“The Emperor has no clothes,” said the peasant boy at the ball.
He said it in a voice of innocence that reverberated throughout the great hall, shocking the guests who did nothing but pretend that the Emperor’s clothes were dangerously opulent, jewels for the eyes to gaze at.
For us Morning-Nighttime intellectuals who peruse internet articles, morning edition newspapers (delivered, of course), and the daily – but few – pages of fiction (I’m doing Chandler now, what about you?), the different schemes of reality we encounter hit us like sandpaper on soft skin.
It’s always human skin, of course. I – like you – am no bear, or seagull, or reptile with skin made strong by slithering across harsh deserts or swamps, I am simply a man. So when reality takes a fragmented form, you can imagine the way in which my mind convolutes even the simplest of concepts.
In the morning, the reason for taxes being high can be blamed on this group, a group that is pure evil. Afternoon, the reason for a recent fare increase to use the Metro is the fault of another group whose greed is astronomical, immoral, and pure evil. By Night, the borders of another country have been stretched, lunacy has befallen them, people die in the streets, babies cry, no, they howl. Whose fault is this? Nobody knows for sure but it definitely isn’t us, it’s more likely them.
This depends on who, or what, you read. The story is always good. Some tell it better. Some use “facts.” Other’s use narrative devices like irony, and then economics, and social sciences – excellent narrative tools. Some argue like lawyers, the smart kind. Others argue like lawyers, the bad kind. The good: maybe they read Lorca, or Bolano, or even Chandler (god help us). The bad: maybe they like reality television, The Alchemist, and perusing the aisles of department stores for good deals.
But I am not talking about lawyers, or what they like (or goodness and badness), but about newsman, journalists, and reporters.
Russia hacked us. How long ago did they do it? It depends on what you read?
Russia stole the election. Did they? Who do you listen to?
Russia wants to restart the cold war. Really? It depends on what sounds right, I guess.
These Newman, with their valuable degrees and head-turning names, their like magicians creating the most acceptable – and realistic – illusions for us to wrap our imaginations around.
But they’ll never tell us that it’s all gone bust. They contribute to it, because without it, they have no purpose.
Keep reporting, but never do what the peasant boy does at the ball. Never say that the man in power is walking around stark naked.
That’s just bad manners.