It’s sad – but possible – that truth no longer carries the weight it used to. When it was still difficult to bring it into the light of day, when it did finally become visible to a voting population – as it emerged, bleary-eyed, into the public sphere – people simply had to take notice and pay attention to its impact: the shock of this or that revelation having the power of scarcity to drive it onward and upwards as it reached the very top of our list of priorities.
But now, with social media, 24-hour news and scandalous publishing projects of so many different natures, it would seem we get so very much of the truth that any politician or businessperson who suffers the pain of being caught with their pants down – and I don’t mean just sexual transgressions here – only has to ride out the breeze in a teacup which now constitutes the public reception of anything true, before easily recovering his or her equilibrium and right to continue as if nothing had ever happened.
These days, no one needs to hide or manage the truth because no one cares about its essence. In our world of plenty, where consumer gadgets dominate practically our every waking moment, the ultimate achievement of this quantitative society has been to make the cup of truth itself so very plentiful and overflowing that we lose the ability to value its existence any more.
Truth, then, has become redundant.
Which explains, of course, why we are blessed with the political and business leaders who care to charm us.
They know it doesn’t matter what reality actually is. They know that their words are ephemeral, passing and falsely embracing. They know that even when they’re caught out by our truthsayers – those that still see the point of existing, that is – we’re so used to incorrectness and imbecility in the public sphere that shortly we’ll be choosing instead to tweet about our next meet-up or badmouthing with glee a friend we allegedly have in common.
Such are the delights of an interconnected age.
In truth, to the 21st century, truth is irrelevant.
Just as we no longer value hot and cold running water, just as we no longer worry about slaughtering that pig, just as we expect to have a roof over our head and a car in our garage and a health service which works and a social security net which saves us from homelessness, so truth has become so absolutely omnipresent that we find ourselves absolutely unable any more to properly measure or appreciate its value.
A century without truth or truth without a century? It’s out there still – but do you want in your home? I don’t think so, do you?