Tag Archives: lies

What is Fiction?

robert-fordAt one point in HBO’s Westworld (don’t worry, no spoilers) Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) gives a speech about stories, about the value of fiction. He references a belief that fiction elevates — or at least illuminates to good value — the human condition. The belief also holds that those who read a lot of fiction are in some sense “better” people.

The idea is controversial on several grounds. Firstly, it’s hard to define what makes people “better,” and you can’t measure or test what you can’t define. Secondly, even if “better” is defined, not everyone will agree with the definition. Thirdly, there’s a nature-nurture aspect that makes comparisons like this very hard to tease out of any data you can gather.

Maybe a place to start exploring the idea is to first define “fiction” and go from there…

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Striped Cuckoo

striped cuckoo 1There is a bit of delicious schadenfreude with regard to the mainstream (“establishment”) Republican party scrambling to correct for The Donald. The GOP spent years training their electorate to respond to noise and nonsense; now they’re stuck behind an interloper cuckoo bird who’s a master at noise, nonsense, and (worst of all) media.

Between the chirping Donnie Boy and the incoherent lipsticked pit bull, it’s quite an entertaining show. Of course, no one will actually vote for the guy, right? Those big crowds just turn out to see the show, right? They’ll never show up at the actual caucus…

Right? Right??

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Extreme Weather

DC winter stormWashington (D.C.) is the expected epicenter of an approaching patch of extreme weather, an historic storm that is, in large part, due to the damage our modern society has done to the environment. And utterly without irony, there’s going to be a big snow storm there, too.

The crazy weather does seem suited to the craziness going on in politics. As with climate change due to the increase of CO2, the flow of other pollutants into public discourse has changed the social environment.

The Earth’s weather is getting chaotic, and so is its politics.

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POTUS SOTUS

POTUS SOTUSMy impulse was to here write, “It’s been an interesting week,” but in reality it’s just been a week much like those that came before it. The social weather forecast: continuing craziness with scattered outbursts of outright insanity.

President Obama gave his final State of The Union (SOTU) speech on Tuesday, and so I find myself writing about how proud I was of my president for the second time in as many weeks (and, very possibly, the only two times since he was elected).

Watching that speech, I kept thinking, “Where has this guy been for the last seven years?”

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Unreality Show

truth-lies-0Well, here we are in 2016, a Presidential election year, and — man, oh man — it’s going to be a weird one! High waters from several rivers seems to be converging to form a flood unlike any we’ve seen in modern politics. And while that’s kind of fascinating from a sociology perspective, as a citizen some of it seems kind of scary.

As I write this, actual rivers are flooding Midwestern cities in the USA, but the rivers I have in mind are reality shows, the interweb, and our social environment (where global unrest and terrorism is a primary topic). The flood here is a lack of sense, nuance, and thoughtfulness.

My question today: When did we so fully embrace lies and illusion?

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