Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why Words Matter

I've been reading Seducting the Demon: Writing for My Life by Erica Jong. Here's a brief sample:

You cannot tell the truth when words are corrupted. Our country was founded on the notion that the plain words of the people are more important than the fancy words of kings. We admire George Washington not only for refusing to be king but also for not sanctioning lying -- even though the cherry-tree story may be wholly apocryphal. We hold politicians to a much lesser standard today. We expect them to lie to us. We grant them the latitude to lie. We are lax about holding them to their word. We don't expect them to tell the truth about power any more than we expect movie starts to tell the truth about love. And we write off many lies as PR. Having stopped expecting truth, we rarely get it.

. . .

Why is getting mad at lies so important? Because our survival depends on it, our republic depends on it. Our lives depend on it-- whether it's pharmaceutical companies lying about drugs or chemical corporations lying about polllution or politicians lying about why our young people are coming home in flag-drapped boxes. We are in danger unless we know the truth, and the truth depends on words.

1 comment:

A Tabla Rasa said...

Oh, she and ye are very good. Nice one!