Log24

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday September 14, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 PM
Part I:
McCain

by David Foster Wallace


On John McCain’s presidential campaign eight years ago
:

“He always pauses a second for effect and then says: ‘I’m going to tell you something. I may have said some things here today that maybe you don’t agree with, and I might have said some things you hopefully do agree with. But I will always. Tell you. The truth.’ This is McCain’s closer, his last big reverb on the six-string as it were. And the frenzied standing-O it always gets from his audience is something to see. But you have to wonder. Why do these crowds from Detroit to Charleston cheer so wildly at a simple promise not to lie?

Well, it’s obvious why. When McCain says it, the people are cheering not for him so much as for how good it feels to believe him. They’re cheering the loosening of a weird sort of knot in the electoral tummy. McCain’s resume and candor, in other words, promise not empathy with voters’ pain but relief from it. Because we’ve been lied to and lied to, and it hurts to be lied to. It’s ultimately just about that complicated. It hurts.

We learn this at like age four– it’s grownups’ first explanation to us of why it’s bad to lie (‘How would you like it if…?’). And we keep learning for years, from hard experience, that getting lied to sucks– that it diminishes you, denies you respect for yourself, for the liar, for the world. Especially if the lies are chronic, systemic, if experience seems to teach that everything you’re supposed to believe in’s really just a game based on lies….

… It’s painful to believe that the would-be ‘public servants’ you’re forced to choose between are all phonies… who will lie so outrageously and with such a straight face that you know they’ve just got to believe you’re an idiot.”

Part II:
Macbeth
by William Shakespeare

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Related material:
Log24 last Wednesday

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