Last night, as I do every Monday night, I was sitting on the couch pondering what to write about in this space and hoping I could keep it short (fat chance). As I brainstormed story ideas, I thought about the point of all this, why I write this column, and I can actually sum it up pretty succinctly: To tell the truth, as I see it, on issues that touch the lives of our readers socially and politically. And that thought led me to a convo I had yesterday. I was out with my girl Tina and she said she didnâ€™t think she could offer up her ideas (and by extension, herself) for scrutiny each week. It was an interesting notion, because I have never really thought about it that way. As a writer, it has always just been what I do, overshare in the form of the written word and keep it moving.
And that got me to thinking: what if we were all forced to only tell the truth, all the time? I mean, you couldnâ€™t even tell little white lies anymore. So I couldnâ€™t say, â€œNo thanks, I just ate,â€ to avoid telling someone, â€œNo thanks, I donâ€™t eat pig parts. I think my entire system would shut down if I even tasted one. No Iâ€™m not Muslim. No, I donâ€™t think youâ€™re going to die or go to hell for eating it, whatever floats your boat.â€
Sounds awful, right? But think of the clarity and freedom it would give us. There are so many great things that could come with Liar Liar like restrictions on truthiness. The outraged celebs who say that what Roman Polanski did wasnâ€™t, you know, rape rape, could admit that they are just hoping to further the idea that celebs can do whatever they want to without consequences. And Woody Allen can admit that he hopes this situation will continue to divert our attention from his marriage to his girlfriendâ€™s daughter, Soon-Yi. Ooo, and Morgan Freeman and his step-granddaughter/fiancÃ© situation, too! We could even admit that while President Obama has swag to spare now, if he was just a dude working in the financial district (shudder), weâ€™d think he was kinda corny.
And think about all the significant stuff weâ€™d be forced to admit:
- Swine fluâ€™s origin story would probably make for a compelling Michael Moore exposÃ©.
- That all this â€œpost-racialâ€ talk is bullshit.
- That Glenn Beck isnâ€™t a lone crazy person, but is actually representative of a portion of our society.
- That this war might just be a losing proposition and another surge could be fruitless and dangerous.
- That those very same Democrats who we voted for last fall are doing their best to shoot holes in change as both an idea and a reality, and perhaps this whole Democrat thing isnâ€™t the shake.
- That, so far, the â€œwar on terrorâ€ under President Obama looks a lot like the â€œwar on terrorâ€ under President Bush.
- That we need to get off our tails and work out right nowâ€”oh wait, thatâ€™s just me.
What would you admit if you were forced to tell the truth all the time? What do you think would happen to America if the government was forced to do the same? The world?
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