Wednesday, October 20, 2010

truth and other trivial pursuits

So the folks at my church  gave me this column in our monthly publication and they said: do whatever you want, and I thought: cool, maybe I’ll spend several hundred words placing complicated clues in my article that seem to point to something Really Important if you take the time to figure them out so that people will spend days and days puzzling over them, tearing hair from distended follicles and rubbing already dry skin until it peels off like old cracked corn husks.  I mean, what the heck: people love that kind of crap!

But the thing is that I really didn’t have anything Really Important to reveal, so I was just about ready to give up on the whole thing when I saw a campaign commercial and it occurred to me that it really didn’t matter whether I did or didn’t: no one actually cares in the long run whether you speak the truth; they only care that they think you do.  Or anyway they only care that they can act in a way that makes them believe they think you do.  And that is usually good enough.

Being deep is not a human characteristic.  Neither is making sense.

Too many people spend too much time fighting over which version of The Truth is Really The Truth and they forget that most versions include some kind of message about being kind to each other.  It would all be pretty funny if they were fighting over, say, whether it is ever permissible to eat pastrami on dark rye.  (Absolutely.)  Or whether sea foam green is the new fuchsia. (I’m not quite sure that fuchsia was ever the new fuchsia.)  But fighting over whether it makes more sense that Ultimate Truth was handed down on a bunch of stone tablets or a burning bush or a carpenter who liked to hang around with beggars and hookers or a prophet who was, by all accounts, seriously image-shy, seems rather a waste of good television time.

I mean really: we might have just as easily been handed “The Truth” by a rainbow colored sandpiper or a free-floating chalk drawing or some guy named Bob who lives in a cardboard box near the train station.  Walk around in a dark room with a flashlight.  Every once in a while, randomly point it somewhere and turn it on.  Then think this about whatever you see: that’s The Truth.  Because it will probably make just as much sense as most stories. 

As UU’s, of course, we’re not all that into “The Truth.”  We’re more into the search for it.  Which is sort of cool.   It’s always more fun to look for something than to think you know the answer.  Life is not about the finding; it’s about the searching.  

Harry Chapin said it best:
 “It’s got to be the going, not the getting there, that’s good.”  
And that’s The Truth.

At least that’s what Bob told me when I visited his box last week.

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it's your hair that i notice first
streaked with morning
it frames your face
you lying there eyes closed
soft breath not quite there
i follow its path as it bends the sheet
and i can touch you there
touch what i feel is you
in the spark of daylight
you'll rise
pull on the wrinkled shirt from last night
say something you think is beautiful
drink some coffee
from behind my paper
and drive away,
leaving a kiss on my lips
and a hole in my heart
where a fire ought to be

Favorite Films

  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • Amelie
  • The Princess Bride
  • Casablanca
  • Annie Hall
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • All That Jazz
  • Citizen Kane
  • Love Actually
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Big Fish
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Almost Famous
  • Bull Durham
  • Notting Hill
  • Apocalypse Now (Redux)
  • Magnolia

All-Time Favorite TV Shows

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Gilmore Girls
  • M*A*S*H
  • The West Wing
  • The X-Files
  • The Daily Show
  • Ally McBeal
  • Picket Fences
  • All In The Family
  • Seinfeld
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Star Trek
  • Firefly
  • Wonderfalls
  • Northern Exposure
  • Get Smart
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Larry Sanders Show
  • Monk
  • Felicity
  • St. Elsewhere

Current TV Shows I Enjoy (in no particular order)

  • Perception
  • Major Crimes
  • American Horror Story
  • Louie
  • Suits
  • The Newsroom
  • Falling Skies
  • Franklin and Bash
  • Veep
  • Scandal
  • Fairly Legal
  • Girls
  • Don't Trust the B---
  • Justified
  • Portlandia
  • Psych
  • The Middle
  • Person of Interest
  • Happy Endings
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Nikita
  • Raising Hope
  • Castle
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Covert Affairs
  • Elementary
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Revolution
  • The Last Resort
  • Alphas
  • SNL
  • Revenge
  • Community
  • Suburgatory
  • New Girl
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Grimm
  • Nashville
  • Downton Abbey
  • Smash
  • Homeland
  • Fringe
  • Glee
  • Haven
  • Community
  • Warehouse 13
  • Modern Family
  • Vampire Diaries
  • The Daily Show
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Colbert Report
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Leverage
  • Rachel Maddow Show

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and