Wednesday, May 20, 2009

liar, liar

inspired, in part, by the best line in the movie "liar, liar" -- and it wasn't even a line.
(see #5, below)

setting - elementary school class topic: what does your father do?

1. max (played by justin cooper): my dad? ..he's... a liar.
2. teacher: a liar? ..i'm sure you don't mean a liar.
3. max: well, he wears a suit and goes to court and talks to the judge.
4. teacher: oh, you mean he's a lawyer.

5. max: shrugs
------------------------------------"now, that's funny!" -larry the cable guy

this post, however, might not be fun, as jagged little pills tend to get our attention...

truth is, when it comes to lying,
the lie-ee is usually more "at fault" than the lie-er.



1. the only reason why someone would lie -- is because "telling the truth" would be more painfull than lying.

2. the reason why "telling the truth" is more painful -- is that the lie-ee (yes, the person receiving the message) has, in all likelihood, delivered a clear message that s/he doesn't want to hear the whole truth.

3. let's contemplate. ..think about any time that you've lied. ..think about why children lie to parents. ..think about why lovers shy away from "telling the whole truth."

usually, they've received a very clear message that the "truth" will not be met with open, loving arms. all actuality, "the truth" will likely result in some form of overt (or covert) punishment.

in the graphic (above) businessman blue is telling businessman green what 'green' wants to hear,
based upon spoken (or unspoken) messages ...
that businessman green will react differently -- if he gets the whole truth.

in a quid-pro-quo world, we attempt to get our way via quid-pro-quo "promises"
(e.g. "if you do this, i'll do that").

* note: this post is not "advocating" lying. is merely pointing out that the "holier than thou" mentality surrounding "honesty" is very often backwards, and the lie-ee is very often the propagator of the lie in the first place.

* "i want justice" is often code for "i want to control your behavior!" ..the lie-ee, of course, is the one who is "judged," allowing the judge to focus on something else besides his/her own backyard.

(ouch, again!)

here's the deal (which you already know to be true):

1. people (in general) want to tell the truth.

2. when they don't, they feel pain.

3. the only reason why they'd invite the pain of lying is that (in their eyes) it would be more painfull to tell the truth.

4. we can stand on our high-horse all day and talk about honesty and justice. ..but if we are the ones that are laying down the lying-law, and if we send the clear message that a certain person needs to behave a certain way "or else," then we (the lie-ee) are the very reason for the lie in the first place. ..(ouch, ouch, ouch)

5. if anything, it is we who might want to apologize to the the liar, for putting them in such an unenviable position.


* i'm not expecting a lot of agreement on this idea, but this post wrote itself, so i had to decide whether to publish or withhold...

(ahhhhhh, decisions, decisions)

the very fact that i can publish this shows that i feel comfortable enough with you to express this "lennidea" without the fear of everlasting puni-shment.'s also comforting to know that i don't have to be "right," and that ideas are just ideas.


* yes. ..this is a deeeeeeeep idea. ..please contemplate on it, and let me know what you come up with. with all of these posts, this could be just the beginning of a dialogue.

** if there is a such thing as a "liar," then there must be another thing that is... judge-mental.

*** graphics by microsoft clipart.


  1. I thought the best line in Liar Liar was from the outtakes at the end. Jim Carrey and Swoosie Kurtz are doing the courtroom scene where they exchange insults and she shouts "overactor!" To which Jim responds with heartening self-deprication. Just love those films, my favourite metaphor for the nature of reality.

  2. .
    i LOVED that one!

    some of those outtakes were funnier than the actual movie!

    i, like you, site "movies/plays" as my top meta-for.
    yours, len

  3. Those creatures of light on the screen have such interesting plots, such overwhelming emotions, such overbearing thoughts, but they have no choice. Even if choice is a part of the plot. I think your reader ought to read the comment exchange of the last couple of days on my blog:

    For no reason at all, except such debate is fun, and in my former small world of non-confrontation - such is "my" story - I would have people-pleased and placated and never just hopped in there and engaged. Funny, how change seems to happen "retrograde" to some kind of "ah-ha" thingy.

    Keep it up!


  4. .
    the script is written, and the actors are given their lines, and they don't have "choice"...

    ...except for when they "as lib" (which is usually the best part of any movie/play).

    ...except for when they play the role in their own, personal way, which they cannot not.

    ...except for when they choose the role, in the first place.
    here's a toast to jim carrey, a master of the "ad lib."
    :) len

  5. Those film images have absolutely no choice. If the analogy is the stage rather than the cinema, then your logic holds. No one chooses. No one to choose. But, if I could, I wouldn't mind having some of the puppylike energy of Jim Carrey!

  6. .
    jim carrey's 'alternative' (which is a choice)
    'option' (which is a choice)
    of coffee 'preferences' (choice again)
    is his 'favorite' (ooops, choice)
    'selection' (choice, choice, choice),

    ...which must be...

    ...drum roll...

    (you guessed it)

    he 'picks' (which is yet another choice)...

    oh, no!!!!!!!!!!!
    ya gotta know, that his TOP choice is...

    taster's choice.