the alternative universe in which lies are truth

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“The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.”

Holly Black

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“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves.

We live in denial of what we do, even what we think.

We do this because we’re afraid.” 

Richard Bach

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“People would far rather be handed an easy lie than search for a difficult truth, especially if it suits their own purposes.”

Joe Abercrombie

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“ You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more. “

Morpheus

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“Have you ever analyzed things to the degree where you can’t really remember the difference between what’s real and what you’ve created in your head?”

Edie Sedgwick

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It is a crazy, sometimes scary, world out there at the moment. No, I am not talking about crime or inflation, I am talking about the fact there is a robust alternative universe in America these days; divorced from reality. In this alternative universe, well, let’s just say that it is the reverse of reality. Up is down, they are the victims and you are the enemy of good.

There are some commonalities within this alternative universe.

  • Say a lie over and over assuming no one will notice it’s a lie.
  • Say a denial over and over despite actual proof.
  • Say you don’t remember even when shown over and over again you said it or did it.

This alternative universe is mostly thriving because of politicians. It is politicians, and the special interest groups funding them, that are crafting this odd alternative universe.

Which leads me to how words, or, maybe better said, the adoption of a word frames the alternative universe. It often begins with a truth (word) that is descriptive and actually pejorative to them (the ‘us’) and they actually wield against the ‘them.’ Maybe it’s simply ‘word appropriation’ wherein its’s a warped us versus them in a playground style of “its not me, its you” wherein while ‘us’ has actually done something labeled as ‘traitorous’ or ‘insurrection’ or ‘liar’ or ‘radical’, they simply begin applying that descriptor onto the people who originally used it. Its nuts. And it creates a mosh pit of some false equivalence (which is an alternative universe in and of itself). It may not be grounded in anything they just sling the word back so that in their alternative universe their citizens can say ‘its not us, its them’. Hijacking words is probably the ultimate alternative universe tactic.

Which leads me to I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that having a huge mouthpiece who specializes in word salad (Trump) helps in this rhetoric-confused world because within the word salad is always something to pluck out as worthy of this alternative universe. I would suggest to live in this universe you have to be Truth allergic, but it just takes a bit of suspension of belief to reside here.

Yeah. Trump is at the center of this universe.

Yeah. Two things happened that brought me back into the Trump/politics world.

The first is this Trump moment in a Piers Morgan interview:

This is laughable. He lies like breathing. He even lies about his lies. But somehow in this alternative universe Trump speaks “truth to power.”

The second is the likelihood Trump will regain his twitter account now that “free speech” Musk is running the twitter insane asylum. It is not difficult to envision Trump using Twitter as his toxic brain waste dump, creating the cray cray twitterverse which embodies the alternative universe. Not far behind I can easily envision returning to the television where a panel of journalists/news anchors simply laugh out loud over a preposterous trump tweet lie … and move on. Yeah. The alternative universe is so absurd and he has normalized lying to such an extent they don’t even bother to respond or comment — just laugh at the absurdity of it all.

And all the while, as they laugh and dismiss, the people in this alternative lap it up as truth (where everyone on TV laughing is lying).

  • Black is white.
  • Up is down.
  • In is out.

In this alternative world Trump creates an alternate truth and somehow, we are actually letting it become real and, to some people, it is a real universe. This cannot be normalized nor can it be accepted. The Trump shit show has to be publicly reviewed as constant bullshit and not a viable reality.

Which leads me to the fact Trump is a pathological liar. Shit. Even the heinous Piers Morgan thinks so.

Let me be clear. Trump and his merry band of liars, are now taking the perception business to a whole new level of absurdity. Let us be very clear on some basic Truths:

  • Alternative facts live only in an alternative universe.
  • Perception is not reality.

As someone who has dabbled in marketing professionally, “perception is reality” truly galls me. It is an ugly lie. And it is even uglier because in an untrained, inexperienced mind, or a misguided lack of moral individual, it can be used to defraud people – unintentionally or intentionally.

Perception is perception.

Reality is reality.

And perception is reality only, and ONLY, if you permit it to be so.

The alternative universe can only last as long as this alternative universe can stave off the real universe. Just as alternative facts can only last as long as the real facts can get their shit together and get in the game. I would note that Trump’s alternative universe, while grounded in lies, is fertilized in aimless rambling about anything that happens to pop into his brain and is convenient for him to say at the time. He is not typically deliberate about his lying, he is simply authentically living in his own alternative universe and explaining that universe to us. The universe itself may be one bigly lie, but his explanations are truth about the universe TO that universe.

Trump is a rambling, bombastic, amoral narcissist. He’s never pretended to be anything else. What you see is what you get. His integrity resides solely on authentically communicating the big Lie <although … in his mind … in his universe … it is the big Truth>. Oddly this seems to mean, at least to a lot of everyday people, that an authentic liar has more integrity than a calculated communicator. He is genuine in that his perception is actually his reality <just ponder that scary thought for a moment>.

It is bizarre. Fucking bizarre. Trump and his merry band of liars use a variety of truth-blurring techniques <i call it “chaff”>. Their objective appears to not only be to control by creating doubts about what is real and what isn’t, but also to create an alternative universe in which whatever he does actually looks like it makes sense. They stave off reality with a formidable capability to manufacture stories wholesale for the alternative universe population, independent of reality. When forcefully challenged they can “build the wall” into existence via mass disinformation. Through narratives of ‘reality manufacturing’ they can maintain their universe and empower the cray cray to be crazy.

To be clear. Perception is not reality and trying to create a universe based on perceptions is a hollow world. but it gets difficult when a president, from day one to, well, ad finitum, to constantly be trying to convince us reality is not reality, perceptions are what he and his merry band of liars say are truth, alternative facts exist and there is some alternative universe that he, and they, can only see <but its good>.

This is nuts, scary, and dangerous. Trump was a historically dishonest presidential candidate, a historical dishonest president and his merry band of surrogates <liars> have displayed a persistent commitment to lying – needless lying or necessary lying. And it becomes even more dangerous because Trump and his cult play on what some people “feel.” Trump anchors his alternative universe on some warped perceptions, some attitudes, and therefore those who elect to follow will follow the pied piper <allegiance to him above all> and not to any ideology, values or principles <not even the US Constitution … because he becomes the sole arbiter of what the Constitution “means to say to us”>. Trump is not a normal phenomenon and his alternative universe of false perceptions and alternative facts should not be normalized by something as simplistic a “politicians have always lied” and “we can never trust the media” mostly because, at least in the case of Trump and this alternative universe, it’s a false equivalence (and alternative universes are not equivalent – one is real, one is not).

Look. Politics has always had a tenuous relationship with truth, but even in that environment there are limits. As Jonathan Last wrote in the conservative paper The Weekly Standard: “you can obfuscate, you can misrepresent, you can shade the truth to a ridiculous degree, or play dumb and pretend not to know things you absolutely do know. But you can’t peddle affirmative, provable falsehoods.”

Here is the surprising truth to add.

Journalism has always had a good relationship with truth, but even in that environment there have been missteps which create a false narrative that journalism, as a whole, is dishonest. The majority of journalists are not dishonest, every viable publication in existence has a standard of honesty and proof and, while they may tend to a more liberal skewed perspective, truth is truth and facts are facts and they treat both with reverence <because their existence relies on that>. I would note that the belief I just wrote does not exist in the Trump cult alternative universe; there, journalists are evil.

Which leads me to a world with a thriving alternative universe is not a place for cowards.

“Trust nobody?

That is the plight of fools and cowards.

You will slowly suffocate with every breath you take.

To trust is to live.”

Words matter. Definitions matter.

While the Trump cult claims the right/power to define “America” they do so while also claiming to be “strangers in their own land.” See how that works to empower an entire agenda? And how media reporting on disaffected rightwing Americans plays into those definitional assumptions? In this line of narrative, the default assumption in this alternative universe is “this is your America and everyone else is taking it away from you.” If we accept that, as a consequence we automatically are painted as unamerican or “hate America” simply by not agreeing with their definition or even their alternative universe (where their up is actually down). Our truth (reality) are lies to them; and their ‘truth’ is a lie to reality (and us). So, while TV people laugh, we should not. society cannot thrive living in alternative universes with alternative citizens YET with the same objective (a better America) and the same flag on their ID. With an entire universe of fools, it is not a place, and time, for cowards. Ponder.

Written by Bruce