I’m sure you’ve heard it, the liar’s paradox. In philosophy, it’s the statement of a liar who says, “I am lying.” If the liar really is lying, then he is telling the truth, which means he is lying. Wrap your mind around that.
My brother and I have a podcast. In it, we irreverently laugh at nearly everything we talk about. It’s a great escape from reality, as humor often is. You can get to our podcast on the menu bar above. (Podcast number five will be available soon.) Lately, we’ve talked and joked about – as well as invented – fake news.
As I’m sure you know, “fake news” is an unfortunate new cultural phenomenon. And now we have Kellyanne Conway’s newly coined “alternative facts.”
All this false news, these mysterious facts beg the question, how do we get to the truth?
Years ago, in his paper, Saul Bellow and the Struggle at the Center, Eugene Hollahan focused on the idea that “in the (former) east, ‘truth’ has always been a scarcity, imprisoned, and decreed by the isolated source of dictatorship … to which everyone succumbed but few would listen,” as opposed to the west where there is “an overabundance of ‘truths,’ democratically equal, so much so that nobody cares anymore which truth anyone else speaks.”
In a similar vein, the philosopher Jean Baudrillard wrote, “The masses have been swamped with so much meaning that they have lost all meaning.”
How sad that is.
And I don’t believe it.
Meaning and truth abound in writing, art, music, art and relationships. Yet we have to be on guard. We have to be discerning, and put in the time to sift through all the MURKY GARBAGE out there and fish out what matters. Which thoughts and actions carry with them the most humanity? Which will we be proudest of in the future? Which will make our children want to carry on?
We know. I think deep down inside, we really do know.
I’m currently reading Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It’s a memoir, but like all good memoirs, all good writing period, it covers so much more than the subject at hand.
On another note, I originally wrote that I was going to post on this blog twice a week. Turns out, “I am lying.” With work, writing, podcasting, searching through all the MURKY GARBAGE for the truth, and just plain general living, I have time to post only once a week, and I will do that on Fridays. However, I have an all-day meeting at work this Friday, so I’ll resume posting the following Friday, and that’s the truth.