In the commentary after this one I will be resuming my study of how lies in world history have drastically impacted the years that followed. But for the several weeks I have engaged in the project, I realize that there is an ongoing theme: lying. I have spoken recently on self-deception and the political or religious justifications we give ourselves when doubting the morality of our acts, and the buzzing lies that we suppress when telling ourselves that what we are doing is for the best.
But I am often more interested in the lies that groups tell one another, about the seductive pull of getting one over on someone to protect your own ass or just to fuck with some naive fool for your own amusement–cat versus ball of yarn. And yet the most frequent lies we tell, the most common nonsense that blathers out of our mouths is some odd string of not particularly believable bullshit that half of your listeners at least are giving one another side glances and are convinced by the end that you are full of shit.
I want to tell one more personal story (that is the sort of week it has been so far) that I hope applies easily into the wider commentary on corruption and delusional thinking. I want to go all the way back to when I was six years old and I set a precedent for the rest of my imaginative life.
I was in first grade. This would prove to be the only year I went to this school as we moved the following summer. Anyway, my best friend was some kid who’s name I honestly cannot remember. I can only recall that he had thin blonde hair, buck teeth and wore some of the most hideous brown paisley button down shirts I have ever seen, day after day, like the product of a drug hazed 1970s that he no doubt was. At the time his and my favorite television show was The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.
I was known to have quite the temper, irrational and bi-polar even in those days, and I could flip in and out of rage and affection within the same conversation. And so I told my friend that I actually was the Hulk, slyly adding things like, “Don’t get me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
Today I can look back on this incident (and his mother eventually laughingly asked me about this, because my friend was so impressed he could not keep his mouth shut), I can look back and perhaps even understand some of the psychological undercurrents that went into the creation of this wonderful, iconic superhero. It is about rage. Self-deception. Those feelings of helplessness that can cause a person to explode with violence or invent a world that never was around them. It is also a staple of mental illness. Banner is a manic-depressive, bi-polar (or whatever term we assign it generation after generation. Dementia Praecox?) Why have they not considered hopping the Hulk up on Zoloft or Prozac or Paxil or Lexapro or any of the numerous others available, being improved or brand new on the market? If he wants his curse to end, check into a mental hospital and have them drug you numb.
Of course there is the opposite effect to this. You are told that the pills will make you better. But they don’t. They simply allow you to take everything in stride, to anesthetize sadness and block intense joy. They are poison, another lie. A medical lie, what so much of medicine has become, a slimy for profit industry that no longer has any desire to cure disease. All they want to do is allow life to continue to be bearable so they can sell more of their product.
I am a Type One diabetic. I had been for . . . Christ, more than thirty years. I know my body and I know how much insulin to take and can even predict my blood sugar within twenty. But there will never be a cure for diabetes. It would not make sense to the corporations. We are told the lie that they are working on it and that things are improving, but instead of some sort of pancreatic jumper cable, they offer things that hurt a little less when you take your blood sugar for a slightly higher price.
Disease is a major cash industry. We are lied to about attempted cures because a billion dollars is more important than a Nobel Prize for saving the world. Pharmaceuticals is a purely for cash industry. Let the sick live on in increasing degenerative states and let’s see how much we can suck out of them before they die.
Here’s more of our grotesquely cynical world, clarified. Nothing is left for the betterment of mankind. Everything is for the dollar.