05 September 2016

Lies, Lies, Lies

by Jan Grape

     Did I write about this last year or year before last? Actually, I think I wrote about Telling Lies For Fun and Profit. It's just that telling lies constantly from news media and from politicians is driving me nuts. I know I don't honestly want to write about political stuff but, I'm going to try to just write about lying.

     When we write our stories, we are writing fiction. Stuff we make up in our heads. Yes, it's lying in a sense. However, we're lying to entertain ourselves and our readers or fans. Story tellers have been around for centuries. Anyone who could tell a good story was invited by kings and rulers to attend court and tell a good story. Those who did tell a good story were rewarded and those whose stories fell flat sometimes were imprisoned or even lost their head.

     Thank goodness things aren't quite that bad for we lying fiction writers. If people don't care for our lies, I mean our stories, people won't buy our books and next thing you know publishers won't publish our books. We are predisposed to tell intriguing, believable lies. Stories that entertain. Stories that have characters that our readers can like and root for or maybe even root for a character to be caught and punished.

     What's with all the lies we hear on the news every hour of every day? Television has reached a point where the news anchors repeat lies or they interview people from campaigns or people in Congress who just out and out lie. Supposedly it's to keep higher ratings for the TV network and their advertisers. And I suppose for the newspaper's advertisers. The huge companies can't have a two-cent drop in revenue because their competition might make three cents more.

     A few years ago, we had a political candidate who was a member of the Mormon church. I have nothing against that religion.  I have nothing against any religion or the lack there of. Whatever a person believes is certainly between them and their supreme being. In doing a little research on the Mormon church, I discovered that their attitude was if you were lying for the Lord, it was okay to do so. If we have any Mormon readers and this isn't true, please let me know. What constitutes a lie for the Lord, I wonder?

     I was just taught that lying was about the worst thing you could do. If I had committed some infraction of our house rules, I would get in worst trouble if I lied about it. I might get punished for breaking a house rule but then if I lied about what I had done I was in deep trouble. I tried to bring my own children up with the same lesson.

   You could rightly guess that I really hate liars. I'm not talking little white lies that we have to tell or at least think we have to tell.  Like when a wife ask her hubby if these slacks make her butt look too big. Not when we know we'll hurt some one's feelings way more than necessary if we told the truth.  Not we crazy folks who tell lies for fun and profit. But plain old everyday liars. We've all known people who are pathological liars. They tell lies when telling the truth doesn't matter at all.

     I'm talking about the big whoppers the new media allow politicians to tell on air and the TV talking head doesn't call them out on it. Or the news media that keeps a reporter and allows that person to stay on the air when that person not just lies, but make up facts.

     I think it's setting a horrible example for our children. You listen to television and you hear the lie and you say out loud. "That's a lie. I know because I fact-checked it." Your child hears this and that little brain absorbs that fact. The children don't need the hate and bullying being screamed at them daily from their televisions either. Again, the children thinks it's okay to act that way. It's already showing up in schools all over the country and it's going to only get worse.

     Lies, lies, lies where does it lead us? Into a bad situation, is my sad guess. Can we stop it? Does anyone want to stop it?

     Thanks all, for letting me get this out. It's been bothering me. Let's all get back to telling lies for fun and profit.

3 comments:

Leigh Lundin said...

Long ago, I met a woman of some fundamentalist offshoot who very much believed that lies were weapons in the Lord’s quiver. Even worse was the cult called something like Children of God that practiced ‘flirty fishing’… prostituting for religion. The idea was to pick up a guy, sleep with him and invite him to attend the church.

A good friend talks about media ‘click bait’, the tendency to lead with headlines or sound bites instead of facts. I’ve written about lying lawyers (all 3 disbarred), so you know my feelings on the topic.

The Ten Commandments seemed pretty clear, but a certain political advisor of recent times, from his university days, squelched the truth with a vengeance. He damaged not only the other party but honorable members within his own. One of the web sites like Politifact dug into the reputed lies of a current candidate, noting that the candidate had actually been cleared of nearly all accusations. Politifact concluded this particular candidate was actually one of the most honest of politicians… but who wants to hear that?

Elizabeth said...

Whenever you're talking to or writing about a cop, remember cops are allowed & even encouraged to tell lies.

I've known several ppl in my lifetime who told me they never lied. Actually, I didn't ask, they just decided to tell me that. And every one of those ppl turned out to be a big-time liar.

So when I met & started dating my husband 17 years ago, I gave him a few little tests to find out whether he was a liar or not. He passed all my tests & I've still never caught him in a lie.



Leigh Lundin said...

Elizabeth, I agree… If someone tells me how honest they are, I check if my wallet is still in place.

A repeated theme of The Closer and Major Crimes dealt with authorities' right to lie. I can't recall the details, but the IRS went to court over their right to lie. The court set some limits but allowed lies in certain circumstances. Scary.