Just when I think it’s time to change things up with the Poetry Daily and NOT do a quotation poem, a stray tweet reported in a newscast comes along and it so beguiles, despite the charmlessness of its author, that I just had to see where it would take me .Given the environmental policies that have emitted like CO2 from certain departments, it’s a strange statement to be made from someone who I reckon has spent little time in nature at all.
That statement jostled in my mind with a Bible verse from John 8:32 “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” I am not a great Bible scholar, but along with “Jesus wept” it’s a favourite. I certainly hope truth can save the US Constitution from the paper shredding its been having the past two years. It’s not a perfect document, hence the need for amendments over the span of two centuries. It was written by imperfect mortals. But its aspirations are laudable.
Nature teaches us of the eternal cycle of creation and destruction. So, too, does truth. It smashes illusion and delusion. But it also sets us free to create, redeem, and save what can be saved.
No, there will not be a quotation poem today, but a quotation is at base of what did emerge in poetry practice this morning. I feel a bit different about it after I watched a rather disturbing video on You Tube before bedtime. It left me thinking “Oh shit, this is how conspiracy theories get made and this one could hurt a lot of harmless people if it gets bandied about by malicious or desperate people. Because it has happened before.” There was one word that was a tip off, as well as, a stray descriptive clause, that rang my alarm bells. I will not share because one does not want to pollinate that sort of insidious stuff in others. It looks quite thoroughly researched, but there is a low level smug glee behind all the accumulation of facts, many salted with factoids.
Factoids have the appearance of truth. But are really at the Information Masquerade Ball. But back to John Keats’ quote.
Sollipsism is the the theory that nothing can be known except through one’s own mind. Everything revolves around self. Which is probably very lonely. But it you fill your mind with unreliable pieces of this and that your self is liable to be manipulated. Information can have the appearance of fact. Videos can be doctored and people manipulated as charactersations on the record saying what they have not said in real time. Everything is degraded.
Factoids have the appearance of fact.
In the absence of the reliable what is reality? When even eyes can be fooled. Video airbrushed. Everyone can be the author of a director's final cut. Our world is now constructed of magical thinking masquerading as more information. Lies can be packaged as truthy. If not truth... Where is the beauty? Is a poet, Keats, author of our salvation from factoid? Or yet one more snare of appearance undermining our universal laws, .where even gravity can be called into question.