These Lies are Killing Everyone
I didn’t believe in santa for very long as a child. I was the youngest of five kids and after more than a decade of maintaining the fat man gift-slinging fantasy, my parents were mostly over it. Especially as I was a skeptical child who had no problem demanding answers until shit made sense to me. They tried, though. Eventually, it became a game of find the presents before the big day, a game of which they quickly tired.
I remember the lies they used to craft to explain how some man delivered presents to children all over the world in one night. How he could enter our house without permission, something that scared the hell out of me, frankly. Someone who could magically watch all of us and kept track of our good and bad.
“How?” I’d ask.
“Magic,” was the response.
Almost any other time of the year, magic isn’t real. But come December or any time I lost a tooth, and suddenly there were magical, invisible creatures entering my home and my room. Creatures I was supposed to be okay with because they left gifts or money, despite instructions to avoid people offering the same things.
The lies they’d tell to explain how he entered our home through our chimneyless fireplace. The way they’d twist truth and reality to make the lie of santa fit our lives. By the time I was six, they gave up. None of it made sense and the lies were too plentiful. Plus, why credit some strange white man with the work they’d done?
I think about santa and the tooth fairy a lot when I look at the news today. There is a part of me that honestly wonders what the fuck did we expect when as a society, we spend the formative years of our lives being lied to by the people we depend on to keep us alive. They lie to us for fun. Because it’s sweet. Tradition. Who the fuck knows? What I do know is that this willingness to twist and reshape reality into a useless fantasy for kicks is a dangerous thing to teach the young.
Then you add religion, that thing you are expected to believe on faith. Not one shred of evidence, but you are meant to ignore many questions and blindly believe. Needless to say, that didn’t sit well with me either. I had an open distrust of ideas that couldn’t withstand scrutiny. Over time, I learned to keep my questions to myself because too many other people didn’t have any questions at all. And my questions placed a target on me.
In school, I’d get in trouble for challenging my teachers, asking for explanations of the things that didn’t make sense. They’d punish me to silence my questions, call me disobedient because I didn’t believe their answers. I just wanted to understand because it didn’t make sense. I wanted to try things to see if it would happen like they said. I wanted to figure things out, but instead was told to accept what they said. Without proof. Without trying. Without explanation as to why it worked. Just remember what they said and repeat it when asked. Just remember that I don’t need to understand; I just need to do what I’m told.
To this day, that’s a struggle. One that continues to get me in trouble. One that has helped me love myself when everything tells me I shouldn’t.
I look around and don’t wonder why people believe so many lies. They live the lies. They tell the lies themselves. More often than not, communication is used to manipulate, to elicit a particular response from people. It’s used disingenuously. And the result is they twist their environment into what they want to see, instead of understanding what it is.
“Fake it till you make it.”
“Just believe and good things will happen.”
“Be positive! Don’t let that negativity in your life.”
That’s great, unless you are ignoring things in the process - things like evidence, lies, and pain.
I used to hear it all the time when I worked out. Any complaint I had was weakness, so I ignored my body’s signals and now have plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, and undiagnosed knee pain. But hey, I walked a half marathon!
I’ve heard it from people who tried to call me friend. “I love you. I’m not racist. I just think that your people need to work harder to fit in. Why do so many of you join gangs, anyway?” Needless to say, that’s the last conversation I had with them.
We hear it about this country. “America is great. We’re the best. We have the best technology. The best entertainment. The best military!” We conveniently ignore poverty, maternal and infant death, our traumatized veterans, and the racial inequities throughout the land.
We heard it after the election. “He’s not going to do that. He was just saying it to get votes. He won’t be that extreme.” Guess he showed us! Tangerine goblin is making good on all that ridiculous shit he said during his campaign. I hope it hurts everyone who voted for him.
Too many people fucking lie to themselves too fucking much. Too many people avoid painful shit too often. Too many people are willing to create some false image of themselves rather than deal with the reality of who they are and what they do. Too many people are willing to engage in lies for the illusion of comfort and safety.
Y’all gonna learn.
Y’all gonna learn that safety is a fucking illusion. That the monsters you’ve been scared of are the very ones you see in the mirror, your beds, your neighborhoods. It’s not the brown people fucking you over. It’s your rich white power-brokers. It’s the whiteness you refuse to hold accountable for its tyranny and abuses. It’s the men who constantly tell yourself are ok while they rape, pillage, and bankrupt this country and its people.
They are putting together a weekly list of "aliens" (i.e. people of color) they believe have committed crimes, but no list of white people, huh? Guess which list would be longer.
They have literally closed entry to the United States because they fear terrorists. Are we still the home of the free and the brave?
I cannot reiterate this enough – America preached all men are created equal while owning slaves. Many of the “heroes” of this country are rapists and murderers. But rather than admit that brutality and murder were the foundation of this country, we sell a song and dance praising traits that don’t exist.
We are living, breathing lies. Our lies are well documented, and just like tangerine goblin, we say “not true” and keep telling ourselves we’re great. Our hypocrisy is massive and our self-deceit is oppressive.
Stop fucking lying to yourself. We all need to stop fucking lying to ourselves. Otherwise, we aren’t going to fix a fucking thing and we’re all going down.
Except for those rich white folks. I swear they own a space station or some shit they can escape to.