Am I lying? No. No, of course not. Not as far as you know...
Early in the last century tightrope walking was a popular and celebrated activity. There were two separate but similar groups within this pursuit and they trained and performed pretty much the same way. The most accomplished of these tightrope walkers would sometimes string a wire hundreds of feet up in the air, sometimes between two skyscrapers and even in windy and sometimes rainy conditions then walk across this wire while a crowd, in awe, watched from below.
There was one hard-not-to-notice difference between these two groups though in that one group always had a safety net beneath them while the other considered such a choice to be cowardly, impure, demeaning and the like.
If you’ve ever shot a squirrel with an automatic weapon and then later “shared” stories about the primal beauty of that classic man versus animal, laying-it-all-on-the-line hunting battle experience you may not “get” this article. But if I were to consider what the most universal pastime I engage in with humans these days it is the listening to them “explain” to me why there is absolutely no difference between things along the line of net versus no net.
The more you have to explain why a joke is funny the less funny it is. The more you have to explain why an action of your own is actually “fair” and “generous” the less fair and generous it is likely to be. The more you have to qualify that what you said was honest and true the less honesty and truth lies within it. My experience these days is that most people are much less interested in what is true and much more involved in what can be argued to be true. We have taken the concept of “reasonable doubt” in the court room and like an invasive species let it take over our concept of truth and reality. But just like with the tightrope walkers there is always a clearer, simpler, more honest reality.
If Oprah or any other porcine, self-promoting, good-hearted person creates a television show which each episode GIVES AWAY ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO THE NEEDY and also earns four million dollars for themselves there is a noticeable difference in quality to the act than if it were not blatantly self-serving.
As Bono tirelessly pops about the world by private jet to encourage using tax money paid primarily by middle and lower middle class Americans to be donated to help the neediest of humans on earth I applaud him. When he also moves his publishing business out of his native Ireland, into an offshore tax haven to avoid paying taxes on his hundreds of millions, discerning folk may notice some rat turds at the bottom of the lager pint.
In one sense it’s a fine Irish Lager at the top and you don’t really need to drink it all the way down. It’s better than going thirsty, right? The lager at the top is some of the finest in the world, the pint stein itself is top-notch, and the hirsute dwarf before ye writes beautiful and compassionate music. Deaden yourself and swallow.
What you may find is that just as with the people who passionately argued that there is little or no difference to tightrope walking with or without a net below, always the subset arguing against reality does so because they have an invested reason to distort the truth. And this reason always comes into being because of a lack of bravery, and a greater desire to be seen as having some exalted level of bravery, honor, and the like, than a desire to develop and make the sacrifices necessary to actually be the person they are arguing themselves to be.
The energy they then save staying cowardly is often channeled towards attacking those that point out the simple truth or in promoting the possibility that that which is not can be argued to be. And the worst part is that this is the exact level of consciousness the world would benefit most at having it fall three hundred feet to the ground without a net.
Thanks for reading.
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