December 21, 2003

On Meaning, Truth, and Reality

I’ve been so upset with the spin the Republican party has been able to put on their politics and party member’s morals. I've been upset for several reasons; 1) because of the obfuscation of the actual purpose for the invasion of Iraq (Bush revenge!), 2) the stretching of mores to accept the truth that a great Republican politician can have an illegitimate child, and 3) because a great Republican pundit can be addicted to his medication just like a crack addict can be addicted to his. But, it’s “okay” because, “come- on, we’re all mature and understand that these things happen.” All that has led me to think about the relationship between reality, truth, and fiction.

However, several years ago, we tried to impeach a Democrat president over a cigar sucking incident. Yes, I’m putting my own spin on that too, and, I accept my spin as true, while you might not. So, what is the relationship between truth, meaning, and reality?

There are some basic assumptions many of us make about the nature of reality that are inaccurate. These assumptions are based on several syllogisms. First, it is assumed that meaning and truth are the same thing. Instead, the presence of white in a painting often means the lack of color and that lack is equated with purity. However, according to science, white is really the presence of all the spectrum colors. If, on the other hand, an artist should attempt to make white paint by mixing these colors together, he or she will obtain muddy brown. Seen from this position, the “true” meaning of white is an obfuscated blur, an amalgam of meanings that postpones the arrival at any single understanding. Secondly, it is assumed that truth is the same as reality. Instead, visual reality demonstrates the lie. If I paint a picture in which a huge banana reclines on a couch, and place it on exhibit, most viewers understand that I am not describing reality, but that, instead, I am making a dreamlike surreal image. It is not false, rather, it is a fictionalized variation of reality and it may be based on an actual daydream or nightmare. Third, based on the first two syllogisms, it is assumed that reality is the same as meaning. That is, if A (meaning) is equal to B (truth), and B is equal to C (reality), then A (meaning) is also equal to C (reality). Such symmetry as demonstrated above does not represent actual conditions. Alternatively, to oppose any of these words with the term “fiction” is not appropriate, since any of them may be fictionalized by the artist/writer. And that includes the writers/planners of political thought and campaigns.


Be that as it may, it looks as though the reality of Saddam’s capture will propel GW into the white house for a second term. Little does it matter that Saddam did not possess WMD. Little does it matter that the president and his cabinet lied to us about Saddam’s posession of WMD. Little does it matter that there is no proven connection between Saddam and Osama bin Ladin. Seventy-two percent of the American population believes that there is such a connection because the President and his cabinet have said so over and over again.

Back to the simulacrum one more time - Time - tyme.

And now Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has agreed to give up WMD. I’m stunned. The Bush is in for a second term like Flynn!

Perhaps we are the new Rome, and as the Mediterranean Sea became a Roman lake, the world will become an American Planet. In a way, my other home, Varnastrama would be more like Earth if that should happen. Is there a set of laws (like Newton’s laws of gravitation) one of which would be that parallel worlds must have similar characteristics despite incredibly disparate histories?

*The image above was taken from “Nanda Snoobbe,” The Daily News, Jahannesburg, South Africa, courtesy of, (visited 12/19/03 6:30 A.M.)

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Take a look at:

Holty’s blog for great political comentary and much more from an Australian point of view.

Mark Harden’s Artchive. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the best place to find excellent images of artist’s works on the WWW.

Gay Artist’s Galleries

John Giuffre’s blog Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain


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