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By David Warren, The Catholic Thing, Dec. 6, 2019
David Warren is a former editor of the Idler magazine and columnist in Canadian newspapers. He has extensive experience in the Near and Far East. His blog, Essays in Idleness, is now to be found at: davidwarrenonline.com.
The popular belief that “the times they are a-changin’” has been with us for a long time. I can remember it from even before Bob Dylan, or imagine that I can. The phrases change, but by now I have endured more “new world orders” than I could shake a stick at. Every politician has promised a new approach to everything. There is consensus that we have entered a Brave New World.
Rather than fill the rest of this column with such vapid observations, I will simply deny that any of them are true.
Except, it is hard to make a statement that is COMPLETELY untrue. Reality is sufficiently various to forbid that.
Gentle reader may try it for sport. Try to construct an assertion, a “narrative,” that is a total fabrication. At some point, something true will slip in; so that when we hear a lie but, in our niceness, say that there is “some truth in it,” we will be always right.
The person who said everything Lillian Hellman wrote was a lie, including “and” and “the,” was exaggerating. It was Mary McCarthy, who received the subsequent defamation suit, but I think there was some truth in her allegation; as in Hellmann’s response, though it was hard to find. …..