Watch what you say or
They'll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, a criminal.
Won't you sign up your name?
We'd like to feel you're acceptable,
Respectable, presentable, a vegetable...
They call it cruelty. Not the sadism that accompanies the knowing infliction of pain and suffering. Not the heartless indifference that numbs those purposefully causing distress. They do not mean it in the usual sense of the word – the mournful death-keening, helplessly accusing, ugly, violent sense. It is not the same, but it is still physical, mental, torturous. They mean it is cruel to reveal truth.
There are some who preach that our perceptions are colored and clouded. That we exist in a constant dream-state, on secondary images of how things are, and that this false reality shrouds what we do not want to acknowledge. A thousand worlds created and destroyed in our minds, a thousand interpretations of hard fact skewed and skewered when subjectivity is a sin.
Bias is inescapable and it taints a haloed and pure objective point-of-view. There is nothing to be done about this but to amp up the skepticism, the cynicism, the pragmatism. Scientific methods hammered and etched raw into every new brain, soft and unmolded. Every year. Every one. Repeat repeat repeat.
Only some dreams ought to come true.
We look to our artists and writers and musicians, our painters and poets, to shape our comprehension into neat little boxes, to reword reality. To sugar-coat our bitter impossibles or uncover our half-burried miracles. We ask them to create the lies we need, to shield us from the truths that are also their workings, to show us who we want to be and tell us it is who we are. Give us delusion and denial and all we need to stay sane! But there is a need to shatter and break. Sometimes, what we need is to have our illusions torn apart, daily masks shredded to scrapes of junk. We have to brandish dreamy abstract in the open air until it dissipates, too frail, too fragile to stand even the harsh lights of an examiner’s cold steel table. We will risk our sanity for what is right and do what we must while we still can. They call it cruelty. It can be cruel.