The first thing we’ll do is round up all the reporters

source Wiki Commons

“L-L Boilly Une loge” Wikimedia Commons

If there’s an analogy to be made between the winding down of the US presidential election and a sunset, the analogy breaks down when you consider the fact that most people enjoy sunsets. I debated between a winter sunset, the blood red brief ones — or the long, drawn out dusks of summer. I landed on a made up one by the writer Don DeLillo.

It’s funny, the book I started writing last year has themes about the nature of truth, the fact that it’s malleable and shifts, the same as one’s identity. Yet despite the subjective nature of truth there are absolute truths, things you can depend upon, like the calming effect of being alone in a forest surrounded by trees, the peace that comes in their presence.

When we were in Stratford-upon-Avon this past January, I was walking with Charlotte threw the gap in Shakespeare’s garden into town and she asked about Santa Claus, and I stopped and bent down and said it’s true as long as you believe it dear, hold that in your heart no matter what anyone says.

There was a busker with an electric guitar and a small amp we stopped to listen to, and I gave Charlotte a few pounds to drop in his hat; it was a familiar song from the 1960s by The Monkees I told Charlotte, called “I’m a Believer.”

We were in the country in Ireland for Christmas and the day after, St. Stephen’s Day, I took a long walk while everyone stayed home with their things: I chucked the rest of our uneaten ham into a wooded grove on the property, a kind of offering, and made my way up the broken road through the stream rivulets to a ridge where I could look down the valley, and heard a sound coming up: it was the horse races in town, and a commentator talking through a bullhorn. I couldn’t make out the words but the sound added a sense of drama as I got to the bottom of the hill, forced to take the lone road to wind my way back, and the road had no shoulders, it was often narrow and windy like a tunnel, and I feared I’d get hit by a car and left there to die.

I wrote more of the story in my mind that day, thinking it would be an auspicious place to figure out what really happens, how it unfolds. The fact that writing it was a kind of channeling exercise, that made me feel real by doing what I identified with most and had committed myself to, a kind of promise, its own kind of truth.

People say they want to know the truth, but they really don’t. The truth isn’t as interesting, it often doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t sell. Perhaps it’s a truth we look for in art and the best books, the books that hold a mirror to the beauty and darkness in our own hearts, that predict and reflect who we really are.

Our dinner conversations are clouded by a rehashing of the news, an addiction to stare at the perverse and deformed. The spew of lies and positioning, the Orwellian mindfuck of programmed conditioning, Orwell’s book published in ’49 post-Hitler, predicting something worse than Fascism. At the core of it, it’s about renouncing the relationships we have with others and resigning ourselves to the State. And yet the books with these truths in them are made up the same as the headlines on People magazine by the check-out stands we stop to scan, we can’t help ourselves, we really just want to be entertained.

I thought about one of my favorite scenes from Don DeLillo’s book White Noise, where the characters start driving to viewpoints around town with their blankets and picnic baskets to watch the sunset, the color’s so surreal and fantastic because of a mysterious chemical spill the media calls the Airborne Toxic Event. It’s made up and ominous but like any great sunset, you can’t help but watch.

And the analogy breaks down when you consider the fact that with sunsets it’s rare for people to say they’re really just ready for it to be over.

In case you missed it, check out this super story that reveals the hideous, diabolical truth about Hillary Clinton.

Categories: musings, writing

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26 replies

  1. Fireworks go on forever, but not so with sunsets. It’s exhausting and no one seems to be enjoying it. We’re broken. I am tired of hearing people say they’re voting against the other candidate. I like who I’m voting for. (Lizard-lady witchcraft, probably, but still.) As for the santa thing, I ripped the last bandaid off last month after reading my girl a book about how the tooth fairy isn’t real in the waiting at the dentists office (thanks a lot, Dr. Weber!). She took it fine and I went home wanting to cry. Why didn’t I lie? Today she asked me what we do with the reindeer food and I said we chuck in the yard for the reindeer (duh). She already figured what happened to the cookies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, today’s post was really just a ploy to share that story from the Post, I’m glad it worked on you Kristen! Think of that headline, The Hideous and Diabolical Truth about Hillary Clinton. It almost reads straight now, not even satire. That’s my point. I guess one of a few, like a Chinese throwing star, yo! So many times and reasons it’s better to lie. Especially if you are like Hillary, so sayeth Trump, with HATE IN YOUR HEART.


      • I like how he called Socks her familiar. I’m really glad you shared it as I had not seen it, too busy hitting refresh and waiting for signs to be removed from lawns and then being incredulous because she’s still Satan and the best criminal mastermind of all time, apparently.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That gal writes marvelously. Had me laughing in my robe first thing this morning.


  2. I’m just sitting here telling myself, “don’t list the crimes of the Clintons, don’t list the crimes of the Clintons…” That Washington Post piece was funny though, liked your take on it too. Think the ridicule has gone too far, but it’s only because the nonsense has too. On that note, would you mind if I handed out these pamphlets on the No-Vote Party?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That piece was great. She wrote another one about the first debate I loved, called it ‘mansplaining.’


      • Spent all night trying to merge into Newspeak female and analyzing, femalanyzing/femanalyzing, which is the process by which the phallically challenged among us, when presented with a simple and true dichotomy of yes vs. no, talk the men out of the hierarchy of truths, into a rapport conversation, where everything is filtered through the woman’s sense of equality and rapport, as if they have some special hold on those ideals and feelings. There key technique in femanalyzing is the hug! Be weary the hug men! It’s coming for you!


      • My god you go deep man! I’m impressed, with all the parenting and the reading and writing, not sure how you have time for it all. Are you stay-at-home?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes sir. I like “primary parent” as my euphemism these days. I’m sorry if it comes on too strong. I’m a hard-case.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the Petri satire piece with chagrin when it came out. There are too many people willing to believe it’s the truth. I enjoyed her VP debate recap “Battle of the Dads”. I think satire is perhaps an unnecessary frivolity in an election where one is constantly thinking that one of the campaigns must be a joke. It all begins to seem like low-hanging fruit.


  4. More ham!
    Who wants to know the truth indeed.
    This past weekend, I took a short writing seminar. One of the participants was a woman I went to university with. I haven’t seen her for 28 years and she’s been living less than an hour away almost the whole time. I had a small crush on her back then. She’s married to an older man, no kids of her own (he has three, grown up), just did the cancer thing, but still looks great. I felt like telling her, “You know, I had a crush on you.” But what good would come of that truth? Of course I didn’t. Too shy back then, still too shy today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoy how your prose verges on the poetic. I’m starting to feel like I’ve been writing too much non-fiction these days… will have to remedy that.

    And just a little support for 1984, which I read in high school and didn’t get. I wanted to read it again before I tried to teach it and it is so fucked up no such a basically horrifying level… words can’t describe. That book hit at some kind of truth in human nature… again, I suppose I have a hard time finding the words.

    When did reporters get such a bad rap? I mean, I agree they need to be objective in their reporting, but they’re just like cops and computer programs; don’t hate them for performing their function. Do we just hate hearing the things we don’t want to hear?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, as soon as you start putting controls on the media and deciding what’s art, and so forth, I get nervous. That’s cool you’ve taught 1984. I just read it for the first time this winter when I was under some kind of flu-fever, so I read it almost back-to-back in bed, and man that was strange. It really disturbed me, it did its job. Like you say, words can’t really describe. I like trying to co-mingle poetry and stream-of-conscious with non-fiction. I guess they call that ‘creative nonfiction,’ a new term for me. It’s all good. Thanks for reading and the great comments Justin. I have no beef with reporters, cops, computers, until they cross me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I’m enjoying your style of writing. I’m also trying to take a break from posting on your site, because, you know, I’m not trying to be TOO creepy and stalkerish… just the right amount.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s all good, I appreciate the time and care you take reading, all stalks aside! Thanks Justin, Bill


  6. Keats has that whole “Beauty is truth, truth is beauty” thing at the end of Ode on a Grecian Urn that makes my tiny brain run in circles, but it does contain the truth when he writes, “That’s all ye need to know…” (I think that’s how it goes). To me, truth and beauty are aligned, but I can’t explain why. Loved this post.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. The first thing we’ll do is round up all the reporters — William Pearse | pinklightsabre – Albspirit

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