't Rock the Boat

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Who among us has not said, "I hate this city" or "I hate this town" when an idiosyncratic characteristic of the place gets on our nerves? When the smell of urine in the subway station in Manhattan offends our nostrils, or the anti-Semitism at a bakery in Paris ruins our mood, or a West Hollywood transsexual prostitute's callous ridicule wilts our ardor?

And who among us has not said, "I hate this country" when a Trump supporter threatens to call ICE on a customer at TGIFriday's for ordering a margarita with excellent pronunciation, or in India when some martinet at the airport delays you in a bureaucratic hazing ritual for overstaying your visa by three hours, or in Australia after tripping over a homeless kangaroo in the gutter?

And who among us, when witnessing the cruelty of nature or humanity, disease or war or volcano or medical malpractice, had not said, "I hate this world" or "life's a bitch?"

Our love is like a ship on the ocean, and we're sailing with a cargo full of love and devotion. But the ocean is an ocean of lies. They call the United States a nation of laws, but it's an ocean of lies. The fish are tainted with it. We've spread it to the rest of the world, to an extent, but nowhere is the falseness more highly concentrated than here.

It begins in our education system, which has little to do with schools and everything to do with media. If education consists of all the information we pass on to each other, then we spend the most money by far educating each other about crap we want to sell each other. Financial services alone spent $17 billion last year educating us about how to make our money magically turn into more money. Think of all the blood and treasure that went into selling burgers and lotions and herbal nonsense and cars with autopilot that crash into the police for you.

"Wake up to what matters: Alicia Silverstone, With a New TV Show, Proves She’s Not Clueless." That was on the front page of the New York Times online last night. News that's fit to print? That's what matters? Alicia Silverstone? This will grow your hair back, make you slender, make all three, count them, three kinds of women pursue you down the beach. Everything is a sales pitch. And we're used to it. We know it's all lies, but we accept that everyone will lie to us. We acknowledge the farce.

The ads are bad enough, and there's the soft, elegant state and capitalist propaganda of the so-called responsible media, but there are talk radio stations and entire networks of rightwing garbage that are no better than the exhortations to buy or sell gold that punctuate their hour-long festivals of prevarication.

How can being lied to every second of every day not have an effect on how we deal with each other? Here, in the USA, the wild west of capitalism, you'd think that nothing is ever given out of kindness, only out of self-interest, the self-interest of the faceless organism whose stated purpose is to take as much of your money and give as little as possible in exchange.

It trickles down from the Mount Horeb of profit motive, swells into a mighty river of bootstraps, entrepreneurship, and rugged individualism, and spills out into the sea, where we are navigating between icebergs of disastrous Ponzi schemes and reverse mortgage ripoffs, all while the very water on which we float is lies.

Our love is like a ship on the ocean. But should our ship founder, we'll drown in lies, or be devoured by beasts that thrive in the medium of lies. They call them sharks. It's a testament to human psychological resilience that so many of us find trusting relationships with each other, surrounded as we are unto every horizon by lies, lies, lies.

We find friendships, self-esteem, creativity, poetry, we fight for justice, we question authority, all the while bombarded with false promises and con jobs. It really is a miracle. When you find someone who really cares more about their integrity as a person than about how much they can squeeze out of their fellow people, that is someone you treasure. And if you don't, you're drowning. How do you even live?

There are those who come at it from another angle, and ask, how do you live if you're not always looking to gain the most while surrendering the least?

Maybe these forces are opposed in each of us. Extreme altruism can leave you without the necessities of existence. Too little altruism and you're nothing but a selfish monster. If I am not for myself, who am I? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?

In a world 78% covered by an ocean of lies, though, Donald Dump is the perfect King Neptune. He arose from the ocean, and rules it appropriately, loudly exaggerating his abilities, making claims on which he can't deliver. No wonder his supporters continue their support. They're even more used to being lied to than the rest of us. Of course Budweiser isn't the King of Beers, the claim is meaningless. Of course Dump isn't going to make Mexico pay for an impossible wall, the claim was meaningless when it was made. These are the people who drink the commercials along with the Hannity and Dobbs. They drink seawater. And everyone knows that drinking seawater makes you mad.

Surrounded by mad, shrieking idiots drunk on the ocean, it's hard to remember the importance of the cargo we're carrying, hidden below decks. Sometimes we forget that the most important things are exactly the things moronic inspirational memes, despite their intensions, drain of real meaning. Hang in there baby, Friday's almost here. We have to cross this ocean, survive the lunatic wrath of Neptune, and deliver our cargo of love and devotion to the other shore. Not all of us will make it. Not all of the beauty in the world will survive unexploited or unmutilated. The world itself might end, or our ability to live on it. But what choice do we have?

I hate this world.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Moment of Truth

 

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