I think we can say that we are now living in the post-truth era. If we’re not, we should still say it. That would make the statement untrue, which would actually prove that we are living in the post-truth era, Which would make the statement true. Though, since we’re living in the post-truth era, the usefulness of saying that we’re living in the ‘post-truth era’ is debatable, as the truth is no longer what we deal in. However, if I say WE’RE LIVING IN THE POST TRUTH ERA really loudly and marry it with whatever’s trending on Twitter right now (Josh Gordon, whoever he is) then perhaps you’ll decide this post is worthy of note.
But when did we enter the era of post-truth? When were we pre-truth, when were we resolutely amid truth, and at what point did truth become a rapidly shrinking figure in our rear view mirror. Some say that the era started with that last paragraph I wrote. This is definitely a minority view however, as at time of writing I am the only person who’s seen that paragraph, and I certainly don’t believe that. Me stating that, however, is another good example of the post-truth age. What do you think of when you think of post-truth? Donald Trump and Brexit? Was 2016 the end of our often fractious relationship with reality?
Then what about when Russian troops barged into Ukraine and put all of their beach towels over the deck chairs of key installations in Crimea, claiming them as Russian? Lord of Banter™ Vladamir Putin chose not to acknowledge this truth. His opinion was that they were actually Crimean “self-defence groups” that had spontaneously formed in order to hand their province over to the sacred Russian nation and out of the hands of the ludicrously incompetent Ukrainian government. They were carrying Russian guns and equipment because they had just purchased it in a local shop. Which local Ukrainian shop selling Russian army equipment? Putin didn’t know, of course he didn’t know. What, you want him to check all of these Crimean Freedom Fighters’ receipts?? Give him a break. I think it’s fair to say that not a single person in the world believed this to be true. Not one foreign news source brought the bullshit. Putin couldn’t have possibly believed it to be true, considering he ordered the Russian army to invade in the first place. The people of Crimea didn’t believe it, because the people in that area are often born with two eyes that are able to perceive things. Nobody thought it was true. Meh, it still happened. It suited some people, so those people decided it was the way it was. ‘Truth’ had nothing to do with it. This was in February 2014.
The Israeli prime minister Golda Meir famously stated that “It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”, which is, I’m sure you’ll agree, a rather bold claim. She said that back in 1969, and many Israelis stand by the belief that Palestine doesn’t exist and never has. They must be pissed that the government seems to be spending so much time and money fighting against a state that doesn’t exist for the past six or seven decades. Many analysts say it was George Bush’s decision to go to war with Castle Grayscull in 1991 as the main reason he lost the election the next year. Not believing that Palestine even exists, despite the war with them being pretty much your country’s job description, is almost as stupid as not believing in clima… No, scrap that. Not believing in climate change is still way dumber. The nation of Palestine won’t destroy the entire human race in about 30 years, so ignoring it really doesn’t have that many lasting effects. Outside Palestine. Which is everywhere. Because it doesn’t exist. Wait… So then is nowhere outside Palestine…? I’m confused. Anyway, Palestine doesn’t exist because that suits some people so they made it so. Truth is irrelevent.
Back further, to 1931, when the Japanese wanted to justify an attack on China, way back when they felt they had to build reasons for just generally being dicks, set a piss-weak bomb off on one of their own railroads (it was so lame that a train was able to still use the railway minutes later) and accused the Chinese of doing it. They even went as far as to create a fake country, Manchukuo, when they invaded Manchuria. Decades later, Denzel Washington attempted to do the exact same thing, but it was far less successful. Britain justified their colonisation of Australia way back when by ‘pulling an Israel’ and announcing the legal doctrine of terra nullius (‘nobody’s land’). When Boris Johnsen claimed that £350 million would go to the NHS and everyone’s penis would grow three inches longer (man or woman) if we left the EU, he was obviously channelling the spirit of his great, great, great grandfather instantly erasing 50’000 years of Aboriginal history. Banter!
In fact, ‘post-truth’ goes back way further than that. The Bible, for example, is the biggest pile of horseshit ever written*. The Qua’ran too! Don’t think you’re getting off scott free, Muslims, you believe absolute tosh as well! ‘No pictures of Mohammed’?? Pffffff! I don’t even want to draw him! Because he’s a cunt and his stories are all shite! And you, Buddhists! That book you read, that… erm… What do Buddhist’s read? My Booky Wook by Russel Brand? He’s a Buddhist, right? Well, anyway, that’s bullshit too!
(*No, before you pull out your best lines from the draw marked ‘Megalolz’, even more horseshit than The Da Vinci Code, that’s a work of fiction, which is educated talk for ‘bullshit’. It never claims to be anything but light headed whimsy, if people believed any of it’s shite that’s their own fault. Don’t hate the player, hate the game)
Religion is utter horse shit. But it has been responsible for many beautiful things. Snakes obviously can’t talk, Garden of Eden or anywhere, but Canterbury Cathedral is still beautiful. Actually believing you should talk to an imaginary friend six times a day is at best excessive and at worst dangerously insane, but Islam still sparked an unprecedented burst of inventions across the Medieval Arab world (yeah, it all went to shit again a few hundred years after that, but this post is already way too long). I’ve not studied the beliefs of Buddhists too closely, but as far as I can tell they seem to worship a guy whose Dad obviously fucked an elephant, and yet without their loony beliefs we would never have had Gwenyth Paltrow. Do you want to live in a world without Gwenyth Paltrow? Absolutely not. Thank the elephant fuckers.
We’ve always been in a ‘post-truth’ age. It’s not even ‘post-truth’, as there was never any real ‘truth’ to emerge from. Humans have always lived in a sort of ‘alternative truth’. This ‘fiction’ is one of humanities greatest tools to inspire us to achieve unimaginable things. If we’re being honest, ‘reality’ really ain’t got much going, and is never going to motivate you to do shit Occasionally going balls to the wall and explaining away every occurrence with miracles, angels, demons and Jesus, and occasionally just dabbling in the odd bit of denial of the existence of something. For example, I like to consider myself a generally level-headed and sensible person, but I find it a lot easier to get through the day if I am completely sure that Portugal doesn’t exist. I don’t have time to explain my reasoning, but I’d really rather the very concept of Portugal was never even considered. It just makes it easier for me to get through the day. We humans have always needed at least a splash of bullshit, it’s all about finding the right balance.
The party pooping ‘experts‘ will claim that the incredible video game ‘Synthetic Core 88’ doesn’t exist, that it was merely a hypothetical excuse for Equip to compose a soundtrack. If believing that it does exist produces as wonderful, as well thought out and as infused with irresistible retro charm as this, does believing it do any harm? The truth’s overrated, we should all dabble in fantasy sometimes.
A real game- honestly, you guys, I own it- and a rather good soundtrack that doesn’t quite make the list despite featuring one of the year’s very best songs.
A record speed run, surely?