Categories
Political Commentary

Democracy requires truth; lies grow insurrection

Bookmarked Life as a Lie by Timothy Snyder (Thinking about…)

Big Lies demand violence, since they command the faith of some, but cannot overcome the common sense or lived experience of others. The smaller lies within the Big Lie, by generating distrust of institutions, create a sense that only violence can restore the righteous order of things.

[T]he deliberate generation of an alternative reality is itself incompatible with democracy.

The internet can repeat, but it cannot report.  We speak about the news all day, but pay almost no one to get out and report it.  This rewards people who lie as a way of life.

Categories
Writing

Meaning through truthfulness in language

Liked Eleven Urgent & Possibly Helpful Things I Have Learned About Writing From Reading Thousands of Manuscripts by Jeannine Ouellette (Writing in the Dark with Jeannine Ouellette)

Our most important job as writers is—I believe—to make language capable of telling the truth. The essayist, activist, and poet Wendell Berry has written about this idea many times. In 2010, he addressed it in a letter to an English teacher and her class, writing: “By taking up the study of writing … you are assuming consciously … a responsibility for our language. What is that responsibility? I think it is to make words mean what they say. It is to keep our language capable of telling the truth. We live in a time when we are surrounded by language that is glib, thoughtless, pointless, or deliberately false.”

We must reject overly easy, overly familiar images and phrases and push ourselves instead for the slight adjustment that can make a world of difference.

This is what it means to defamiliarize language enough to let it hold truth. If the language is so familiar it washes over us, any truth it contains will be lost.