[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ow hold on here, I know the title is challenging, I could hardly hold back the tears of laughter just typing it. But I thought I’d write this not as a response to the warmth and fuzziness of life in the body politic of intimacy and farting, but as a reminder. I was over at the “GUMP” site, for those who are wondering or have forgotten it’s the “Good Unless Male Project,” Reading an article by none other than Forrest himself, and I thought hey let’s check out some other stuff written by the elves that lurk in the Forrest. I do understand in a kind of laundry on Wednesday and bowel movement before 8am way that the challenge of being just a regular guy. Forrest himself has often eluded to his own struggles with his rasculinity.
For those confused that’s masculinity with an “R” and only to be used if you’re a pirate or plunderer, or missed laundry day, or if you have one leg, or a bird that won’t shut up. Wives don’t count because they are always honest, honest. It’s sage advice being rolled out and if you’re looking for evidence just cut the man down and count the number of annual marital rings, I mean “growth rings” and you will know that there is nothing superficial going on here at all. Honest.
Now I do know that in an irregular kind of way, missing those magic moments to contemplate the universe or read an insightful edition of COSMO just before 8 am may lead to a day of being full of shit. It’s paradoxical really in a “Male Honesty” kind of way. And since we’re discussing “Male Honesty” and being full of shit in a “Paradoxical” kind of way, I thought I might offer some honest insight from the Forrest. Honest questions from an honest man answered by honest people in an honest kind of way. Honest.
I know cause I can “feel” the honesty in his questions, and if you “feel” it, well then it has to be honest. Honest. Now the paradox doesn’t just begin and end with the questions, no friends round two of the paradox (and I’m not referring to a shoe style here) moves on to include none other than …….Amanda Marcotte, the epicenter of honesty and her feelings that support it. Not to be confused with a dish of pasta, Amanda herself is often found to be rich in vitamin “aye.” But let’s not waylay this with a discussion about stuffed linguini or semolina flowers chafed in their own oils. Let’s eat.
The probe into Paradox opens profoundly with these questions……………
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What does it mean to be faithful in love?
How do you try to be true to your best self?
Are we a nation of men being dishonest about fundamental truths?
Is radical honesty that helps strangers but hurts loved ones worth it?
Why do men so often lie when the truth would work just as well?
If a good man is an honest man, does a good man never lie?
Is silence a lie?
Is love a compromise of conflicting truths?
Does love require a kind of truth-telling which is always painful?
Is it okay to embellish for the sake of a good story?
Does reality TV really happen?
How do you do no harm when the truth is immensely painful?
How do you tell a woman she is beautiful just frequently enough with sufficient variety that she believes you?
Is it possible to be the same man at work and at home, with the guys and with your spouse? Or is some amount of play-acting necessary to survive in the modern world?
What are the things that it’s okay to lie to your kids (or kids in general) about?
What does it mean to live with integrity in a non-verbal way?
Are feelings facts?
Is the truth always more powerful than a lie?
Please feel free to address any of these probing questions into the context of “male honesty” and it’s accompanying paradox, I know that if you “feel” free then you too are honest.
Maybe I’m one of those “guys” that paradoxically realizes that if you need to affirm your honesty with investigative reporting on who, what, when, where and why then you likely miss the point altogether. Given the frequent connection between love and honesty in the questions, I’m left to wonder where honesty goes if it’s anything less than love that you experience towards another. I was taught by my predecessor, Knuckledragger, that honesty is often self-serving. His words echo inside me, “to thine own self be true.”
It’s one of those opportunities to discover your place in the world, who’s who and where you might fit in the scheme of things. But then of course there is a world of difference between being honest and telling the truth. Not knowing the difference can lead to a distorted sense of privilege. Amanda eyeballed that curve immediately and took a swing at the “male privilege” behind the “paradox of male honesty” and I quote………
“It’s intellectually dishonest to argue that one can separate discussions of privilege from discussions of honesty. Since we were provoked to be honest, I was honest about this. I realize that it makes some people uncomfortable, but that was the challenge. Having your statements be accepted as truth regardless of empirical facts or conflicting narratives is a function of privilege. Defining what is true and what is not is a function of privilege. If men want to be honest, they must begin by questioning their privilege. Any other starting point is….a lie.”
If you are wondering, I’ve thought it to be important that when you tell a joke in writing where you highlight the punch line so the reader knows when to laugh. Of course I did consider that Amanda was being a cryptic sage and really telling us that she is a liar but that would suggest retrograde honesty and that is much more political than personal. So I’m somewhat confident that what Amanda is offering is her pseudo truth. That without considering the lack of privilege possessed by men and accepting the political powerlessness offered by feminism you are lying to yourself.
Honesty is a bit of a Pavlovian maze if you ask me and it seems the rats are always looking for payola after a good run. I’m a profoundly honest person myself, even during delusional episodes of flatulence, and find the delivery is made more honest with sincerity. Really, what’s honesty about if not the process of negotiating perception and making rules of predictability? Isn’t that really a woman’s game?
Even a pathological liar is honest when weighted against consistency and that goes a long way towards sincerity. Maybe the paradox only exists between men and women. I’m kind of thinking that the undertone of these questions may be more related to effectively lying and making it sound honest.
Now for all you guys who are still struggling with the “do I look fat in this dress” question – a piece of advice, don’t answer it. There is another way, simply ask her to take off the dress, put it on yourself and then tell her you look fatter than her in the dress. It may not be honest but at least there’s comic relief.
It’s a process of magical force this thing referred to as honesty and the real measure behind it is not your own honesty but the extent of gullibility possessed by the listener. There’s the rub, aye; are you gullible enough to believe that they are gullible enough to believe that you aren’t gullible at all? I mean when it comes to honesty it’s likely the most honest people you will ever meet are the ones you don’t believe.
What about people that talk to themselves? Are they honest or are they lying or are they just second guessing themselves and shopping for sincerity? Seems these folks would believe that honesty is more about a sincere delivery than substance. What if while talking to themselves they exercise any disbelief? Then challenging the source becomes somewhat of a disembodied diatribe. Who the hell is going to argue the accountability of personal honesty while engaged in a conversation with themselves?
Then of course you have people that hear voices, or even “talk to the dead” or to “aliens” or to “oracles.” In my younger years, while exploring mysticism, it all came to a breathtaking halt of realization against some very wise words given to me by a man over a pint of beer. It was very sage advice and insight that I had never considered until that moment. “Just cause they’re dead doesn’t mean they know anything.” That, my friends, was a life changer for me and I have to admit real honesty for me always has a touch of humor.
In my experience when it comes to communicating honesty with men a simple “are you shitting me?” or “bullshit” seems to have been adequate over the years. That’s not to say I haven’t been lied to by guys, but I have taken into consideration that maybe they had to. Fair enough, I’ll hold back the tears and push on. I’ve never felt the need to call the emotion police for a mouth swab to check for honesty. I mean, if someone is lying to me there’s two simple questions I ask, why do they feel the need and do I need to feel anything as a result.
I did learn something profound from my last partner about honesty. Whenever she would start on me, you know first comes the evidence then comes the complaint, and then comes the restitution, I would stand quietly look her straight in the eye and smile lovingly at her. She would always start laughing and at that point the honesty would be accompanied by respect. I really did love her for that.
I guess here is where I’ll have to be honest myself with the reader. You can put the Kleenex away now, there is absolutely nothing in this article about sex. Sorry, I lied.