There is a time when it is good to lie. Great to lie. Great lies can be wonderful.
Because they are stories.
As the man in a mask said: ‘Artists use lies to tell the truth.’
And that’s what we are doing here.
These answers are fabrications. The illustrations more so. They are beliefs. They are ways of expressing ideas. And I think I am still being honest here. But not necessarily by speaking bare truth.
But that method of building something. It is built on lies. It is built on artifice.
And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
So sometimes it is good. Yes.
Lie for the truth.
Storytelling is the finest form of lying available. It notices that reality is limited, and creates something entirely other.
When I think of lying, I think of one man and his wholehearted dedication to misinformation.
My honesty loving self abhors him for it, and often reprimands him.
But the truth is I love it. I love the fact that my world is richer for the immense load of stories he has added to it. So many fabrications that the lines are always blurred.
Some people still think me and my ex used to put our feet in each others asses. (Obviously not two at a time, and normally we’d take turns. Don’t try it at home without extensive risk assessments and a large barrel of lubricant).
I still tell people that the lead singer of ::Kinema:: buys a new 7” edition of Vienna by Ultravox, and listens to it to exorcise the pain.
I still wholeheartedly believe that a certain Ms Hell has a glass eye and is the progeny of the Great Clunking Fist.
These stories may make no sense to you, but they have become part of my world.
That is one of the greatest things that lies can do. Create a hyper-reality to sit astride the real world. To blur and fudge and expand it.
Then there’s the world of literature and art. Misrepresentations and unashamed confabulation all.
But they help us see so much more detail. See the richness of the real around us. Simple untruths deepen our experience of reality.
A great novel takes us away from the world, and the lies linger with us forever after.
The artist shows us something that cannot be seen without their eyes and their imagination. It isn’t a straight expression of truth, even in a ‘realistic’ painting.
And it is that lie that creates the brilliance of the piece.
In real life, I am not fond of lies, they cause pain that cannot be justified (truth only creates justified pain? Maybe?).
But, contradictorily, I like my reality to be full of lies. To create that magical unreality that I much prefer to live in.
So I am again heaving with double standards.
I continue to be honest about the real things, and fantastical about the things I want to be real.
Which may or may not make sense.
Illustration by Adam.