October 5, 2012

I think I started this blog with an explanation.

I was thinking today of other sorts of explanations, the kinds that politicians make either to win votes or to wriggle out from scandals, or that cads make to girlfriends to lead them on.

My favorite example is in a song I know through a Steeleye Span recording of it on an LP I’ve had for decades.  Of course, it’s on YouTube now, too.  It’s called “Four Nights Drunk.”  It captures the concept better than I can explain.


2 Responses to “Explanations”

  1. Richard Says:

    Mark Twain Named Senior Advisor to Romney

    The Romney campaign announced today that, fresh from the Mitt’s victory in the first debate with President Obama, they have implored Mark Twain to come on board as a senior advisor. Though Twain has been long dead, they feel confident they will find plenty of good counsel in his writings. In fact, truth be told, the Mitt’s run for the Presidency is driven both by his heartfelt indifference towards the plight of 47% of his fellow citizens and his dismay at the decay of the art of lying, especially among the 53%, many of whom built their fortunes on a strong foundation of lying and cheating. He will study anew Twain’s advice on the importance of this endangered art and do his best to restore it to its rightful luster. The campaign offered this statement to the press as evidence of Twain reaching out and giving prophetic voice to their candidate:

    “No high-minded man, no man of right feeling, can contemplate the lumbering and slovenly lying of the present day without grieving to see a noble art so prostituted. . . .

    Lying is universal–we all do it; we all must do it. Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others’ advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling. Then shall we be rid of the rank and pestilent truth that is rotting the land; then shall we be great and good and beautiful, and worthy dwellers in a world where even benign Nature habitually lies.”

    One advisor, who preferred not to be named, pointed out that Twain’s observation that Nature lies is obviously strong evidence that what Republicans have been saying for a long time is true: global warming is a hoax. Another big, fat lie probably perpetrated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in between cooking up falling unemployment numbers.

    The newly energized Romney campaign promises to redouble its efforts to tell bigger and better lies in the last few crucial weeks of this election. In fact, the Mitt considers it his patriotic duty to do so.

    Note: Here is a helpful analysis of the ethics of lying, including how Augustine and Aquinas viewed it. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/lying/lying_1.shtml

    Vice President Biden: in light of this week’s upcoming debate, please remember that Paul Ryan has dumped Ayn Rand for Aquinas as the source of his worldview. Therefore he may be relying on the Aquinas argument that there is a lower category of “officious lies” that could be pardonable if they served some useful purpose.

    • Diana Moses Says:

      When people are lying to themselves and believe those lies and mistake their false self for their true self, it gets especially difficult. It’s so much easier to work on these things when one can establish rapport with the liar. When one can’t, it can be like dealing with a terrorist, I think, even if they’re not overtly, directly, or knowingly physically violent. For myself, I find aggressive irrational people a challenge to deal with, even if they cloak these attributes in other terms.

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