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I recently received an e-mail from a reader in Houston, Texas, which stated, in part:

“How can so many be so wrong for so long, and still the charade continues? It’s as if we deliberately dove off a building laughing and were miraculously saved by an awning. At times I’m tempted to believe we can’t fatally harm ourselves even if we try with all our might.”

I believe the reason so many can be so wrong for so long – without seeing through the charades (plural, not singular) that are served up to them day in and day out – is because conventional wisdom, myths and fairytales tend to gain strength with age. After all, if something has been around for such a long time, it must be true. Right?

What happens is that when a preposterous tale – or even an outright lie – is repeated often enough, it acquires “legs.” Meaning that it becomes self-sustaining. And if it attracts enough adherents, it spreads exponentially. This is how dogma evolves into “fact.” Through repetition, a lie can be transformed into truth, and often is.

The dictionary defines charade as “a blatant pretense or deception” – which means that most of what we see and hear are charades.

In the 1963 classic film “Charade,” Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) asks Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) why people lie. Joshua answers, “Usually it’s because they want something. They are afraid the truth won’t get it for them.”

Three examples:

  • Judge Larry Seidlin, who is presiding over the Anna Nicole Smith case, showboating for the cameras as though he were in a reality TV show. His pretentious posturing brings to mind the TV performances of Idiot Ito in the O.J. Simpson trial.

    So, what does Judge Seidlin hope to gain from his theatrics? He wants us to think he’s brilliant … hip … powerful … and that he is now, in fact, a full-fledged star! In other words, ego assuagement. The stereotypical Jewish mother’s dream – a son who becomes a lawyer … then a judge … and, finally, a celebrity.

  • Politicians are relentless purveyors of charades, constantly calling for increases in the “minimum wage” (even though it affects only 2 percent of the population and causes unemployment), incessantly babbling about Social Security “reform” (even though Social Security is a pyramid scam that is mathematically impossible to “fix”), acting as though they are serious about putting an end to illegal immigration (even though every rational adult recognizes that it is years too late to do anything about it, short of rounding up all the illegals and executing them).

    What do politicians hope to gain from such charades? The same things they are always after: first, our votes; second, as a result of our votes, power; third, adulation; and, fourth, the congressional perks that allow them to live like multimillionaires.

  • “Global warming” adherents now posit their invention as fact. Those who worship at the altar of global warming may very well turn out to be right, but today their theories are a long way from passing as incontrovertible evidence. The mantra that “the debate is over” is a monumental charade.

    What do the global warmies want? Control – influence over people and economies so they can remake the world in their own image.

How is it possible for the charades to continue? Because just as people get the governments they deserve, they also get the charades they deserve – and want. People love to be deluded. It feels so warm and fuzzy compared to the harshness of reality.

But what about our being saved by an awning and the possibility that perhaps we can’t fatally harm ourselves even if we try? Would that it were so, but the evidence suggests that we irreversibly damage ourselves all the time. In case you hadn’t noticed, the Greek and Roman Empires are not around anymore. Neither is the Soviet Union. All of them fell under the weight of their own charades.

It is therefore not surprising that the sun has set on Western civilization. We insisted on accepting the charade that freedom and equality can coexist … the charade that everything in life is relative and that there is no such thing as right and wrong … the charade that the most heinous criminals – even those from other countries who are here illegally – have the same rights as law-abiding citizens.

All noble thoughts, I guess – but, unfortunately, not good for maintaining a civilization. For better or for worse, civilization cannot exist without a generally accepted code of conduct. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

Make no mistake about it: The resilience of the human race is remarkable. We have survived the Dark Ages, tyrants, slavery and worse. But I do not agree that there is always an awning to catch us. For example, the 6 million Jews – some of whom bought into the charade that Germany was a safe and cultured nation, and that Adolf Hitler was a harmless nutcase – fell through the awning and landed in the gas chambers.

In closing, I am reminded of the tiniest of all mammals, the shrew, which weighs less than a dime. The shrew is a voracious eater and will not hesitate to devour other shrews. And when he’s hungry enough, and there’s no other prey around, he is capable of eating himself to death – literally – beginning with his own tail.

I believe that if a person tries hard enough, like the shrew, he can fatally harm himself. Man, of course, does not engage in self-cannibalism. Instead, he relies on the charade. Kind of analogous to a person who commits suicide by forcing the police to kill him.

I say forget about relying on the awning to save you, and instead focus on trying not to fall. If you continue to buy into the charades promulgated by government, Madison Avenue and the media – sooner or later the awning won’t be there to catch you.

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