Monday, November 5, 2012

Truth and Truthiness

by Jane Austen

The Romney family had long lived at Edsel Manor in Belmont, Massachusetts, on the northern outskirts of Boston.  They were of old and respectable Mormon stock, and their standing within the surrounding gated communities was very high, as indeed it was in Boston, where young Willard (lovingly called Mitt by his sisters) was once Governor.  The Romney children were fond of summer vacations with their parents, at their rustic cottage in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, although the family Edsel scarcely had room enough for all the children and the dog.

As a young man, Willard attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where families often sent their young men for development of a certain sort of character, in later years referred to uncharitably as "entitlement." As he was maturing to manhood, he found America was at war in southeast Asia, and Willard had to choose between a Mormon mission to civilize savage Parisiens on the one hand, or to serve his country in Vietnam on the other.  It was indeed a difficult decision, but Willard, strengthened by his experience in Utah, found it within himself to sacrifice his military career in Vietnamese swamps to a higher purpose in  the cafes of Paris, a course he was never in later years to regret.  It was perhaps no coincidence that the French had themselves recently abandoned Vietnam in defeat, owing to lack of moral fiber.

On return from France (having acquired a flawless Parisien accent), Willard completed his education at a local college, Harvard, where he became a Doctor of Laws and a Surgeon of Business.  Then, using his own two hands, hard work, and the talent God had so wisely given him, and without any opportunity not equally provided to a farm boy from Mississippi, Willard became rich.

One thing was bothering him however:  some words like "gay" were losing their old meanings and  were, in this instance, being appropriated by the perverse, immoral, and mentally ill to mean "homosexuality."  Fortunately, just when things were blackest, he found a way to fight back.  He discovered that the word "truth" had been appropriated by the reality-based community to mean the way the way the world actually was, as determined by some form of objective measurement or open-minded inquiry.  An answer to this Orwellian distortion of the English language had been unearthed by an obscure philologist named Stephen Colbert, who taught that "truthiness" was the truth that God meant it to be, at least the God of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, of which the Mormons were perhaps a part.  Unlike the Muslims however.  In another life, Willard thought, he would be a Mormon Missionary in, say, Istanbul, but this he would leave to his sons, or more probably, other people's sons.

With this clarity of mind, and armed with the Sword of Truthiness and the Shield of Ignorance, he decided to become President of the United States.  The rest will be history.