That whisper was my very bright but often confused granddaughter as we collectively reviewed some of today’s confusing headline stories. How indeed can we know-what-to-believe in a world bristling with sensationalism, spin, and the sputtering of Donald Trump? His latest, in the face of a radically changing American demography, was to Tweet: “We need revolution in this country.” Which, translated, means: “My world of rich white guys is slipping away and rather than adjust I say fight!”
The Donald might enjoy the latest British best seller by Stuart Laycock: ‘All The Countries (200) We’ve Ever Invaded And The Few We Never Got Around To.’ Ahh, those were the good old days when the rich white guys damn well ruled the planet. Woody Allen, a rich white guy, had an interesting reaction to The Donald: “The people who successfully delude themselves seem happier than the people who can’t.”
But how should Abby and Grandpa deal with a changing world crammed with so many contradictory thoughts on everything? Do we take rich angry guys like Trump as voices of wisdom in a threatening age…? do we believe everything our political and scientific leaders tell us to believe…? do we consider our latest best sellers and hottest film hits as the ideas to be embraced…? do we look at national heroes with admiration or do we cringe waiting for the next scandal….? hell, do we even believe our eyes when by now we know how computerization can re-make faces, re-work events, and manufacture entire new realities right before our eyes?
Abby’s confusion is part of dawning adulthood. Grandpa’s confusion is part of sunsetting old age. Her’s is all part of the coming journey. His is all part of the jounrey’s disappointments at broken promises, flawed dreams, corrupt visions, official lies, persistent cover-ups, oh and lets not forget the real explanation. His step by step realization that not all rules are right…not all authorities belong…not all truths are true and not all lies are lies…and by gosh not all the people you liked were worth liking.
Back to the Brits. Their Oscar Wilde always seems to have a pithy way to put it: “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Got that, Abby…?
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