Lies Have Lives

They say the Devil is in the details, so you would think a good lie depends on covering those details with air tight alibis. But lies are not paintings. They are performance. They are temporal. And they demand a strategy that outlasts the necessary lifespan of the lie. Any execution of deceit that fills possible holes a skeptic might look through, but neglects to consider what holes might arise tomorrow is already priming itself for failure. A lie, by definition, is intentional, and intentions herald purpose, and purpose implies schedule. If a lie is meant to win an election, then the day after election day is the expiration date of that lie. A successful lie demands a strategy in place to account for all possible consequences stemming from that lie up until that expiration date. And as purposes shift, so too do the lifespans of lies. Some lies, for example, outlive election dates if the truth they cover warrant impeachments and recalls. Depending on purpose, some lies might outlive even the liars.

The reason so many people fail to consider the lifespan of a lie is because the truth has no expiration date. It is true without effort. It is true without intervention. It is true indefinitely. So when we are truthful, we are simply rattling off a self-sustaining statement which precedes and proceeds our needs. It lives independent of us unlike a lie which depends entirely upon our effort to give it life. A lie is not self-evident and it is not self-sustaining. It demands our constant vigilance in guarding against the reality that threatens to tear it down. It demands calculation that considers its necessary lifespan. The truth has no upkeep. A lie is defined by upkeep.

So when we collude and conspire to tell lies, it is imperative that we consider and discuss the lifespan of those lies. A plan must be made to define the plausible reality of that lie and detail every facet of that reality up to the expiration of the lie. It is not enough to ask of someone that they lie for you and to agree upon that lie. An effective conspiracy demands of the conspirators an understanding of the full extension of the lie. It demands that a full reality be built to sustain the lie for as long as needed, and that consensus ought to be deliberated and confirmed upfront, as the nature of conspiracies is that they are averse to familiarity. When consensus is unmet, it demands of each conspirator an independent effort of parentage which confuses the lie in ways that almost always lead to grotesqueries, often confusing even the conspirators themselves. If I am to lie for another, then I am required to understand both intention and purpose in order to effectively understand the lifespan. Without these considerations, there is no way for me to address future reasonable inquiries of validity.

So the next time you endeavor to lie, consider that you are not simply spackling over some unsightly defects, but giving life to and committing to something that will demand of you a certain care to nurse its unnatural constitution. Planning for its longevity not only ensures its effective execution but also for the effective care from co-conspirators. Liars need to plan for these things.

 Or they should otherwise settle for the truth.