A lie’s just a story that won’t admit that it’s a story. A worst kind of story, an anti-story. I know for stories, they’re the only thing I’m any good at. Here we are within an age of lies, of doubling down instead of admitting wrongs, believing whatever fits with our conceptions instead of what really happened, it kills me as a teller to see as such. To see Story twisted into humbug-shapes, weaponized in the unholy fires of denial, to hold the oppressed down until they cannot breathe, and wash clean the hands of killers. Story and truth could walk hands-in-hands down through time, understood as metaphors to tell the truths mere facts cannot, instead used as daggers of hatred and delusion. People ask me why I write so much about disillusion.
No one ever ate a Tide Pod in any kind of seriousness. I’ve no doubt a kid or two mistook them for candies, I’m sure a dozen youtubers ate them as stunts to drum up ad revenue through the art of click-bait, but it never was a fad or trend. It was a thing that happened some handful of times as fluke that expanded into full-blown urban legend because it told lies convenient for the times. A generational confabulation about how stupid the youth were, not like in some past when things were great and pure. But that never really happened, they were just lies some played along with, liking what those lies could mean.
The Satanic Panic was an excuse to harass teens and burn records some people didn’t like, there were no cults, no sacrifices, just an occasional graffiti pentagram on some wall, not out of devil worship but idle rebellion against what they heard on the news. The War on Drugs wasn’t to save us from addiction, counseling does that far better, just the flimsy excuse to arrest minorities and launder cash to overturn democracies that wouldn’t tow our power’s line. All a bunch of terribly convenient lies.
Asked why I write so much about doubt and disillusionment, in my life and in the world, it’s as we’re at a point now where disillusionment is the last good chance we’ve got. Those bad stories rule the world now and the best we can do for each other is to break that magic down, to literally dis-spell them, that we may build ourselves again, kinder and refreshed. We needn’t new magic, we’re full up on bad magic, we need to break down the spells that make us hurt each other. Good magic would be great, but I can’t speak for magic, I can only speak for stories and for truths. No one ever ate a Tide Pod in any kind of seriousness, don’t let those bastards tell you any different. Disillusionment is the one weapon storytellers have left to fend off this tidal wave of lies. Let’s break down the used-up illusions together or at least in that trying die. We owe our Stories that.