May 28, 2012

A Writer's Life - Liar Liar

Everybody lies. Not just since Gregory House started making these two words his catchphrase, the whole lying thing is a phenomenon certainly not uncommon in human history. Personally, I'm fairly positive that World War III would break out within 24 hours if every single being on this planet suddenly started telling the exact truth to their environment. You might raise an eyebrow, or two, upon reading this statement, but rest assured this is most likely the best-case-scenario. In all likelihood we'd find ourselves in a full fledged war zone within 12 hours or less.

Now you might argue I'm wrong with my assumption and that not everyone is a liar. I hate to burst your bubble but even babies lie. No really, they do. Whether you like it or not, research has been done about this sort of thing. Babies are capable of lying to their parents by crying when they are not truly in pain or distress. Inevitably parent will console the baby with loving hugs and cuddles and what does the baby do? Why, its best to prolong this reward by offering fake smiles, of course. Consequently this has led to the suggestion that human beings are "born to lie" and that this is even a unique quality of our species. We should all put that one into our CV's.

Now that we've established that we're all natural born liars, I would like to point out that this sounds a lot worse than it actually is. Mostly we lie out of necessity, to keep peace with our neighbors, loved ones, and everyone else in our every day lives. And we do so, because we care. We lie, because we mean well. In most cases anyway.

Writers, all the good ones, are Natural Born Liars.
Daniel Keys Moran

Are you beginning to wonder what all this has got to do with writing? If you had to ask you're clearly oblivious to one simple fact. Writers are liars too. We're not just born that way, we're even putting it on paper. Of course they call it fiction, but this is just putting the ugly truth (!) nicely. See? The lies keep on coming.

Maybe this is a weird perspective, but ain't it the truth? Think about it. And wouldn't you agree that we should even be thankful for the gift of lying in our DNA? Otherwise our bookshelves would be drab places.

Anyone who claims to be good at lying is obviously bad at lying. Thus - as a writer myself - I cannot comment on whether or not writers are exceptionally good liars, because whatever I said would actually mean its complete opposite.
Chuck Klosterman

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