I saw something on TV the other day which sickened me to the gut. Much that is sordid-lurid-despicable is on air currently, purporting to reflect who we are as a people and what it is those benign assholes who pass off for channel ideators/producers *think* (that's me showcasing my much vaunted 'generosity of spirit') we want to see. This wasn't just that. This was horrendously hurtful, not to mention more than a little harmful to one's general well-being. Notice how I slipped in the 3-point alliteration without diluting/distorting the import of what I was trying to say. Nicely done, H. Smooth. Yes, I *write* to myself. Someone has to.
The travesty I'm on about is 'The Moment of Truth', where people are paid money - and a hell of a lot of it too - to answer painfully personal questions 'truthfully'. On national television. A lie-detector determines whether they're being honest or not. Each of the relatively simple questions in the beginning of the show give the contestant increments of 5000$, then jumping on to 10s of thousands of dollars, before doubling and trebling the amounts in question, ending at something like 5,00,000$ for, what is it, 20 questions? If this sounds too good to be true, it is. Like most things.
I'm sure a lot of us think of ourselves as being *good* or *honest* people, no less righteous than the next person. While this is all very well, we often discount the fact that being honest does not equate exactly with telling someone every gory detail about what we feel for them at any given time. Consider this: we love our families, for the most part. But how many of you can honestly say you haven't had an uncharitable thought about how this cousin can be a real retard, or that aunt a bitch who could put Hitler to shame? Does this, however, affect your ability to carry on living life as best you can, or *being* a family? Consider now what would happen if you went onto national television and told each of these people what you really thought about them. Sure, you could walk away up to 5,00,000 $ richer, but at what cost? Does anyone know what new families are going for on the market these days?
Our lives are meticulously constructed, based as they are on how we function and build relationships - personal, social, professional and otherwise. It is poignant omissions and occasional white lies which allow this edifice to keep from crumbling; crashing and burning everything in its wake. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating lying. Far from it. I *am*, however, suggesting that telling someone you're about to marry that you still fantasise about your ex is not something you ought to get paid for. It's also not the best idea in the world to do it on national TV. Give them a cuppa tea spiked with brandy, sit them down and have this chat if you must. It's kinder. Really.
I guess this rant is about recognising fallacy for what it is. A convenient, important part of the glue that holds societies-extended families-lives together. Denigrate it another day. Today, sing paeans to it instead.