Wednesday, June 18, 2008

wandering off the garden path

Many different colors appeal to me, but green is one of my favorites. To me it's a guileless color, a color of life, of innocence, of new beginnings.

Gray, on the other hand, is an important but difficult color. Nowadays shades of gray seem to be everywhere. There's a place for gray, but what happens when it overtakes everything? I miss color, I miss green. I'm glad it's a new year, and so very happy that spring is coming.

And that is all I'm going to say today that's even remotely about art, design, dolls, or fashion.

I thought it might be interesting to take a short break and briefly shine a light here on the subject of honesty. Is the truth important? In this age of spin, hype, and manipulation, is it even relevant to modern human experience?

Is the classic notion of the right and wrong of lying obsolete in this age awash in shades of gray?

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My corner of cyberspace isn't the ultimate place to answer these questions, and I'm not the person with the answers, but earlier today I enjoyed reading what some thoughtful people have to say about it.

This is the only relatively long bit to read, and the rest will be short... I give you my word. The following passage is from near the end of a brilliant essay on lying, by Tim C. Mazur, Markula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University:

Critics of utilitarian justifications for lying further note how difficult it is for anyone, even honorable persons, to know that a lie will bring more good than the truth; the consequences of actions are too often unpredictable. Lies frequently assume "lives of their own" and result in consequences that people do not intend or fail to predict. Moreover, it is very difficult for a person to be objective in estimating the good and the harm that his or her lies will produce. We have a vested interest in the lies we tell and an equally vested interest in believing that the world will be better if we lie from one instance to the next. For these reasons, critics claim, lying is morally wrong because we cannot accurately measure lies' benefits and harms.

Quotes are always an interesting shotgun way to approach a subject. Here are a few of my


The truth of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool. (Stephen King)

The ability to lie is a liability. (Unknown)

Men hate those to whom they have to lie. (Victor Hugo)

Always tell the truth. That way you don't have to remember what you said. (Mark Twain)

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. (Abraham Lincoln)

And here is that old classic:

Oh, what a wicked web we weave when first we practise to deceive. (Sir Walter Scott)

Finally, one of the most brilliant, if unattributed, quotes of all time: Liar! Liar! Pants on fire! (Classic American schoolyard chant)

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We'll soon return to our regularly scheduled (and much-needed) adventures in art, fashion, dolls, and other diversions from a troubled world.

Until next time, I leave you with this last quote:

Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television. (Woody Allen)


jutka said...

Brilliant posting!

brenda cox giguere said...

Sorry it took me so long to notice you had commented-- hello. Thank you for your kind words. :)