Aren’t we all just a bunch of cranky modernists? Isn’t it time for us to drop all this talk about “reality” and “objectivity” and “truth”?
I mean, does it honestly matter what really happened to Brian Williams in Iraq? Isn’t it ok if what he thinks happened doesn’t match up with what actually happened? Or even if he remembers what really happened, the rhetorical effect is clearly much better when he is in the helicopter that took an RPG to the fuselage! It communicates a better message. Draws a better audience. Maybe even advances a better cause. The story loses its punch if Williams is merely in the helicopter behind the one that got shot down.
Does it really matter what Obama intended when he said that he was against gay marriage during the 2008 presidential election? What really matters is what the message accomplishes in the hearers, right? I mean, he got elected, and Rick Warren’s church was assured they were voting for a president who believed what they believed about marriage! Shouldn’t we weigh Obama’s message not by what he meant, but by what we heard? In 2008 we heard that he was for traditional marriage. In 2012 we heard that he was for gay marriage. And then in 2015, we heard that he was lying in 2008. But was it really lying? Lying implies a twisting of the truth—a twisting of reality—out of sinister motives. But do we really know what is true? What is reality? What Obama’s motives were? Isn’t chasing after motives akin to chasing after the wind?
Only modernists are concerned with such things. Pre-Enlightenment, nobody would have questioned Brian Williams’ motives or the factuality of his account. Here we are, post-modernity. We’ve moved past the inconvenience of “truth”. Let’s understand that what matters is not “real” portrayal but only “realistic” portrayal—for the benefit of the hearer, of course. What is true for Williams doesn’t have to be true for us. What is true for Obama doesn’t have to be true for us. Everything is subjective. Everything is relative.
So come on down off your modernist high-horse and quit getting all wrapped up in the “facts”. Give Williams his job back. Rejoice in being deceived by your President—after all, it was for your good. And join the postmodern parade where everyone is leading and no one is following, but we’re all having a good time. It’s more fun that way.
[If it wasn’t obvious, this post was purely tongue-in-cheek. But then again, does it really matter what I think?]