Kiran Nagarkar on Censorship | Tehelka – India’s Independent Weekly News Magazine
We would, however, be deluding ourselves if we make believe that it is only the arts that suffer because of censorship. A free, uninhibited and open atmosphere is the oxygen that allows scientists, mathematicians, architects and those from other disciplines to think without walls, taboos and claustrophobia; and to dare to take risks and venture into unknown and unexplored territories.
But that too does not reveal the insidious but palpable far-reaching effects of an atmosphere of Big Brother looking over your shoulder every minute. The openness that should be the hallmark of all universities, educational and research institutions goes out the window. Much worse, the horizon shrinks at an alarming rate and all your values get skewered. Your air supply starts to dwindle. Creative minds in the sciences as well as in the humanities and the arts can breathe, thrive and contribute to their disciplines only when there are no barriers to knowledge and ideas.
Mike Daisey Is a Liar, and So Am I | Inside Higher Ed
The thing is, that these lies, these distortions, these fabrications, these untruths don’t make for a better story. They make for an easier one, a story with fewer thorns to swallow on the way down, a less complicated story…
Maybe I’m just suspicious of these “better” stories because to me, the best stories are the most complicated ones, the ones that refuse to resolve in easy ways. Those are the stories that are most true because resolution is something that always remains just beyond our grasp.
It would be a comforting story, an easy story to think that what ails these men is some kind of pathology unique to them, runaway egos, rooted in childhood psychic damage maybe. But who hasn’t told a lie to look a little bigger, a smidge more important, to see the impressed looks in someone else’s eyes…
Let us also acknowledge the rationale that we tell these lies in service of some greater truth is also complete and utter bullshit. Mike Daisey and Greg Mortenson and John D’Agata and James Frey, and me will tell you that we tell the lie not to enrich ourselves, or for reasons of self-preservation, but because, in the words of Daisey, we “want to make people care.”
This is convenient, and maybe we even believe it, but that doesn’t make it true. It would even be handy to blame these lies on simple greed. Mortenson and Frey have profited to the tune of millions. It’s possible Daisey is approaching that.
But I think there’s a deeper truth here, a motivation that extends beyond the transparent B.S. that these lies are in the service of a higher calling.
What these lies invariably do to the stories is take the focus off the story itself, and place it on the storyteller…
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