Take a puzzle or a game like Monopoly and Scrabble. Open the box and watch the pieces tumble out. Do you find a message in that pile of pieces? No more than you find one in society’s everyday pile of pieces otherwise known as: news reports, statistics, ads and quotes. The only message to be found in this daily jumble is the one you and I bring to it by the way our mind assembles the pieces.
Which is another way of saying the facts and the truth are often more in our minds then in our world. Which recalls the story of the interviewing reporter trying to get a story: “Yes, but besides that Mrs Lincoln, what did you think of the play?”
Quoting the Bible…the review…the speech…the report…the budget…the suddenly discovered love letter, is humanity’s ancient mistake of sending a blind man to figure out the elephant he’s feeling. Ten blind men will probably have 10 definitions. And who among us can boast we are without blindness?
This, then, is our task.
If we are to dare pretend we are free minds with the right to decide, that right must be joined to this obligation. Never again call the parts the whole! A single report, a single passage, a single statistic out context is often the same thing as a lie. In its selective singularity — by the one reporting it — it becomes a text without its context. Therefore it’s able to prove black is white, good is evil, beautiful is ugly, honesty is deceit, and the person who challenges me is a demon.
Is that stretching the point…? Look at the record. Joan of Arc burned at the stake…Lincoln shot sitting next to his wife…John Lennon gunned down on the street…oh, and then there was that man from Galilee nailed to a cross.
Let the record show that the entire record is what needs to be shown….
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