Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Gilded Age

I have a couple of thoughts today. And I'm on the run so this won't be well written. I just want to burst them into existence before they're unthought. I'll try to make this velocity wave coherent.

The other evening my buddy and I watched football, shared a bullshit, and sipped brandy. His mind moves with a rapidity that rivals mine. So when we're together we vacillate amid many topics. Two seemingly disconnected sentences matter in the midst of our melee:

1. "Hey if you found out your friend's wife was having an affair, would you tell him?"

2. "No, I'm more upfront than that. I say to women, 'I like you. You want to go out with me again?' Hell, I say that to people. I say, 'I like you. Do you want to be friends with me.' Or I say, 'Yeah, I don't like you. I don't want to be friends with you.'"

I've quizzed people about telling the friend about the affair. Almost to a perfect, people said they would tell. I then asked whether they would tell the spouse if the friend was having an affair. And again almost to a perfect, people said they would not tell. It seems loyalty lies in the friendship.

I said I wouldn't tell.

I know. Odd huh? It's odd considering how forthright I am. Okay, I couldn't live more balls out than I do without walking around surrounded by radiology machines. Yet I have a litany of reasons why I wouldn't reveal the indiscretion. My primary reason: I didn't witness the event.

Yesterday - now surf with me - I made a run to the liquor store. Last night was garage night with my buddy and it was my turn to supply the beer. As I drove I saw the cars that lined the lane. A couple of blocks from my house the neighborhood mothers gather to meet their babies' school bus. I'm friends with several of the women's husbands. And consequently, I'm friendly with many of the wives. I don't socialize with the women. Obviously. But, if I see them, I stop; I greet. I thought I saw one of the wives in her van. Diabetes is robbing me of my eyesight. I have trouble distinguishing faces from afar. I steered my car to the side of the snowfilled street and I hopped out to say hello. I looked through the shadowed shield and I saw the driver wasn't my friend's wife. I think I know the woman in the car. If it was her, I dislike her with an intensity that borders on sin. I have written about her. She is despicable in manner and deed. My feelings aren't secreted. I've told her my feelings. I peered; I saw the driver wasn't my friend; I pivoted; I returned to my car. My point in this paragraph? My feelings are known. She knows how I feel. I am open. I am honest. I am forthright.

I don't hide my reaction to her from her because:
1. I want her to know I disapprove of her behavior.
2. I don't want anyone to assume my consent to any of her actions.

We are a society of secrets; we are a society of suppositions. We are a society that concludes without proof and includes all boomeranged bias. Everyone voices an opinion; almost no one voices moral opposition.

I thought about this. Evil propagates in silence.

So many sins would cease if they were spoken aloud.

"He touched me."
"That's a lie."
"She stole it."
"He hit me."
"She's threatening me."
"Don't get in a car with him. He's a drunk."
"I'm not going to do that."

Now - how does this fit within the context of my opening paragraphs? It's all about the witness.

Think about the word witness. It's a passive verb. It's an active verb. Witness is about sight and sound.

I witness: I see it occur.
I witness: I verbally confirm or contradict the action or the reaction.

Human beings must never bear a false witness. Even if one doesn't believe in a Divinity, he should adhere to a philosophy of honesty. Falsehoods make another human being live out of the context of reality (what's really happening) and falsehoods make another human being live without trust.

Now, anyone who has dipped within my words in this blog knows that my life is based on the synchronicity of Divinity. I know that God The Father places men in situations to confirm, to defend, or to contradict the actions of their brethren.

A false witness is one who pretends the action didn't occur or proclaims the proportion was more slight than the actual blight.

A false witness is a liar. He lies low and silently affirms the infraction. He lies fallow and denies the depth.

Lies perpetuate an environment of doubt and distrust.
Silence is consent.
Silence sustains.

Predators are propelled by the promise of silence. And that's why they prey on the smallest voices.

Society should teach its citizens to shout.

I have no clever ending for this post. Here's my point: put it into words. Tell the truth. Stop the silence. Teach your children to scream, "get your hands off me!" Teach your teenagers to say, "I'm not getting in a car with you." And stand up and say, "You're not treating me that way."

You know, they say that "Silence is golden." And that's bullshit. Golden just means it's covered up and concealed and looks more lighted and shiny than it is. You can dip bullshit into molten gold. It will look pretty. But, it still dropped out of someone's ass.