posted by coyote
It used to be that unreliable narratives were a device of true artists. Such as, say, Joseph Conrad, considered still to be a master of the novel.
Us semimythical coyotes have gained a certain smaller, more folklore-ish rep as unreliable narrators in prairie cultures with storytelling traditions. I admit we may tend to fudge ummm, small details in the interests of extending a good shaggy dog narrative. In this ramshackle blog's salad days, we had quite a snappy repartee on the roles of unreliable narrators. Begun, if memory serves, by our departed Muse.
But dissembling doggies got nuthin' on the current crop of political operators. As a cog in the unreliable narrator biz, I feel increasingly insulted by their rapid-fire repeater talking points as they attempt to, quote, "seize the narrative". These guys don't give a beaver's butt (or posterior of another rodent of your choice. Porcupine's patoot? I digress...) about the all-important kernel of truth any more. Every good fiction needs it. Yet sucking deeply from the pressurized cylinders of rarified weirdness inside their bubble/hothouse/echo-chamber/whatever, the minority ruling party has convinced itself that voters won't notice it's tossed truth aside completely.
Tasting power has made 'em kinda hallucinaTory. Sad really. I'm supposed to be the critter with the loose grip on reality.
I think the blatant, repeated fibbage bears on the current much-discussed-and-lamented election malaise, particularly in the under-35 cohort. Can't blame 'em. Being born in the path of a relentless tsunami of consumer advertising has made 'em awesome bullshit detectors. Faced with an eternal flush of overspun, overwhelming effluent, of which politics has become a pathological subset, most put the shields up and pointedly slope off to higher, drier ground.
Awhile back, some amoral backroom operator decided they no longer needed to pay lipservice even to the tiny grain of truth that good fictions rely upon. Because just making crap up "works". Well, yeah. For a while. Crudely. But blowing off an entire rising generation is a spectacularly shortsighted tactic for democracy and the nation as a whole.
Neocon backrooms harbour teams of strategists, spin doctors and writers whom I imagine are considered in their small, specialized circles to be "artists" at what they do. By the logic they themselves surely would write into Stephen Harper or John Baird's or Tony Clement's briefing books if they'd thought of it, that makes 'em, ummm... con artists. Ba-da-bomp. Rimshot.
If you're a wanna-be government whose much-vaunted base seems to be a bunch of pissed off old poops, and you're running out of time to nail down a majority before they die, and you're on a self-assigned mission to change the ethos of an entire country against its will, it makes a Pyrrhic kind of sense to lie your way into power. And at what cost to the rest of us?
* * * Update * * *Oh, and? When you finally do see fit to artistically insert a kernel of truth in your narrative? Make sure it matches the matter at hand.
Pro-tip: Do not screw with one of Canada's most trusted - and feisty - Parliamentary officers...