T R U T H
I N T E R N A T I O N A L
I was a lot smarter before I was recruited by the American Chapter of Truth’s International Fan Club. Until then, I like to think I did my share of big thinking. Well, not BIG thinking, but certainly nuanced, certainly multi-dimensional, characterized by a superior plasticity capable of applied abstraction, theoretical awe, and the synthesis of five or six simultaneous subtexts with their oppositional intersections.
B I G T H I N K I N G
Things got more complicated (but not more complex) and more simplistic following my election by acclamation to the club’s presidency two years ago. Now, when it comes to Truth, I spend most of my time on the intellectual equivalent of a middle school playground. Over and over, I tell the same simple story of an outrageous bluff pulled off by a powerful media elite for the specific purpose of permanently discrediting me. Over and over I point out the swift efficiency with which a handful of people achieved immediate and unquestioned national media compliance. Over and over I explain that this shows an already entrenched and systemic corruption far worse than the American public imagines.
I’m neither believed nor told why. The narrative itself bores me to the brink of shutting down my brain, while remaining inexplicably exhausting. At times I can actually feel my brain shrink as I brace myself to repeat a basic point to someone who already understands it perfectly.
Yet I’m back again every time the recess bell rings
MY INTELLECTUAL ARENA
Some say that I’ve developed into one of those obsessed fans, the kind whose loyalty and dedication devolves into a variation of obstructive stalking that all celebrities dread.
Although my time on the playground may have produced a certain degree of myopia in my perception, I don’t see it, myself.
I JUST KNOW TRUTH IS AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE. WHY DOESN’T ANYONE NOTICE WHEN IT DISAPPEARS??
The fact is, I haven’t stalked Truth so much as tried to keep track of it. Frankly, I’d had no idea that it was so absent-minded, nor so anonymous and scruffy: I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Truth wandered off unnoticed someday and forgot to return. I’ll admit that I do tend to hover a bit; however, I strongly deny all rumors of that electronic tracking device trending on Twitter last month.
My critics, like most people, are completely unaware of the responsibilities of a national fan club president. Lord knows the job is a thankless task: just ask the presidents of the Ayn Rand, Vanilla Ice, and Door to Door Encyclopedia Salesmen fan clubs.
2014 National Convention of the American Chapter of Truth’s International Fan Club
For example, at our club’s last national convention, I had to break up fist fights over jazz fusion, the gold standard, and the Chicago Cubs, then kick out the usual spies from the ACLU, and ban as frivolous the introduction of a resolution that “Truth is beauty, beauty truth, etc”.
On top of that, I spent half the convention dealing with the Christian delegates alone: first, I barred them as a body until they submitted a group statement admitting Christianity’s historic proximity to, and familiarity with, Islāmic doctrine and culture – dating from the latter’s earliest emergence 600 years after that of Christianity’s.
I also suspended the club’s Protestant fundamentalists until they could describe the Reformation’s role in 19th century American radical abolitionism.
The great abolitionist and international hero John Brown. Now THERE’s a Protestant!
By this time, all the anarchists, hip-hop artists, Palestinian children, Mississippi River tug boat crews and insane poets had left the building. As I watched them leave from an upper window, my heart filled with love, and then sank. I was left to deal, ungraciously, with a squabble between several prominent physicists and a group of Staten Island ninth graders.
The teenagers’ claim to have located the planet Krypton within a parallel universe met with vehement opposition by the scientists, who insisted that Krypton is actually located in our own galaxy.
I’m just saying.
Anyway, I didn’t want Truth to lose its morale, which is why the paparazzi caught me trying to poke a housewarming gift of homemade brownies through Truth’s living room window recently. I was only trying to cheer it up.
Instead, Truth served me with another restraining order. Just my luck – only two months after the last one expired. I mean, jeesh! Who knew that climbing seven little stories would get people so worked up?
The work of a fan club president never ends.
IF ONLY PEOPLE WOULD PAY THIS MUCH ATTENTION WHEN I OPEN MY MOUTH
As I told the nice firemen, I thought all those people were pointing upward because that weapon of mass destruction disguised as a kite was floating by – you know, the one smuggled in by the seven-year-old Guatemalan twins picked up by the Border Patrol recently.
More sensible neighbors climbed out of their windows to join me in a delicious snack of brownies
“Thank God the CIA told the New York Times not to fall for the kids’ ridiculous claim to be “looking for Mommy,” said the fire captain with feeling.”Every time I send my people into a burning building, I remember that a free press is worth defending.”
I saw that he had tears in his eyes and looked around somewhat desperately for Truth. It met my eyes through the thick window glass and shrugged hopelessly.
Then Truth closed the curtains.
But not before taking a big bite of one of my brownies.
My last glimpse of Truth on the balcony
Ma’at, Egyptian goddess of Truth
You know, frankly, I think Truth tends to over-react. The respective presidents of the Justice, Wisdom, and Beauty fan clubs all say it should appreciate a fan club president like me.
“You won’t catch us baking brownies for the old goats,” they said.
“Are you calling Justice an old goat?” I gasped.
“I am,” replied the Justice Fan Cub president, a nice man named Fred. “In fact, that was my campaign slogan: ‘Justice is an old goat’ “.
THE OLD GOAT
THE OLD GOAT KEEPER:
LUCY DALGLISH, PROFESSIONAL CROOK
PORTRAIT OF THE JOURNALISM PROFESSOR AS A CORPORATE THUG
SENIOR ASSISTANT GOAT KEEPER AND PROFESSIONAL TOOL
SPJ PRESIDENT DAVID CUILLER,
IT HAS ITS OWN GOAT HERD NOW.THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER’S ACLU.
DO NOT MEET IT IN A DARK ALLEY
I stared at Fred as he told me that his club had done a lot of housecleaning.
“The first thing we did was kick out all the nonprofits who work for justice. We banned Progressives who couldn’t define that political identity with more precision, the Peace Corps, and any group that published photos of villagers gathered around drinking wells it had funded” he said.”That was a good start. Then we elected a big slate of new officers: fast food workers, Honduran children, prostitutes, Zapatistas, mental patients, West Virginia coal miners, junkies, teenage gangsters, convicts and welfare mothers. Things have really been looking up for us ever since.”
A new member of the Justice Fan Club’s steering committee, representing Delaware.
West Virginia’s coal miners survived by laboring to destroy both the mountains they love (see below) and their own bodies. Now used up by the coal companies just like other commodities, they are left to die of Black Lung Disease, with no income and no possibility of employment, surrounded by the corpses of mountains that provided generations with abundant game, fish, medicinal plants, and firewood.
This is the result of Mountain Top Removal Mining, which literally removes the tops of mountains, gutting the interior and making recovery impossible.
A former coal miner from the town of Appalachia, West Virginia, is the new national treasurer of the Justice Fan Club. He is planning a class action suit against the Empire Coal Company and has organized a fiddle manufacturing collective.
As Fred and I wound up our conversation, I had an idea.
Hmm. Maybe -
Fred read my mind.
“You know, I think you’ve been barking up the wrong tree,” he said kindly, as he handed me a business card.”Why don’t you check these people out? Truth and Justice can kill people like you.”
The card Fred gave me was deep blue with small gold lettering and a graphic depicting the earth revolving around the sun.
“International Fans of Verifiable Facts” I read.”Access to existing legal systems is good enough for us”
Below it, bold italics proclaimed “Personal opinions not sought. Excessive and redundant proof not provided. Discriminatory screening standards not accommodated. Agreements re. political support constitute an obligation to honor them.”
I’m going to my first meeting next week.
Fred made me promise not to run for president.
My last official act as president of the American chapter of Truth’s International Fan
Club was to send Truth on vacation to a distant, peaceful beach.
I got an email just yesterday.
“Having a nice time” Truth wrote, “I needed a rest. Sort of miss you.
Almost wish you were here.”
Same here, old pal.