With the US Midterm Elections coming up on Tuesday, I figure now is a good time to talk about lying.
Lying is bad. We know it’s bad, in part, because the words that we have for referring to liars are not good words. “Liar”, for example, is not a word anyone wants applied to them. But it does not stop there, my friends. Lie too much, and the very anatomy of your face may be called into question. You might be labeled “two-faced,” or “mealy-mouthed.” You might be accused of “talking out of both sides of your mouth,” or of having a “nose longer than a telephone wire.” Such a nose would be unsustainable. You do not want a nose of that length attached to your face, my friends. It would be a medical disaster.
Progressing beyond mere facial disfigurement, we arrive in the realm of the creatively scatological. A liar might playfully be termed a “bullshitter,” or – less playfully – accused of being “full of shit.” I have, from time to time, accused a dishonest scoundrel of attempting to piss or shit in my ears – an extremely rude and unsanitary activity. But when a lie is particularly brazen and malicious, only one admonition will suffice:
“Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.”
That one phrase paints quite a picture, doesn’t it? Urine, dispensed from a great height, presumably by someone with other convenient piss receptacles available to him. And when the pee-soaked masses complain, the scoundrel attempts to pass it off as a mere meteorological phenomenon! Is there a more potent metaphor for our current political climate?
Look, I have a confession to make: I set out today to come up with a better swear to use on liars, because our current swears don’t seem to be working very well. And I tried, friends. I really did. But the problem is that a swear is only as powerful as the cultural taboo associated with it, and right now … our culture doesn’t seem to agree that lying is a bad thing to do. In ancient Persia, liars used to be punished with death. Now they’re punished with … high political office? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but at this moment, in 2018, swearing alone is not enough to solve this problem. We have to make lying bad again, so that calling someone a “liar”, or pointing out the unusually high temperature of their pants, will once more be the dire insult it deserves to be.
So, this Tuesday, don’t just swear with your mouths and typing fingers. Swear with your ballots. Vote the liars out. Maybe then they’ll stop showering us with their mendacious piss.