Naively, I used to believe that the answer to this question was simple until I met several who – though winning Spelling B’s in their own environment – spelled ‘truth’ very differently than myself. And what with my being the center of the universe, imagine my distress.
There are situations where a grey representation of fact is more well-intentioned than a black and white one (i.e., your partner tells you that before they met you, they had a short-lived one week fling, when it was in fact a one-night stand). Not my concern are white lies where we stretch the truth in order — really and truly — to keep safe the feelings of a friend (i.e. say, when your friend asks for a comparative analysis between her and the ex’s new girlfriend).
Also of no concern are the lies we tell our ovary and sperm units at any age, and for which we all get a free pass. Admittedly, this is in fact the only time I myself hide my coward’s ass behind the ‘I lied because I didn’t want to hurt them’ excuse.
More to the point, I have been curious about the lies that shatter foundations. The lies that are so grotesque in their weight and telling that they cripple us when their factual truth is revealed after the lie has run its course (as for those of you foolish enough to believe otherwise, please note that: every single lie eventually runs its course. We shall all be found out. All of us). For the sake of this article, keep in mind the c.nty example of a married individual having an affair and then lying about it to their partner. Add to this another layer: the sexing had was unprotected.
So then, why do we tell the kind of lie to which I refer?
I finally figured this out when I smelled someone else’s bullshit, and realized that the only time we lie this sort of a lie is when we are assholes.
It’s that simple.
We lie about the situations and realities that would shatter worlds to hide something we know to be unacceptable to or grotesque in the eyes of the person to whom we are lying. Be it motivated by shame** or because we know that to tell them the truth of our behaviour would mean an outcome not of our choosing (read: their reaction won’t go according to our own game plan).
Behaviours that are not shattering or morally repugnant or to be ashamed of have no need for hiding.
Ergo, behaviours that are shattering or morally repugnant, or to be ashamed of have a need for hiding within the construction of a lie.
And so we, the liars, apart from being degenerates who behave in ways that require hiding, then go on to commit an equally odious act: in our cowardice, we rob others of their right to be fully informed and aware of the kind of trash they will / will not allow into their lives.
Humans; what a bunch of assholes we all are.
**The caveat here is that there are some situations where a lie, associated with societal “shame,” must be kept in order to protect the physical safety of the liar. And to those of you running around yelling that “shame” is a horrible thing, then fu-k off you and your ignorance. Part of our social malaise today is that c.nts are not ashamed ENOUGH of their morally repugnant behaviours.
Note 1: Instead of lying, invoke the 5th.
Note 2: Re above Note 1; it can be argued, very strongly, that an omission of truth, though it does not directly contradict the truth, is in fact equal to a lie. Such as when you have an affair but your partner never poses directly the Q: Have you had an affair.
Variation of above originally published 09/09/08.