Dishonest Narrative aka The Lazy Painter

Dishonest narratives are employed because when comfort or tradition is threatened, it is not enough to challenge a legitimate political or social stance. Rather, you must dehumanize your opposition. You can sway opinion by exaggerating differences. And you can do it not with civil debate or discussion but with stories.

He Saw That It Was Good pp. 16–17

Stories. And stories to wound is what our culture tends to be about. We paint pictures of shadows—capturing the worst moments. It’s like the photos that accompany news stories about politicians. With digital cameras, we can capture every possible expression, and we use the best for our friends and the worst for our enemies. 

It’s lazy interaction. 

When I was little and my brother would be beating me at checkers, I would upset the whole board. I may not have won, but I didn’t lose—at least in my mind. And yet every time I did that, I did lose. I lost the ability to learn strategy, to persevere, to learn how to lose well, to learn to challenge a superior opponent. The outburst of frustration or anger or embarrassment or whatever it was, was ultimately lazy. It was a short cut—I thought—to victory. I was telling a story that said, “You can’t beat me.” But it was dishonest. It tried to paint my brother in shadow. It just left me in the dark. 

Painters always get a little on the themselves. If you always paint in shadowed stories, you too will end up in the dark. 

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