A Farewell To Truth.
The truth has had its moment. But now it’s time for a change.
The truth is having a hard time at the moment. In fact, in the interest of telling the truth, things haven’t been great for a while now. And as much as I hate to pile on, it has no one to blame but itself.
The truth is like an unruly employee who occasionally does great work, but far too often goes completely AWOL when you need it the most. It has no loyalty. No respect for our feelings. No interest in our desires. The truth is completely uncompromising, and then it wonders why we get sick of it.
And we are sick of it. Truth and its attendant facts have finally gotten on our last nerve. Abortion, gender, race, politics you name it, the truth is always trying to butt in, trampling over our gut instincts about these things and making us question ourselves. How are we supposed to operate like that?
Haven’t you ever wished that the truth would just take a few notes from our emotions? Our emotions always feel right. In fact, they always feel exactly right! How often can we say that about the truth? Our emotions let us believe anything we want to. They encourage us! They whisper in our ears and tell us that we’re right, even when all other evidence says the opposite. They make us feel righteous and powerful and important.
Emotion allows people to pretend that gun violence is an unsolvable problem, even though they live in the only developed nation where mass shootings occur with any frequency. It enables politicians to lie to the faces of their supporters and still command their loyalty. It empowers white people to be convinced that they’re in the right as they scream in the faces of black police officers about racism. When has the truth ever pulled off anything that awesome?
So frankly, I think it’s time that the truth pays the price. Let’s start with the past. Let’s remove anything which reminds us of any inconvenient truths. Let’s tear down statues and burn books. Let’s scrub once-beloved TV episodes from existence and destroy the lives of people whose children once said things we dislike. Who cares whether they were 14 years old when they said them or of it was eight years ago?
I’m not suggesting that we remove these things because doing so will improve the quality of anyone’s life. Of course it won’t. How could it? I’m suggesting we remove them because their presence forces us to confront unpleasant truths. We have to recognise that people are complex beings that can change and grow, or that good people can do bad things and vice versa. Who has time to think about that when it feels so good to just tear everything down? Heaven forbid, if we ever did stop to think about it, we might have to face the uncomfortable truth that we’re imperfect too. Are you telling me you’re ready for that?
Now, I recognise that this solution isn’t perfect. Innocent people will, of course, get caught in the crossfire. The good news here is that we won’t have to feel guilty about most of them because they’re just ordinary people with ordinary lives. Their Twitter followings are so small that we probably won’t even hear about them. True, we’ll ruin the lives of the odd innocent celebrity too. But the fact that they’re richer than we are, will make it easier to dislike them and so we won’t care. God! Aren’t emotions great?!
In the end of course, we’ll need to cancel truth itself. This might be my last chance, so I’m going to be honest; I’m going to miss the truth. It wasn’t always convenient, but it was hard not to admire its integrity. It could be harsh, but it pushed me to be a better person. It was sometimes ugly, but usually only when I really needed to see it. But now is the time to look forward. And as I do, I see a world where I’ll be able to think whatever I want. Where nothing will ever ask me to question myself. Where the truth will be whatever I feel like it is. The truth can’t exist in that world, but mercifully, I’ll soon forget that it ever did.