Sunday, June 12, 2011

Voice of Truth

Words often lie, but the voice is incapable of lying.

In the contemporary world, amidst the prevalence of government and media, it is actually more correct to say, "Words always lie," not "Words often lie."

The great fact, the great feat, of modernity is the separation of the words from the voice, the disembodiment, disincarnation, of the word. As a result we have faceless, anonymous voices speaking terrifying words: the combination of anonymity and brute force.

The human in man is taken down slowly, methodically, inch by inch, brick by brick: the rule of law. Responsibility for one's acts (i.e. one's words). Accountability.

If the voice cannot be held accountable for the words it utters (or in a different mode, for the words it writes) how can ideas be held accountable? How can ideas be weighed for their truth-content if words "do not matter" (i.e. have no weight, are disembodied from the voices that speak them?)

Hitler was perhaps the last tyrant of the voice. The tyrants who have followed him are the tyrants of the voiceless, or perhaps rather the "unvoiced." The American presidency is the institution par excellence that signifies voicelessness. Those few presidents who possessed a distinctive voice have, sometimes, been killed. Actually, this is true of leadership in America in general: those who have achieved it have often been killed.

It is impossible to distinguished a truth from a lie in the moment of its occurrence. Truth is digestible, it can be digested. A lie can only be excreted. "To excrete a lie." How to do this? I suppose we must first be conscious of it - isolate it, coat it with some preservative, as the spider coats its prey and stores it in its web.

Of course, most of the time, experience does this for us. Experience is the wavering ground between the lie and the truth. It is our arena of battle, it is for us to conquer or to be defeated: the reclamation of truth from our experience. This reclamation or redemption of experience is our task in life, the particular mission with which we have been entrusted.

The Lie: it keeps wanting to be quality, hence its perpetual envy, its restless self-inflation, unceasing self-manufacture... Certainly the voice is a quality - "vocal quality" is a reality that deals with resonance. Would it be accurate to say that the Lie deals with quantity whereas truth is a quality, is quality? I would have to meditate on this....


Spyoptaelip said...

Hi Caryl.

Here are some words to meditate upon. I appreciate being appreciated (PEDANTIC ROMP ON A RETRO-COGITATION) and have been remiss in not acknowledging that sooner.

I sometimes come up that way and will certainly notify you if I do. We wordysmiths must band together!

Jack Suss
aka Stubby Knuckles

Spyoptaelip said...

Don't know how I would contact you if I ever swing up that way. You'll need to send me an email or phone.