We were getting all philosophical the other day in my poetry class, discussing truth and whether a poem should be "true", and the difference between experiential truth and factual truth, and of course things get slippery from there, in any discussion about truth you start to wonder if such a thing even exists...
So someone made a point that it is very difficult for a poet to write about truth if truth is all subjective anyway. Then this oldish man came up with something that really made my day.
Basically he said "There should be no problem because our whole every day lives are based upon untruths, we have to live untruths in order to survive social interactions. When we see someone we barely know and say "how are you?" we do not actually want to know. We DON'T CARE. WE don't want to hear if they are having a shit time. We want to hear "Fineanyou?" We are just saying it because we are required to. It's all fake and lies."
This old man made me so happy. What he says is pretty obvious, but we don't exactly go around admitting it on a regular basis to eachother. We are all full of shit. I just loved his ability to cut through all the crap and say it. It is good to know I am not alone in these thoughts.
Everyone in the room started smiling and nodding after he said it. It feels so good to just acknowledge the complex games we are forced to play in life. It felt especially refreshing coming from an Englishman, because from my experience here tradition, decorum and social games rule.
I think it resonates with me so strongly because of my whole "pretending to be a scientist" thing. It does get tiring trying to play that role well every day. But if my life is full of pretense and subterfuge, then I should have no problems writing poems in which the truth is purely within the poem and nowhere in real life, right?
A poem is a truth in itself. Ooooooh I just made that up, sounds good doesn't it?
Ok ok, I will stop with the dodgy ponderations and say to everyone in the world who is seeing the Killers this weekend (I assume this applies only to South Africans unless they have access to some kind of beam me up Scotty facility), just remember:
THE HAMSTER LIVES.
Let its spirit move you to remember the correct words to all the songs.
- I've got ham but I'm not a hamster
- Are we human or are we hamster?
And it goes on.
(Just a note: Mr Brightside: "I'm coming out of my cage....." Need I say more?)