People die. They perish, and their bodies perish with them, and so do people’s memories of them, slowly, gradually, in the sandstream of time.
And facts, they suffer. No truth or axiom is immune to change. Facts undergo shifts and makeovers, upgrades and improvements, downgrades and trashing. They get refuted, disproven, improved on, altered, transmuted and replaced with fresher findings, newer and apter insights with which one reimagines the world, pushing forth the latest and more robust facts, all of them centered round whatever survives; the classics. Like bonds around which atoms assemble, the classics hold everything together. The molecule of knowledge morphs, changing its structure and appearance, reconfiguring perception. Under continual scrutiny and development, facts are forever subject to shifts, tweaks, renovation, corruption, decay, regeneration, restructuring.
That is what facts suffer, from the moment they are conceived till the end of motion: the pains of restructuring.
They are the stuff of change, keeping everything together as they shift and reassemble.
Of course, one must not forget that most facts are inherently untrue and incomplete in some way, at least at some point in time, if the principle of falsifiability holds. They’re not altogether correct, at best, partial in their ability to explain something, exposed in due course by fresher findings.
‘In light of recent evidence, we have concluded that what we thought to be ABC was in fact ABCD with an E and F attached to it, on account of blah blah etc etc.’
You’ve all heard the spiel.
But that doesn’t necessarily make inaccurate and dated facts lies. Lies are untruths spoken deliberately and with the intent to deceive. They’re weaponized untruths and inaccuracies, fibs told with the aim to swindle or misdirect others. They may be conscious and direct, used to a specific purpose, or unconscious, delivered in hazy fashion with the intent to promote one’s agenda. They may be based on a previous lie, which lends them an air of deliberation, a derivative nature. They’re based on previous inaccuracies, and promoted in a way that has no regard for facts, or truth. Their aim is to convey a message, not seek out valid answers, or strengthen the edifice of reality.
Hence they’re shifty, thick, and far more unstable than facts, including inaccurate and trashed ones.
This is why lies persist. They cannot be undone. Once uttered, they loom stubborn, an off-pitch sound in a cacophony of falsehoods in a world of facts under attack, infecting the dynamic. Once misleading and inaccurate, always inaccurate, always off the mark. Untruths that can never be made right, permanent in their mendacity. A new truth can be raised in their place to make amends for what they misrepresented or assaulted, putting things right, but the original lie remains a lie. The crime a crime. A deception effected, going down in history as such, for the record, for posterity.
Once a lie, always a lie.
Once a liar, always a liar.
This is why we have records. Transcripts.
This is why we keep tabs.
We have mirrors everywhere. We watch and take notes.
We have ways of bringing up the falsehoods, just when one thought they’d been forgotten and buried deep in the background along with all that has passed, deep in the ground with the dearly departed, all the men and women whose lives the fabrications and trumped-up stories and blatant lies had devastated.
We have ways of bringing everything back so that the liars will never get a moment’s rest.
We are a liar’s worst nightmare.
We are the angels of Time.
You know us. You hear us every day, speaking to you from inside your glands, through every sweat droplet oozed out of your skin and every anxiety wave cutting through you, every pang of guilt negotiated and every doubt you taste in the back of your throat, deep inside your churning mind, we’re there, working through you and fermenting inside you until we eat through the bedrock of deceptions on which you have propped up your excuse of a livelihood, in the name of which you have harmed other people. We see through you and have a hold on you, crashing through your empty promises, leaving behind a pile of flags in the dust, a field of dust and bones. We are working our way through your porkies, agonizingly slow, piercing your hide with our reflective blades. Every little shortness of breath you experience, every leap in your stomach and every heartbeat skipped, it’s us, force-feeding your lies back to you, drenching you in their acid, plunging you in their demented soup.
We are catalysts for change, breaking down what doesn’t work to make way for what does.
We are partial to liars. They provide us with the fuel that keeps the world burning, making the forging of facts possible.
You’re our targets, now and tomorrow and for every tomorrow that follows until we’re through with you, our beloved liars, free to move on to the next ones.
There will always be liars in the world. Everyone lies.
The thing is, some lie more than others, causing more harm than good, and it is them we love to work with.
Once a liar, forever on fire.
Forever feeding our engines.
Vexed? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE