Truth And How It Got To Be That Way

spelunker in giant cave - light

The truth is we are born into a world of pain and devote most of our brief existence to satisfying base needs. Over time we are damaged, diminished, and ultimately destroyed. Instead of coexisting peacefully with the earth and each other our best energies are consumed by hatred, fear, violence, greed, and self-destruction.

The real tragedy of political correctness is that it has given lying a bad name.” Taz Mopula

We abhor truth and love lies. Lies are the air we breathe, the earth we tread upon, the foundations of our buildings. Most are so deeply ingrained we no longer even think of them as lies, indeed, we no longer think at all. Politicians, priests, and corporate representatives spoon-feed lies to the masses because people want to be lied to; lies win elections, build cathedrals, and sell soap.

“You can’t fool all of the people all of the time; but why would you even try when they’re so eager to do the job for you?” Taz Mopula

This is human nature, and I am not so foolish as to attempt a modification of that. However, I will frame it in a context of recovery, because, for the likes of us, recognizing and facing truth can be a matter of life or death.

“There are two kinds of people, those who believe there are only two kinds of people and those who dislike oversimplification.” Taz Mopula

Lunatics, wing nuts, and whackos – like me – are incapable of distinguishing reality from fantasy. We don’t want to live in an abandoned funhouse full of wavy mirrors misrepresenting reality; we just can’t help it. Dipsomaniacs, drug addicts, and adrenaline junkies – like me – are capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy, but we steadfastly refuse to try. No one hates truth quite as passionately as we do, and when it comes to lying, well; we are the masters.

“Pretending not to know the obvious is exhausting.” Taz Mopula

Mental health involves a long, arduous process that begins by identifying the truth about yourself. This is followed by a hard look at where you are, where you would like to be, and what it will take to get there. Brutal, often painful, honesty is an absolute requisite for this journey. For many of us, living a life of constant self-examination and ruthless honesty is rather like learning a new language. But, we tend to be determined, sometimes obsessive, people and what was once anathema can become a familiar, valued way of life. The benefits of rigorous honesty are everywhere, so we grow to love it.

“Don’t forget to wash up after losing your grip on reality; hand sanitizer is strongly advised.” Taz Mopula

Then, we get a horrible surprise. Mental illness and addiction have already marginalized us, we have always lived on the outskirts of town. But our newfound commitment to honesty and truth has put us in a ghetto on the outskirts of the outskirts of town. Remember, you have changed but the world has not. You have benefited from merciless self-evaluation and willingness to address your faults, but the world has not. Your modus operandi has changed, but take it from me, truth is just as unpopular on the outside as it has ever been.

“It’s not that I don’t love you, I do love you; I just don’t love you enough to lie to you.” Taz Mopula

Enjoy the quiet satisfaction and peace of mind it affords you, but, as ever, your ticker tape parade has been canceled.

Believe Me When I Tell You I Am Lying

The Art Of Deception Comes Naturally To Those Who Begin

As an advertising copywriter I am adept at making accurate statements in such a way as to allow, even encourage, people to leap towards inaccurate conclusions. As a poet I use words with precision and care until all that remains is emotional truth, expressed with as much elegance and clarity as I can summon. So, the duality of language is familiar to me, it is a sublime tool for concealing as well as revealing.

On the Internet, all statements are true; including this one.” Taz Mopula

I was raised on a steady diet of lies, as if they were an essential food group, a staple, never out of season. When this happens it is not long before lies are no longer recognizable as such, they become facts. This is not quite as dreadful as it sounds, we all believe an astounding variety of preposterous lies and many of them yield beneficial results. However, if you are on the road to recovery lies are not merely impediments, they are mortal enemies determined to eliminate any chance you have.

“Learn to speak the truth; it is helpful to be fluent in a foreign language.” Taz Mopula

Learning how to stop lying to others is a stroll in the park in comparison to unlearning the habit of lying to one’s self. This is almost impossible to do alone – since you are offender, victim, and instructor all at once – it is much better accomplished with the help of fellow offenders. Your brethren in disingenuous locution will be quick to “call you on your merde” – if you can forgive the colorful vernacular – and let you know when, and even why, you are attempting to sell a hot, steaming pile of twaddle to them and to yourself.

“Honesty may be the best policy; but the premiums are sure high.” Taz Mopula

As you become relentless about chasing truth, when you come to crave it like your next breath, life itself will shift on its axis. However, even though you and your world are transformed, the world around you remains intact. Suddenly it will seem as if the skyscrapers are held together with chewing gum and lies, and, like the small child watching the Emperor, you will want to point and shout. Be careful. Just because you have learned to live without lies does not mean that others have. Many people are heavily invested in the Emperor’s wardrobe and will not reward you if you reveal what has suddenly become obvious.

“If you are going to tell me the truth, at least have the decency to buy me dinner first.” Taz Mopula

Heard This One?

If You Cannot See Yourself As Others Do You Will Never Understand

Life is not funny; indeed, life repudiates all attempts to describe it.

People, on the other hand, with their vanities, hubris, delusions, and complete inability to accept existence as it is, are endlessly funny. The closer you get to the dark, corrupt heart of humanity the harder you laugh.

For me; truth, art, humor and pain have always been like four compass arrows at the North Pole; they seem to point away from one another but do just the opposite, and circumscribe all we have, and are, in the process.

I have never succeeded in teasing these elements apart. All three of my books look mercilessly at painful subjects: mental illness, evil, and addiction. Yet, all are outrageously funny – in the words of one reader – “wickedly funny”.

My cartoons, which pair found art & photography with created captions, are oddly entertaining, but rarely yuck yuck stuff. In them you often see the razor’s edge of satire, an author disappointed by humanity.

Taz Mopulisms – those Twitter-friendly snippets of faux profundity – are usually absurd, at least in part.

The harder I work to be honest, the funnier my output becomes. There is no changing that now. But understand; cheap laughs are not my quarry. I started down the road to madness over 40 years ago; since then Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) and chemical dependency have followed me like a curse.

Amazingly I have defeated them, but I am one of the lucky few.

I am a foot soldier in a war. I have lost so many dear friends and even family members to suicide of all descriptions – and I myself have peered over the ledge more times than I care to remember. I write for me, of course, because that is what I do. But I also write on behalf of the ones who didn’t make it, my lost brothers and sisters, for the benefit of those who need to see the other side.