WHAT IS TRUTH?: President Biden emerges as LIAR!


A world where Storyline rules: It's harder and harder to see the way out of our nation's mess.

That doesn't mean that there isn't a route of escape. It's just hard to see what it is.

"Things are in the saddle and ride mankind," Emerson famously said. Today, it's The Crazy which sits in the saddle—The Crazy and Storyline.

On the cable news broadcasts which air in Our Town, The Crazy is currently capably represented by Congresswoman QAnon—Marjorie Taylor Greene. Based on perfectly respectable reporting, there's nothing too crazy for her to believe, nothing too violent to tilt toward.

That said, it isn't just Greene. We've continued to learn, in the past several decades, that there seems to be nothing that's too crazy for many people to believe.

People believed in Pizzagate. Before that, people believed in birtherism. 

Before that, people believed that the Clintons had murdered all those people, and people believed that Candidate Gore kept making those crazy misstatements. Our journalists were even asking if that string of crazy misstatements—those LIES—might reflect some sort of psychological impairment.

Many people believed these things, or at least pretended to do so. Many people advanced those various claims. 

Many such people were liberal elites from our high-powered professional guilds. At present, there's a huge amount of The Crazy in "deplorable" towns, but it isn't all found Over There!

On this very day, near-variants of The Crazy are being widely reported right here in Our Town. We see at least four such near-variants reported in today's New York Times alone. 

Locations: San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Peru. In our view, The Crazy is hardly unknown Over Here, where Storylines about gender and race have routinely been used as our toys.

When we go crazy over here in Our Town, it almost always involves some matter of gender or race. Our long-postponed discussion of this depressing matter will be launched next week.

That said, is The Crazy really in the saddle? Along with its partner, Storyline, does The Crazy now rule mankind?

To a large extent, so it can seem. This signals the need for a journalistic meta-discussion—a meta-discussion which would be drawn from the realm of abnormal psychology.

For example:

Is "something wrong" with Congresswoman QAnon? Are we looking at a type of medical or psychiatric impairment?

Is "something wrong" with Congresswoman Q? We'll guess that something is! 

That said, our "highly educated" media elites agreed that we mustn't have that discussion about our former commander-in-chief.  They'll stick with that stance in this latest case, refusing to examine the underlying conditions which permit The Crazy to spread far and wide among the struggling populations of our war-inclined species.

Many people believe in QAnon! What allows that to happen?

Now for a moment of candor:

After Biden took the oath, we enjoyed a few days of repose at this site. The former commander-in-chief had left town. Blissfully, he'd even been silenced!

Under the rubric of "What Is Truth?" we actually thought that we could discuss the role of truth in the ways we react to Hollywood films. We imagined and said that we'd do so this week.

So silly! We expect to skim that topic tomorrow. For today, let's bring the note of sadness in.

At The Atlantic, it's already happened. One of the youngsters has already learned that Joe Biden is a big LIAR—that "no one w[ill] be true."

In fairness, that isn't quite what the relative youngster said. But it comes fairly close. 

His piece appears under the headlines shown below. As many Hollywood films have chronicled, the younger, vastly more "privileged" generations will often feel quite badly used:

Biden Will Lie to You
All presidents do.

The Atlantic lists that "story" under IDEAS. Perhaps they're just being ironic.

The crazy misstatements of Donald J. Trump have defined this political era. In Our Town, we've preferred to refer to these lunatic statements as "lies," even though we have no way of knowing if the lunatic is so crazy that he really believes them.

To spread this theme to Biden so quickly is a sign of a vast though familiar disorder. It takes us back to the previous generation, which kept inventing ways to claim that Candidate Gore was spreading his own perverse LIES.

With regard to The Atlantic, the "story" in question is basically daft. As an example of journalism, it's a fuzzy and hapless non-starter.

That said, the lovely shall be choosers and the privileged love to complain! According to major experts, this is bred very deep in the bone, and it's found among every "race."

Despite thousands of years of silly self-flattery, we humans just aren't super-sharp. We love Storyline and we love to complain, though always about Them, Over There.

Tomorrow: What is truth in film? To what extent are we humans wired to care about matters of truth?

Starting next week: Gender and race Over Here

Tears of Storyline: As always, Dylan managed to write about it before it appeared. In this case, he did so in Tears of Rage (1968), with lyrics which offered us this:
I want you to know that while we watched you discover
That no one would be true
We were among the ones who thought
It was just a childish thing to do
No one will be true! Not even big liar Biden! Meanwhile, concerning the toys which are now widely enjoyed in Our Town, that same song offered us this:
It was all very painless
When you went out to receive
All that false instruction
Which we never could believe.
And now the heart is filled with gold
As if it was a purse
But, oh, what kind of love is this
Which goes from bad to worse?
Performative gender and race in Our Town! Our dreamscapes get started next week!


  1. "Many people believe in QAnon! What allows that to happen?"

    Why, no, it's you and your zombie cult who believe in QAnon, dear Bob.

    What many of The Others believe (with good evidence) is that the globalist elite represented by your cult is utterly corrupt.

    "One of the youngsters has already learned that Joe Biden is a big LIAR"

    Pff. A career politician who hasn't done a day's worth of honest work in his life? Who woulda thunk it, dear Bob. Such a earth-shattering revelation.

    You don't like it? Well, what about 'figurehead vegetable'?

    1. If we were as gullible as you think we are, we'd have bought the phony story about Trump not being the best thing to happen to the Establishment.

    2. Figurehead vegetable? A perfect name for Trump. And he is even orange like a carrot!

    3. ma0 ma0 * ,!, ,!,

  2. Mao's extra chromosomeJanuary 29, 2021 at 11:04 AM

    Oy vey!

  3. "President Biden emerges as LIAR!"

    This is not the takeaway message of that Atlantic article and it is certainly not true.

    Somerby emerges as LIAR. Why? Because he spread that headline over his "report" today and then failed to explain why the Atlantic article is wrong about Biden. Biden doesn't deserve that, has done nothing whatsoever to merit that accusation. Further it attempts to normalize Trump's rabid lying by equating it to what all presidents supposedly do (according to The Atlantic). This kind of shit isn't what liberals do and it shouldn't be what Somerby does, especially if he is sensitive about the way Al Gore was labelled by the press.

    Somerby should be ashamed of himself.

  4. About 60 years ago, Professor Louis Narens of the University of California, Irvine, did a study of delusional systems of people who believe odd things, such as spirit mediums and those who believe they have been abducted by aliens. He found that the people who believe such things are not mentally ill but are psychiatrically normal in respect to the rest of their lives. John E. Mack, a Harvard psychiatrist found the same thing, studying people with alien abduction stories. In fact, he was so convinced by their faith in their own stories that he decided there must be some truth in them. This contributed to the broader discussion of the nature of false memories conducted in the psychological and psychiatric communities in the 1980s and 1990s. People can and do maintain delusions (false beliefs) without being mentally ill. Some would say that religious beliefs routinely held by many people fall into that category.

    That said, delusions are also a symptom of disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (esp. mania), with or without paranoia. Some psychologists, along with Freud, say that to some extent false beliefs are necessary to maintain mental health by preserving ego and hope, enabling us to face adversity, be resilient and act despite awareness of death. The key is balance, so that one can maintain effective functioning in the real world, communicate and bond with others, and participate in a shared understanding of one's culture and environment.

    When the Q-Anon people form their own community with their own shared delusion about the rest of the world external to it, they become dysfunctional in that larger environment, but are mentally healthy within it. The conflicts with others who do not share their beliefs cause distress to all, especially if family and friends are excluded. That is the problem with this Q-Anon delusion, that and the violence being encouraged by manipulators such as Trump and white supremacists with their own political motives.

    There are books on this topic that Somerby might read, such as David Neiwert's book on white supremacist cults: Red Pill, Blue Pill. It is unhelpful that he continues to spread his ignorance here without understanding thing one about why people believe odd things. His tendency to blame anything he doesn't understand on "mental illness" is wrong because there is such a thing as mental illness, it causes a great deal more suffering than delusion beliefs, and it needs medical attention to help people who suffer from it and their families. Somerby needs to buy a clue instead of just labeling people, while complaining about Al Gore and how he was mislabeled.

  5. “When we go crazy over here in Our Town, it almost always involves some matter of gender or race. Our long-postponed discussion of this depressing matter will be launched next week.”

    Postponed? This is ridiculous. It’s just about the only thing he ever “discusses.”

    Unfortunately, his discussion turns out to be not so much a discussion as a one-sided harangue that misrepresents the liberal view.

    1. As a reminder, gender and race = civil rights. Civil rights have been part of the platform on the left since the 1960s. Complaining that the left focuses too much on civil rights is like complaining that the right focuses too much on fundamentalist Christian causes or business interests.

      If you find supporting civil rights matters "depressing" then you don't belong in the Democratic party. Perhaps you belong with Bernie, who wants to translate every issue into economic class (a la Marx), but you don't belong among liberals.

      If you believe that gender and race have been solved, then you belong on the right. If you believe that gender and race should be pursued in the form of white supremacy and male dominance over women, then you belong on the extreme right, and if you support use of violence to achieve political goals, you definitely belong on the right.

      Somerby, thinking himself sly, labels himself a liberal while expressing views that have no place in our party. That makes him a huge liar. Because he conceals his actual views, we cannot know exactly what else he is, but enough leaks through his poorly written "reports" to know that he is not one of us.

      So, when he says "we go crazy over here in Our Town" he must be talking about someone else, because he sure as shit isn't referring to liberals.

    2. Gender has been solved. By mother nature. Those who think they can choose their gender are afraid to come to terms with their birth gender. You don't choose your eye color or your hair color. Mother nature does that for you. Learn to deal with it.

    3. 2:14
      Somerby never talks about gender that way. He is referring to sexism/misogyny.

      But since you brought up nature, you must obviously support gay rights.

      And your failure to note hermaphroditism is noted.

    4. So @2:14, wearing colored contact lenses is morally wrong? Hair dye is wrong? Wigs are wrong? Padded shoulders in men's suits are definitely wrong!

  6. "In Our Town, we've preferred to refer to these lunatic statements as "lies," even though we have no way of knowing if the lunatic is so crazy that he really believes them.

    To spread this theme to Biden so quickly is a sign of a vast though familiar disorder. It takes us back to the previous generation, which kept inventing ways to claim that Candidate Gore was spreading his own perverse LIES."

    This is a very revealing paragraph. It explains why Somerby refuses to call a statement a lie, even when it manifestly is a lie. Somerby was so appalled by the way the press labeled Al Gore that he refuses to apply the term lie to anyone, even a con man such as Trump.

    But Somerby is very confused about who has been labeled whom as a liar. First, Trump definitely is a liar. He said so himself in his own books, where he bragged about doing it instrumentally for business advantage. Trump's lies have been dismantled by the press and there is no doubt that he is doing it deliberately. If that isn't a lie, nothing is. Second, Al Gore was misquoted and then ridiculed for those misquotes. That was a political tactic, and yes, the press lied about what he said, unfairly calling him a liar. But was it liberals who did that? No. It was done for political purpose by opponents of Gore, who were not liberals because liberals supported Gore's candidacy. Third, the problem was not the lies Gore was charged with, but his failure to fight back against Republicans effectively to counter their accusations. Lying about your opponent is part of politics, for better or worse, and Gore didn't aggressively defend himself. Perhaps he expected his reputation to protect him, much as Kerry did.

    The lies told on the right are backfiring on them and now they are telling more lies to defend against the monster they have created. That too needs to be called out, because truth must be defended by countering lies, not by pretending that those who tell them are all mentally ill, or by defining the concept of a lie out of existence using philosophical sophistry.

    If Somerby hates the lies told against Gore, he should defend Biden against the lies now being told against him. Attacking a plain-spoken, straight-arrow guy like Biden by calling him a liar is part of the Republican strategy of hitting an opponent in his area of strength. Biden is no liar and Somerby is no liberal, a liar about his politics whose purpose here is to defend Trump and the right while whining about how Al Gore was treated back in 1999.

    Or maybe Somerby is defending himself against accusations of lying? Anything is possible.

  7. “people believed that the Clintons had murdered all those people, and people believed that Candidate Gore kept making those crazy misstatements. Our journalists were even asking if that string of crazy misstatements—those LIES—might reflect some sort of psychological impairment.”


    “When we go crazy over here in Our Town, it almost always involves some matter of gender or race.”

    To equate the insanity of “the Clintons had people murdered” with “liberal concerns about race and gender” requires a tortuous path.

    First of all, these were not “our journalists.” Liberals didn’t choose them. They didn’t represent “our” interests. They were mostly pundits uninterested in actual liberal policy or liberal causes. Calling them “liberal elites” is Somerby’s bogus attempt to equate them with actual liberalism.

    Then he uses the non-specific word “people” in the phrase “people believed” as a misdirection. “People” may have believed these things, but liberals did not.

    This imprecision and blurring of boundaries is how Somerby tries to create the impression that liberal concerns about race and gender are no less insane than all that other stuff.

    1. Al Gore actually said some things about Love Story and Love Canal and creating the internet. Those statements were slightly exaggerated to make it seem like Gore was self-aggrandizing, something Trump does routinely, even to the point of inventing things about himself.

      In Gore it was seen as a personality flaw but in Trump it is part of his charm, even to Somerby, who has defended Trump against charges of lying.

      Those trivial exaggerations of Gore's remarks are not the reason why Gore lost the election. They remain trivial. Somerby however seems to have been scarred for life by them. He seems so upset by minor attacks on Gore that he created a blog and has been whining about them ever since. No greater love hath any man.

    2. They were not trivial exaggerations by the media, they were outright lies perpetrated by those wanting to get back at Clinton. We were lied into a war in Iraq. That is not trivial.

    3. Are you saying that millions of people who otherwise would have totally voted for Gore turned against him because of that one time Brian Williams said he thought Gore’s suit jackets were weird?

      Totally plausible.

    4. @2:16

      Gore did say he created the internet. He did not say he invented it. That is a trivial quibble over the words created vs invented. From Snopes:

      "When asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Gore replied (in part): “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.”

      In context, Gore’s response (which employed the word “created,” not “invented”) was clear in meaning: the vice president was not claiming that he “invented” the Internet in the sense of having thought up, designed, or implemented it, but rather asserting that he was one of the visionaries responsible for helping to bring it into being by fostering its development in an economic and legislative sense."

      So, that was not an "outright lie" but a distortion of something Gore actually said.

      We were lied into a war in Iraq by claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (using fabricated photographic evidence) NOT by any of these silly stupid things that were said about Al Gore.

      Don't defend Somerby's remarks. He doesn't deserve it.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. "The crazy misstatements of Donald J. Trump have defined this political era. In Our Town, we've preferred to refer to these lunatic statements as "lies," even though we have no way of knowing if the lunatic is so crazy that he really believes them”

    This is especially ridiculous in light of the fact that “the lunatic’s” lies were being supported and promoted by many powerful people in the GOP and the right-wing media. His “false statements” cannot be seen as random or directionless. It doesn’t even matter whether Trump “believes” his lies. They became tests of loyalty for the GOP. Just yesterday, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy paid homage to Trump, thereby ensuring “the lunatic’s” continued hold on the GOP. He has them right where he wants them. And he is precisely what Republicans have always wanted.

    Somerby decries the media’s supposed dereliction of duty in failing to discuss Trump’s (putative/theoretical/speculative) “mental illness”, but he ignores the other possibility, that Trump’s lying has been very strategic. It certainly cemented his position within the party. Not to discuss this rather obvious set of circumstances would be a greater dereliction of duty.

    1. For example, Trump’s lies about election fraud were his strategic attempt to stay in power, aided and abetted by Harvard-educated Cruz and Hawley and others like Tucker Carlson. Somerby is a fool to overlook the deliberateness of all of this, from Trump on down.

  10. Somerby introduces another non sequitur with "Tears of Storyline", claiming that Bob Dylan was writing about a Somerby theme and not his own thoughts.

    The song Tears of Rage is generally thought to be about a daughter who leaves the family that raised her and their grief at that loss. Tony Attwood says:

    "But which ever way we go, the notion that the parent is grieving over the path that his offspring has taken, seems to be the most viable one. It’s also the simplest, and that generally means it is the right one.

    The chorus sums up all that heartache into four majestic lines, including that beautiful final declaration of the brevity of life, delivered with the assurance of someone who realizes how easy it is to forget that when you’re young and how hard it is to forget as you grow old."


    Other interpretations are discussed in his article. None of them has anything to do with Somerby's complaints. And from the history of the song, Dylan was not anticipating anything that is going on today.

    Many of us reading this blog grew up with Bob Dylan and the other boomer icons Somerby refers to here. We know who Dylan was and what else he wrote. We know that he would not have condoned what Somerby is doing with his quotes and borrowing. This is wrong and unfair to those artists and musicians and writers.

    This abuse of the creativity of others is why musicians are currently suing Trump for using their songs at his rallies. It is no better when Somerby does it here.

    1. Somerby bolds one sentence in his quote of Dylan's song:

      "All that false instruction"

      It is as if he grabs ahold of this phrase and ignores the meaning contained in the surrounding text.

  11. "Former President Donald Trump has been gone from the White House for over a week. But according to CNN, he hasn't become any less vindictive — and one of his main targets is Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming."

    Trump is attacking Liz Cheney, not because she was his biggest or most determined political enemy, but because she is female. Cowardly bully that he his, he thinks she will be easy to defeat and thus serve as an example to other Republicans who may become disloyal.

    It would be nice to see her withstand his attempts to primary her and remove her from her leadership position. Not because I like Liz Cheney, but because Trump's power needs to be weakened on the right if our country is to return to anything like normal.

  12. I wish Trump wasn't way too lazy to make good on his threat of starting a new political party to peel off the bigot vote from the GOP, thus leaving Republican Party with dozens of votes across the country.

  13. "No one will be true! Not even big liar Biden!"

    Somerby is perhaps being sarcastic in his reference to Biden, but when you make such remarks, cognitively, only the Biden is a liar meaning sticks, the tone of voice (not even present in written text) is lost with repetition.

    If Somerby wishes people to NOT think of Biden as a liar, he shouldn't keep repeating the Biden is a liar meme, as he does several times in today's "report." He is furthering the undermining of Biden's favorability and aiding conservatives when he does this kind of thing. I don't for a moment think that Somerby is defending Biden, since that would sound much more affirmative of Biden's honesty and would be less circuitous and more to the point. Somerby has criticized Biden here and has never actually supported him, even against Trump. He has said that all of the Democratic candidates were terrible. So, one has to assume that Somerby wishes to harm Biden's reputation and undermine our hope that things have changed in Washington. And why would any self-described liberal want to do that?

  14. This was quoted from the NY Times on Political Wire today:

    New York Times: “While much has been said about how people descend into this world, little is known about how they get out. Those who do leave are often filled with shame. Sometimes their addiction was so severe that they have become estranged from family and friends.”

    “The theories seem crazy to [Lenka] Perron now, but looking back, she understands how they drew her in. They were comforting, a way to get her bearings in a chaotic world that felt increasingly unequal and rigged against middle-class people like her. … The theories were fiction, but they hooked into an emotional vulnerability that sprang from something real. For Ms. Perron, it was a feeling that the Democratic Party had betrayed her after a lifetime of trusting it deeply.”

    Notice the sense of betrayal because things in her life were not working out the way she thought they should. That is definitional of a sense of entitlement. It is the expectation that sets a person up for disappointment and then anger that is displaced onto political targets (scapegoats such as Democrats or social justice warriors or racial minorities or women).

    The expectations come from false promises but also from being male and being part of the white middle or upper class. That's why Trump's supporters are mostly white males. People who experience setbacks in other demographic groups expect adversity because they have already overcome it or have no occasion to expect anything different. Poor people buy lottery tickets but they don't expect to win. Wealthier people feel like they already have success but it is being threatened or taken away from them. The mindset is what makes the difference and draws people to Trump because he "understands" them (i.e., he feeds their anger and sense of victimization, tells them they should be winners even if they haven't won, promises them retribution). Simply increasing prosperity isn't going to change things.

    We have reached a tipping point where white violence will not put anything back the way it was. Demographics are against entitled white males, including old guys like Somerby.

    1. Once people realize this, and that every Right-wing accusation is a confession, it's easy to see why Right-wingers call liberals "snowflakes".

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