You are a gullible idiot. Well, to be more accurate, we all are. Ok, let’s narrow that down even further. Most of the world BELIEVES we are.
Perhaps you’re one of the few that isn’t gullible. That can discern truth in every case. Maybe you aren’t fooled when you see $49.99 printed on a red sticker for those jeans you want to buy. You immediately say in your head “that’s just retail garbage. It’s 50 bucks. They ain’t fooling me. (As a side note, don’t say that out loud while shopping alone. You WILL appear insane, particularly after you buy the jeans anyway.)
The steady stream of obfuscation, outright lies, and nonsense is thrown at us all day every day though, and we’re expected to believe it. In our consumerism, in our entertainment, in our education… systemic bull-shitting, And we’re not just talking about politicians here. We as a democratic society have already figured out that they’re six degrees south of personal injury lawyers on the honesty scale.
The lies start innocently enough. And they come from our most trusted sources… Mom and Dad! You know all the well-intentioned falsehoods that start there. You can be anything you want to be when you grow up. Don’t sit too close to the TV, your eyes will turn square. If you keep making that face, it will stick for life! Be good or Santa won’t bring you any presents.
I think the collective psyche of middle class children with parents that can afford the gifts, turn out just fine when they discoverer Santa’s a jolly fat lie. It’s the rare individual that spends their days in the fetal position weeping about St. Nick being nothing more than a conspiracy. I find myself wondering however, if that’s where we get the proclivity to swallow nonsense. And because of our general sense that it’s ok to lie to us… they do.
Wait! Who are “they?” Who is it that’s lying to us and think they can get away with it! The nerve of them! Tell me who it is so I can send a strongly worded letter! (Sorry, that’s Canadian mentality. If you are from the United States, substitute “so I can shoot them.”)
The answer to that though, is pretty much everybody. Anyone who wants a piece of your time, money, or resources. People who want you to believe that you are getting what you expect, or are getting everything you think you should.
Moving forward from the dastardly dishonesty of our parental units, take a look at school. They say they are teaching us life skills that we’ll need to make it big in adulthood, preparing us for all the ins and outs of being a productive member of society. And we do learn some valuable things in school. But how much isn’t really that honest? Beyond the basics of education, what is it that they teach us that is essential to life? Sure, if you have a particular career path in sciences, or physical education, or any number of jobs that have a specific prerequisite of knowledge, those courses make sense. You need to know about Nuclear reactions to be a nuclear safety inspector, regardless of what The Simpsons tell you. But does the weedy kid who has zero interest in becoming an athlete really need physical education? Does the aspiring writer really need the advanced science curriculum? And I don’t think there is pretty much anyone who would say that they have needed to use everything from calculus in their every day life.
But now you’re an adult. You’ve run the gauntlet of higher education, and you are out there making every day decisions. Your highly educated self is savvy and shrewd, right? Nobody can dare pull the wool over your eyes.
Unless, of course, you go grocery shopping. All the delicious foods you buy, and you save money, AND make the healthy choices! You fill your cart full of tasty treats that will do nothing but keep you in the pink of health.
Damn. You’re being lied to. Saving money? Hardly. You’re buying less with your money as every year passes. Companies are shrinking portions, but leaving the packaging the same. So that stuff you bought for 4 bucks last year, is actually costing you more based on unit pricing. You are getting less for your money, and as a result have to buy more to make up for it. But you’re still getting the healthy choices by choosing the right products! You have that going for you!
Sorry, no. All the wording on the packages is entirely meaningless when it comes to health. Cereals claiming to be “part of a balanced breakfast?” Only true if sugar is part of a balanced breakfast. When they picture the bowl of cereal along with toast, and fruit and a glass of milk… they are not telling you that the breakfast is just as balanced, and far healthier, without the cereal in the first place. “Contains 9 essential minerals and vitamins!” That’s the claim of Boy-ar-dee, Heinz and so many canned meals. What they are not telling you is it’s because they are basically grinding up vitamins to put in their otherwise nutritionally useless slop. And this doesn’t address the even more nonsense claims like “new and improved” which is a study in contradiction. Everything you are throwing in your cart is an obfuscated mess of quarter-truths and outright fabrication.
But don’t stop at the grocery store. You are bombarded with lies about every single thing that you could possibly buy to enrich your otherwise dull and meaningless life. Without these wonder products, it’s a miracle you drag your sorry carcass out of bed every day! I mean you’ve got:
Beer that makes you popular with women (Sorry ladies, as far as beer goes you are arm accessories for slightly befuddled douche-monkeys.)
Cars that make you experience life at a state of euphoria as soon as you get behind the wheel.
Cleaning products that will make you enjoy mopping and scrubbing to the point of orgasm.
None of it is true. It’s just manure-marketing to get your money. So you defend against that. They won’t get my money! I’ll be very careful. I’ll read the ingredients, I’ll shop the deals, I’ll make sure none of the outright lies affect me, I just won’t buy it.
But then you find out that it’s not just about your money. It’s about your attention. It’s about your adherence and loyalty too. What you watch, what you read.
How? Entertainment, news, internet. All lying to you.
You watch reality TV, right? At least you’re probably part of the 96% of the population with a TV and a spare hour or two that does. It’s all manufactured. There are so many different ways they set it up and influence it to list here. But they have you swallowing dramatic twists, turns and events, that didn’t really happen. Selective splicing of footage, planting people as participants, having producers decide outcomes. It has all the writing and directing of a regular old TV show, under the banner of “reality.” And it couldn’t be less real if they tried.
But that’s just TV. The News is far more insidious. They don’t want you to read the news. They want you to be shocked, scared, panicked an sensationalized. How do they do this? Weasel words. They say things that make you think every thing that comes out of their slimy fib-holes is truth.
A great example: “Some people say.” They aren’t lying. they can say it truthfully, because you know who said it? the producers. So technically, if the statement is “some people say that ” it’s both true and false at the same time. Ditto for “studies have indicated” and “Some are concerned that…”
all dishonesty to sell the story to us.
You cannot realistically get through the day without people lying to you. But there is a solution. You can buy my book. It has 1001 tips and tricks to avoid being fleeced by the charlatans that would steal your time, money, and attention. It’s only $29.99, and it contains essential methods to use!
Would I lie to you?