Sunday, April 01, 2012

Why I Hate Bill Clinton

I got inside her oval office
I know this may seem as relevant as it is timely, but you can't time when the mysteries of the universe are revealed to you through a drug-induced stupor after an opium bender in Hong Kong with a body building ex-cabinet minister from Croatia with one testicle.  It happens when it's meant to happen.  I'm not sure why, but the other day I was having grunge flashbacks of the 90's and all of the sudden an image of the Clint-meister popped into my head followed swiftly by waves of anger then rage.  It took me a couple minutes to figure out what the hell was happening to me, then I realized it was some kind of repressed emotions brought on by some acute trauma.  I also realized it was in some way tied to an intense hatred directed at the former US president.

I don't know what exactly triggered memories of everybody's favourite (living) ex-president/ladies man, but the more I thought about it the more the pieces started falling into place.  I didn't hate Clinton for his policies.  I didn't hate Clinton because of his affair with Monica Lewinski (but seriously, you have your choice of ANY woman in the free world, and that's the pick of the litter in your eyes?).  I didn't even hate him because he lied about his presidential indiscretions.  In fact, I hated him for the exact opposite reason.  I hated him because he stopped lying.

The problem with Bill Clinton is that he betrayed the Brotherhood of Liars and made it harder for liars the world over -your truly included- to ply their trade.  If Bill Clinton -a world leader and one of the most powerful and influential men in the world- could be broken and admit to lying, then what chance did the rest of us had?  That fucker brought down so much heat on the rest of us that even thinking about him now I can feel my balls sweating profusely.

For those of you uninitiated in the art form of lying -and, used properly, it can be elevated to an art form- allow me this brief (if somewhat distasteful) moment of honesty to explain to you the fundamentals of truly effective lying.  Most people are amateur liars.  Everybody lies.  It's a simple fact.  We lie to each other and to ourselves for all kinds of different reasons ("Does this dress make me look gay?"  "Of course not, Adam."), but most people do it as a habit and not as a rule.  There are socially acceptable forms of lying that we engage in all the time (i.e. Santa Clause, telling your kid she's good at everything, tipping etc.), but most people don't really go above and beyond the call of duty or when really pressed stupidly blurt out the truth, or just can't lie for shit when the pressure is on.

But the really great liars will lie consciously, and sometimes for no good reason.  Well, no good reason to the untrained observer.  One reason for continual lying is to keep in practice.  The other reason to pepper everyday life with pointless lies is wear people down always keeping them on their toes until they're so confused they don't which way is up and will be open to believing almost anything.  (If you think it doesn't work, just take a look at the success Republicans have had with subverting Obama's universal health care initiative with lies of such ridiculous magnitude that it seems like a great deal of Americans seem to be actively trying to be fooled.)  The point is that in order to lie effectively people can't tell the difference whether you're lying or not.

The tricky part then becomes be able to successfully fake sincerity and exude the aura of honesty.  This is not as hard as it sounds, though it does require a great deal of practice and dedication.  And that leads us to one of the fundamental aspects of truly effective lying.  The best liars are the best because they aren't lying.  The key to effective lying is not to lie at all; you simply have to believe everything you say as you're saying it (or for as long as you need to until whatever situation you got yourself into blows over).  That's the thing that people don't understand.  The greatest lies aren't really lies at all.  Because truth is relative to the perception of the individual, then as long as one person believes the lie (including the liar himself) then it is not really a lie at all.

Bill Clinton had the first fundamental down cold.  That's not why I hate him.  The reason I hate Clinton is that he failed to adhere to the second fundamental of lying.  The second fundamental has to do with people challenging your lie, or providing incontrovertible "proof" that you are, in fact, lying (i.e. the words you are saying contradict the hard evidence).  This is often referred to by people in the business as "being in the hot seat."  Yet even in the face of (key word here) seemingly incontrovertible proof, all hope is not lost thanks to the second fundamental of lying which has three very simple rules:
1) Deny.
2) Deny.
3) Deny.    

That's what Clinton never understood and what separates the truly exceptional from the amateurs.  Truly effective lying requires complete and total dedication.  That's where Clinton fucked it up for the rest of us.  The moment he admitted that he had lied, that he lost faith in his own lie -his own reality that he had created- was the moment he lost all power.  If you ever admit that you were lying, you destroy the power of the lie.  You destroy the appearance of credibility and integrity that you have built up with your audience that is necessary to manipulate and control them, which is, of course, the ultimate purpose of lying.  When you backpedal or try to recant or re-clarify your original story, then the whole damn thing falls apart.  You simply cannot maintain even the slightest shred of integrity if you vary from your original lie in the least bit.  Even if people believe they have you dead to rights they can still muster up a grudging kind of respect for the iron will of a man or woman who will stick to their original story even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  The moment you give up any ground you look like a fucking little kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  Pathetic.

When Clinton admitted he had been lying when he denied the affair with Lewinski he opened the floodgates.  If a bunch of hacks from FOX News could break the will of the President of the United States of America (no affiliation with the (questionably) popular band from the 90s) then what the hell kind of chance did the rest of us have?  All of the sudden ball busters came out of the woodwork and started beating liars into submission, questioning everything, applying their reason and logic unrelentingly.  Cynicism is the natural enemy of the liar.  Cynics question everything and take nothing at face value.  Do you realize how difficult it is to try and get people to believe anything in a social climate like that?  In the wake of Clinton's bullshit, people began actively seeking out lies and the liars they belonged to, hunting us down almost to extinction just like the Jedi.  And like the Jedi liars had to use their own brand of mind tricks to wear people back down, whittle away all the cynicism, and suspicion, and self-righteousness to get to that delicious, creamy middle of apathy and confusion that's like pay dirt for the liar.  

And that's why I hate Bill Clinton.  He was a fucking amateur and made the rest of us look bad.  He was the worst kind of liar; the kind without the backbone enough to endure the hot seat.  If you're going to lie, do it with integrity.  Do it with respect.  If you're going to lie, then lie honestly.  When Clinton admitted to the lie, what he ultimately admitted to was the only unconscionable form of lying: self-deception.  The cardinal rule of lying, in order to lie to others effectively, you must be completely, brutally honest with yourself.  Also, as per the first fundamental of lying, you have to believe what you're saying is absolutely true.  When Bill Clinton admitted he was lying to us, he admitted he was lying to himself as well.  The reality he had created in his own mind he exposed as bogus.  It's a house of cards.  If you expose one part of your reality as a lie, then where does it stop?  How many of your personal truths can be revealed as lies before your whole goddamn world collapses around you (metaphysically speaking)?  Bill Clinton's shitty lying revealed the very real danger and hidden fear of amateur and expert liars alike, that when you stop believing your own story you stop believing in yourself.  I hate Bill Clinton because he represents the possibility that my own house of cards might one day be brought toppling down.  I hate Bill Clinton for reminding me of my own nagging self-doubt and for exposing my own vulnerability.  I hate Bill Clinton not because he exposed the error of our ways, but for the implication that our way was error-filled at all.  If I can't even choose the lies I believe in, then what the hell can I do?